MPIPersona Project
fotostorm/ iStock

Andrew

Portrait of Andrew
Age
42
Race
White
Hometown
Brockton, Massachusetts
Now lives
Brockton, Massachusetts
Job Title
Budget Manager
Income
$90,000
Education
High School, Some College, Apprenticeship
Group
Creative Local
Occupation
Management
Industry
Local Real Estate Construction & Developement
Artifact: Football

Artifact: Football

On Sundays, I would think half of America is watching American football. I actually looked up the word artifact, and it is supposed to be something that is made right here. I believe that’s what the definition says, that it’s part of our culture, and I think that American football is the culture of America.

Blue-collar family man, who wants no one left behind
"I consider the union my mini-family. As a manager, I feel obligated to provide not only for my family but for others as well, for them to provide for their families too."
farmhouse Popova Valeriya/Shutterstock.com

Community

I’ve been married for 15 years this New Year’s Eve. I have three children, two girls and a boy. My oldest is 18. My middle one is 13 and a pistol right now. My youngest, he’s 12. My wife works full-time. She works 40 hours a week and I’m working 50 or 60 hours a week. We’re busy, with all the sports and everything else.
When I was younger, my father purchased some land behind the house and my brother and I both built houses there. So I have my brother living beside me with his in-laws, my in-laws live with me and my sister and my brother-in-law live with my parents.

“To me, it’s about owning a house and being able to come home and feed your family a decent dinner. I’m not saying you’re having prime rib dinner every night. But, your kids don’t want for a whole lot.”

Work | Community

I also consider the union my mini-family — I call them my union brothers and sisters. I’m still part of the local in Boston, but yet I’m in a management position. I’ve basically taken what I’ve learned in the field and applied it to a process to try to not only supply work to my fellow members, but to provide a profit for the owner of the business. In my role now, if I’m not winning jobs or bids, to put them to work, then that’s kind of on me. The union’s done a lot for me. I think the union helps you have a way to retire. That financial stability is provided to you without you even knowing because it’s taken directly out of your check. I have a great annuity and pension program. A lot of companies don’t even have that stuff anymore. Our retirement is provided through the union, which is very beneficial.

Construction site GeorgyRozov/EyeEm

Blue-collar family man, who wants no one left behind
"I consider the union my mini-family. As a manager, I feel obligated to provide not only for my family but for others as well, for them to provide for their families too."
Food laid out on a table Jacqx3/EyeEm

Economy

Even though the union provides these things, we’re not savings thousands of dollars a week for retirement or investing in funds. I think we’re in the middle class. To me, it’s about owning a house and being able to come home and feed your family a decent dinner. I’m not saying you’re having prime rib dinner every night. But, your kids don’t want for a whole lot. You’re able to clothe your kids without looking for financial help or support from anyone else. Maybe you go on a couple of vacations a year.

“When my kids are older and I have more time on my hands, I do plan to get involved with town government. My thing is: just don’t get involved unless you can really get into it, understand it and make a difference.”

Government

I don’t think everyone is in the same position as me. I think the government isn’t doing enough to help Americans here at home. I’m not very happy with them but that’s just my opinion. I’ll call it a necessary evil, you know? We’re spending a lot of resources elsewhere to help other people in conflict when we have millions of Americans that need support. Like, I don’t like the way the government treats the military when they come back. These are people that are not only sacrificing their lives but also their families’ lives as well.

boy doing homework gustavofrindt/EyeEm

Government

Our taxes are always an issue. At some point, how much money is enough to run the government? They give bigger tax breaks to the wealthy than someone who’s in the middle class. I think town government is really different. When my kids are older and I have more time on my hands, I do plan to get involved with town government. My thing is: just don’t get involved unless you can really get into it, understand it and make a difference.

Education

When I think about education, it was really hard for me. I actually had learning disabilities when I was in high school. At the end of my sophomore year, I had a 7th grade reading level. It went undetected or nobody really cared or I was doing enough just to get by. Now, there’s No Child Left Behind, which puts systems in place within the schools, which I’m grateful for. I had a feeling that one of my kids would have the same type of issue as me and it ended up being my son. He’s in a structured program for kids who have difficulty reading and concentrating on things. Me, I graduated from high school and took an apprenticeship. Everybody wants to go to school, go to college. But what about that guy that builds the house or pours the concrete? You still have to have tradespeople to make this world run. Otherwise, you’re going to be a Third World country again, you know?

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