Claudio Ledesma, construction superintendent with Tilcon New York Inc., did not even consider a career in civil engineering until he attended Morris County Community College after graduating from West Orange High School. “I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do,” admits Claudio. While at community college, Claudio was introduced to construction fields through an engineering science course. He made an instant connection, and hasn’t looked back.
Claudio applied his strong work ethic and the philosophy of “choosing what I want to do, then giving 100 percent.” He transferred after two years to NJIT’s Engineering School, where he was awarded the CIAP scholarship for his final two years of school. His internship began at Tilcon New York, where he continued to work year-round and part-time in such roles as laborer, estimator and engineer.
Following graduation in 2002, Claudio secured a full-time position as a project engineer with Tilcon New York. He gravitated to the field where the actual work is conducted.
Claudio has managed a $42-million project at I-78 at the Delaware River Bridge. The project involved repairing four and a half miles in both directions of the 20-year-old concrete road. The challenge to deal with each day is in juggling the subcontractors who work on the job. Claudio is quick to point out that “all big jobs are just a bunch of little jobs.” When asked what he likes best about his career, Claudio echoes the comments of his colleagues: “Construction is hard work, but extremely rewarding and satisfying.”