It takes supply chain

Matt Laub: Leading by example

We’re building a renewable energy supply chain across the state of New York. One of Ørsted and Eversource's key suppliers is Haugland Group, where union-affiliated General Foreman Matt is working to construct an onshore substation on Long Island.

When high school was over, I told my parents I was thinking about taking a year off, taking some time to myself. The following Monday, my stepfather said to me in so many words: “get up, get your boots on, you’re coming to work.” With that, I was standing on a bridge at 8 a.m. cursing a lot. Now, I’m General Foreman for Haugland Group.
Worker with hard hat
Matt Laub, 47, General Foreman at Haugland Group, has lived on Long Island for most of his life

I’ve been on Long Island since second grade. My mother met my stepfather when I was about 12. He took care of us. We might’ve struggled here and there, but he was always in the union, he always brought home a paycheck.

It took me one day of working with him before I joined the union too. What I quickly learned was that with the union, you get skilled labor. And that comes from doing it repetitively, getting trained correctly, and most of all, safely. My local has a whole safety school. The school teaches you how to fuse gas pipes, how to work with cranes. You’re not allowed to sign up unless you have the training. And that's what you get. You get quality work.

I’ve given my kids opportunities I never had. I hope they’ll pay it forward to their kids, their community.

Being a foreman comes with a lot of responsibility. But I enjoy getting the job done efficiently, hitting the goal, meeting the deadline. It’s an accomplishment – especially when you can see what you’ve done. One of the first jobs I did with Haugland Group was the bike path on route 347, in Smithtown where I live. I get to drive past it every day and see what I built.

Right now, I’m working on a project for Ørsted and Eversource, building an onshore substation and ducts for underground cables that will bring power from offshore wind turbines to residents – people like me and my family.

I’m married, and I have a son and daughter, Matty and Mia. The main reason I come to work is for them. Being in the union, I’ve been able to give Matty and Mia opportunities I never had. I have a good retirement. I have a pension and annuity. I can provide for my family.

As a kid, I spent every day in the summer on my grandparents’ boat. So, it was huge to me when I was able to get my own boat, to be able to carry on that tradition with my kids. And they love it. I hope when they grow up, they’ll see what their parents have given them and pay it forward to their kids and their community.

Matt Laub is General Foreman for Haugland Group.

Watch Matt’s story