Gary Starr

Foreman

Q: What do you do at Midwest Mole? What are your typical responsibilities?
A: I’m a foreman, and I work with the CSX teams as a consultant. Every job is different, and each project presents different challenges. I need to make sure the pipe goes in straight, and that it doesn’t hit anything. Basically, I keep everybody on schedule and keep production going.

Q: When did you join Midwest Mole, and what were you up to in your career before that?
A: I’ve been back with Midwest Mole for 20 years. I worked here for a year and a half in the late 1990s, then I quit for about a year before coming back. I first started as a laborer, and then I ran the tunneling machine. Before I joined Midwest Mole, I worked at a feed mill, just doing a little bit of everything.

Q: What do you like about your job? What excites you about coming to work?
A: I like the challenges of my job. I get excited just to get started every day. It’s also interesting for me to work in my current role because I still work with all the Midwest Mole superintendents, and I’m still a Midwest Mole employee, but the crew I run is all CSX people. I enjoy being able to interact with both companies like that.

Q: Why have you stuck with Midwest Mole for all of these years? What sets them apart?
A: They work with you. Everybody here is easy to get along with. If you have any trouble, all it takes is a phone call to get it figured out. They listen to me when I have ideas. These are good people to work for. You’re not just a number to them. They know your name, they know your family, and it shows.

Q: How do you think our industry could do a better job of attracting young people?
A: That’s a tough question. I do work with plenty of younger people, and our company does a good job training them and helping them get their certifications. It’s hard to find young people who even want to work in the field, but once they get exposed to it, they seem to like it. Maybe we just need to do a better job of reminding young people that it’s an option.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I’m married, and I don’t have any kids. I like to farm and hunt, and that’s about it. I have a small herd of beef cattle that keeps me pretty busy.


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