Barriere names Taylor Gurley Foreperson of the Year for the Construction Group on the Heavy Civil Side.

The first thing to know about Barriere foreman Taylor Gurley is that he puts safety first. Quality and production run a close second. He says another important part of his job heading up his construction crew is putting people in the right place, in the right job for them to succeed. And Taylor has certainly found his place at Barriere. Having worked as a foreman for nearly twenty-two years and eight of those being with Barriere, Taylor has distinguished himself as an effective leader and was recently named Barriere’s Foreperson of the Year for the Construction Group on the Heavy Civil side. We sat down with him to learn more about him and his time at Barriere.

  • What are the primary duties and tasks you manage as part of your job role?

It starts with setting up materials and communicating with the guys in the morning to lay out the projected course of how we’ll do things that day. It really is all about communicating and supporting the crew. I know I can depend on my guys to be the boots on the ground and get the work done. They don’t need to be micromanaged.

  • What aspects of your job do you find the most enjoyable?

I really like moving around, being on jobs and building things. As a kid, I was always building stuff and fixing things. Today, it’s rewarding to point out my work to my family. When my daughter sees new roads, she always asks if dad built them. 

  • What difficulties do you encounter in your job and how do you address them?

In utility work, when you’re digging in unknown areas, you have to expect the unexpected. If there’s an obstruction, we find a way to get around it, whether that means submitting a change order or something else. The key is to take it one step at a time, visualize the goal, work safely and communicate as you go.

  • How does your team work together to accomplish goals?

It’s about communication and treating each other with respect. Everyone goes out of their way to make sure they’re doing their job so that they don’t put more work on the next guy. 

  • What skills and attributes do you believe are crucial for succeeding in your role?

It helps if you’re a people person. You have to be able to communicate with different personalities and work with people at different ages. It’s not enough to have the mechanical knowledge and skills to do the job; you also need the communication skills to pass that knowledge on to other people. And patience is so important. Everything we do out on the job takes years to learn. When you take the time to teach someone the safe way to do things, you’re also serving as an example for a person who might become a leader in the future.

  • How would you describe the work atmosphere and culture at Barriere?

Barriere is a big company that works like a smaller, family-oriented company. I’ve worked for different sizes and types of companies, and I did leave Barriere for a short period of time. I decided to come back because of the culture and how well they treat people, especially the hourly employees. Barriere takes care of their people. Everyone can come and earn a living to take care of their families and go home safe to enjoy their family time. And there are lots of benefits of being affiliated with different groups within CRH.

  • What hobbies and passions do you pursue outside of work?

I like to spend time with my family and loved ones. I’m all about supporting my daughter. On different days, I’m a cheer dad, a theater dad or a “let’s go play in the mud with the four-wheeler” dad. And my girlfriend and I like to take out my sports car and just cruise the coast. I really value being able to relax and have that quality time. Two years ago when I lost my father, I realized he didn’t get to enjoy his life as he’d expected. That really had an impact on me and has inspired me to try to live life to the fullest.

  • What values are most important to you?

Family is the most important, doing everything I can to support my family. I also believe that, if you see someone struggling, you should help them out. As a human, if you can reach out and give someone a hand, do it. 

  • How do you manage to maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life?

Two things: Don’t bring work home, and don’t bring home to work. If I have a lot going on at work, I go home and decompress before interacting with my family. And in the morning, no matter what’s going on at home, I try to leave it at the door when I get in my truck to drive to a job. Some days it’s easier than others, but that’s always the goal.

  • How do you feel about being chosen as a Barriere Foreperson of the Year?

It feels really good to find out that the work you do is appreciated. I’m honored that the people I work with would want to put me up for this award. These are people I respect, and to know that they respect me enough to nominate me for this means a lot.


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