Stronger Together

Meet: Tyi Steffens
Local 1503, General Carpentry, Fifth Term Apprentice

How has your work been impacted by the pandemic?
There have been pros and cons. There hasn’t been much traffic on my way to work, and the price of gas went down. At work, there is a lot more planning, extra safety factors like keeping six feet apart from your partner to maintain safety while working. Things are different, there are changes, it’s something new to get used to. My company is doing a great job of enforcing the six-foot rule and installing new hand sanitation and washing stations. We are social distancing while getting our jobs done.

How are you and your family?
Everyone is doing well, we are starting to get cabin fever. Everyone is jealous of me because I’m leaving for work while my family is staying home.

How are you staying connected as we all practice physical distancing? 
The biggest bummer for me is to not eat at my favorite places. I am holding up pretty good, I get a little social out of me at work by shouting six feet away to my partner.

My children are being homeschooled and are dealing with cabin fever. We are trying to be creative and find new ways to entertain everybody and keep our sanity. 

“I have lots of pride, I know what I do is important. I’ve been there since the dirt at the beginning; the outside is starting to look like a building. I feel glad to be working, especially this project.”

What project are you on? 
I am working with ASI, we are doing an addition, a new burn center for Emanuel. I heard Emanuel has one of the best burn units in the states and a small ward. Work on this new building will give them access to better services, as soon as possible. They are long overdue to have this center done for them. I have lots of pride, I know what I do is important. I’ve been there since the dirt at the beginning; the outside is starting to look like a building. I feel glad to be working, especially this project. 

What do you look forward to after this is all done?
I look forward to being able to load the kids up and do something fun, camping, an amusement park. We like going out to Opal Creek. My daughter’s birthday is at the end of the next month–hopefully, we can have some kind of birthday party by then. 

How have these uncertain times shifted your outlook or approach to work and financial security? 
This time has definitely made me want to be a little bit of a prepper, have some things stored away for the crazy times. Because the groceries emptied out over panic, I purchased a small deep freezer for food. I’m saving, not buying any big purchases, being conservative until it clears, and we see what is going on. I am fortunate to still be working.


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