We recently sat down with Christian Leibfried, one of McAninch’s youngest employees, and asked him to tell us what it’s like to work at the company. We cover everything from his typical workday to advice he has for other young people.
Let’s start with the basics. How old are you, and when did you first start working at McAninch?
I’m 18 years old and a senior in high school. I started working here in October 2017 through my high school’s school-to-work program. Originally, I wanted to find a job in construction during my last year of high school, but from the day I started at McAninch, I’ve loved it.
What’s a typical workday like for you?
I’m in school for half days and work the other half of the day at McAninch. When the weather is good enough to work outside, I operate machinery such as a skid loader. In the winter, I spend most of my time working in the shop. When I come to work in the mornings, a safety meeting is always the first task of the day. Safety is a priority for the company.
How did you learn how to drive the equipment? Did you have to take training courses before coming to McAninch?
That’s something terrific about working at McAninch, they have given me 100 percent of the training I need to do my job. Before coming to work here, the largest thing I had driven was a suburban, so I had a lot to learn! When I first had training on how to operate the skid loader, I sat with a foreman for a couple of hours to understand the controls and how the equipment functions. When he felt I was ready, he put me right in the driver’s seat and provided one-on-one coaching and guidance for me until he felt confident I could safely and effectively operate the machine independently.
What’s it like being the youngest employee at McAninch?
It’s a lot of fun, and since Day 1, I’ve always felt extremely welcome and part of the team. Everyone has been patient and willing to teach me. Once I’m trained on a certain task or project, they give me the freedom to prove myself. I haven’t had a lot of jobs yet, but compared to where I worked in the past, I feel very empowered. The foremen want employees to ask questions and learn, and they want everyone to succeed at their jobs.
You graduate from high school soon, what are your plans?
I’ve been accepted to Des Moines Area Community College and will start there in the fall. I plan to continue working as many hours as I can at McAninch during the summer and while in school. I haven’t decided my major yet, but I know what I’m learning here will help me in the future.
What advice do you have for other young people?
Keep your eyes and your mind open to new opportunities. If I hadn’t been willing to give this job a try, I would have missed out on a great experience that is helping me now and will in the future, no matter where my career path takes me.
If you or someone you know is looking for a career with a company who is passionate about its people, puts safety first and provides professional growth opportunities in a team-oriented and highly productive culture, look to McAninch.
Ideal candidates will have a valid driver’s license, are willing to work longer days in good weather and most importantly, have a mindset of safety first. Candidates who are interested in pursuing a career with the leading excavation and grading contractor in Iowa should call (515) 267-2500; complete an application by stopping by our office at 4001 Delaware Avenue, Des Moines; or fill out an online application at www.mcaninchcorp.com.