Chris Miday Helps People Rebuild Their Lives by Deconstructing Buildings

As part of Building Value’s efforts to train their clients in the construction trade, Chris Miday manages a team of deconstructors. He gives a behind-the-scenes look at his work and the value it provides the community for our February 2021 Cincinnati At Work issue.

Photograph by Devyn Glista

Age

40

Title/Occupation

Deconstruction Manager, Building Value

How long have you been in this job and field of work?

16 years(ish).

Why did you get into this field of work?

I was job-coaching people with disabilities at Easter Seals Greater Cincinnati, which launched and owns Building Value, when a coworker asked if I wanted to go tear Woodward High School’s woodshop apart and save everything we could before they demolished it. I said, Hell, yeah!

Best part of your job?

The deconstruction trainees, who we train in the construction business. I’ve met the coolest people from all walks of life.

Worst part?

Claw-foot tubs, Sub-Zero refrigerators, and granite. I have moved more of these heavy things than I care to remember.

What value does this work provide to the community at large?

We help people build or sometimes rebuild their lives [working for us], while keeping materials out of the landfill, giving our shoppers great deals on house parts, and our clients get a tax deduction for items we salvage from their properties. So it’s a win/win/win/win situation.

What value does it provide you?

We help disadvantaged people get into the construction workforce and have had people go from food stamps to making $35 per hour, the prevailing wage, over the course of five years. It’s so good to see our graduates make more money than us. And we’ve kept unbelievable amounts of construction materials from going to the landfill. I like to save what was about to be smashed and then see it cherished by its new owner.

What’s a fun fact about your job that the public wouldn’t know?

At any given moment I have keys to some of the coolest old houses in the city on my belt loop. We get to work in some neat old places.

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