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Image of Tony Hernandez II

© Gilles Perrin http://www.gilles-perrin.com/

Tony Hernandez II
Foreman, Midwest Steel

I was born in Detroit, right up the road here in Grand Circus Park. I was raised in Los Angeles. I came back to Detroit in 1985, because I was getting in a lot of trouble out there as a youth. I came back to live with my uncle, who was an ironworker who got me into the industry. I always wanted to be in some sort of construction field, and ironwork seemed to be the best suit for me.

What’s interesting to me about Detroit is the history of the city. It’s a city that’s three hundred years old. It’s older than our country. And there’s a lot of history here that I’m proud to be a part of.

I see the city expanding, growing. I see the suburbs and the inner city collaborating on rebuilding the infrastructure. And I’m hoping Detroit becomes another global force for commerce and trade, like it used to be.

What I do is locate and find all the pieces of steel—the puzzle pieces, so to speak—and get them in place, get everything orchestrated and lined out, and then I put my men to work and assign them their duties for the day. I expect them to complete those tasks. That’s what we do on a daily basis. Take small bites and erect steel.

From June 18, 2012, interview