Former Construction Worker and Motorcycle Technician
Anthony Martinez, Lewis Tree Service
How does one go from motorcycles and construction end up in vegetation management? We caught up with Anthony Martinez to find out how!
You started in the restaurant industry?
Yes, I was in the restaurant industry for a little when I had turned 16. It was my first job, but I did not see myself being there a long time. The hourly rate was extremely low, so I had to rely on tips. There were some shifts I worked that were so slow that I would barely make anything. Thinking back and comparing the restaurant industry to vegetation management, the only major difference is the labor that is being done, the labor at Lewis is a little more intense than that of the restaurant industry but it is similar in the sense that in the restaurant industry you would have chunks of time where you were active and multitasking and then you would have chunks of time that were a little slower and you would clean or restock, it is the same in vegetation management, there are times where I am multitasking and supporting my crews but then there are times I am alone in my truck catching up on paperwork.
What was it like being in construction?
When it comes to construction, depending on the time of year and where you are working, it can be extremely draining due to the weather. I was working from 7am-7pm in the hot humid heat of Florida. It was honestly one of the roughest jobs I ever had because I was so exhausted at the end of the day due to the extremely intense labor. What I did enjoy about it was I love being able to see what you can build and what can be transformed through remodeling. That was also what had interested me about becoming a motorcycle technician, I was able to build a motorcycle from scratch with my hands. I would spend 12-13 hours a day for months but seeing the outcome, it was an unexplainable feeling, and on top of it, seeing how much people would pay for the product you made, it was great.
What advice would you give to those wanting to switch careers?
I would tell those that might be looking to make the switch to give it a shot and to try it out because it does not hurt to try. We have all worked in different industries, and when we need a paycheck, we will try anything and everything just to receive a paycheck. It might be tough when you first start, but you get used to it, your body gets used to it, and you will succeed.
Besides for a paycheck, what else does Lewis have to offer?
Benefits! Lewis offers insurance, 401K, and ESOP (employee stock ownership plan). Other companies might have those but not as good as at Lewis.
What kind of opportunities for growth exist at Lewis?
There are endless opportunities for growth at Lewis, if you are willing to sacrifice it will pay off in the end. Lewis is dedicated to training, teaching, and having their employees grow. They are not just looking for groundspeople (entry-level), they are looking for the next general foreperson (GF), the next supervisor. They take the time and effort to coach you, so that you can grow, and to me that is priceless.
What is one thing about Lewis that stands out to you?
The leadership team, they are dedicated to seeing you grow and succeed. They always have your back. Working at other companies, you never knew when your last day would be, if they were just going to let you go. I have made a couple of mistakes at Lewis, but my leaders stuck their neck out for me, and I really appreciate it, it means so much to me to have that kind of support. The leaders care so much, and you can tell by their actions. When I was offered an opportunity to come back, I had three job offers, all in the industry, the other two offers paid more but I was willing to sacrifice making more money to work at Lewis.
How do you feel about being essential?
It means a lot to be getting looked at as being essential. During storm, when you arrive to the staging area, you see the preference that is given to the utility workers, and those that are in vegetation management are often “pushed aside” even though without us they wouldn’t be able to get anything done. Now, we are all essential and are on the same level. It feels good to be recognized.
Become Essential at Lewis Tree Service
Looking for a Job?
We’re Hiring and We May Have the Career for You!
Looking for a new career with opportunities to grow, solid pay, benefits, stock ownership, training, safety, working outside, a great culture, and finding success? Utility vegetation management is deemed an “essential workforce” by the U.S. government which is something in which we take immense pride!
Take a look at some of the other Lewis success stories profiled on our site and join our company.
Driven to succeed but worried about being in a dead-end job? Learn how a former residential tree worker found upward mobility, heightened safety, and pride as an essential worker at Lewis Tree Service. Click here.
Stuck inside an office all day? Worried about finding success in a “man’s world”? Read about how a former office worker is encouraging women to thrive at Lewis Tree Service. Click here.
Bored in your job? Want to try something different? Find out how a butcher found the right blend of training, learning, safety and success at Lewis Tree Service. Click here.
Tired of working two full-time jobs just to make ends meet? Learn how a former kitchen manager in the restaurant industry has found success and a long-term career without a college education at Lewis Tree Service. Click here.
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