Wright Brothers began in 1961, when two brothers, James and Robert Wright, decided to borrow their father’s bulldozer and work together helping their neighbors dig out ponds.  This strong work ethic and emphasis on family values have shaped us into the General Contractor we are today.  Based out of Charleston, TN with projects located across the Southeastern United States, Wright Brothers has grown into a regional full-service heavy civil construction company.

We sat down with Forrest Catron, Project Manager at Wright Brothers, to talk about his journey in construction. Forrest serves as Secretary/Treasurer on the board of Building Leaders of Chattanooga (BLOC) and as chair of the BIG PIG BBQ Festival committee. He received AGC’s 2023 Young Leader of the Year award and participated in Day on the Hill with both AGC and TRBA.

“My journey into construction started in college. I was in the surveying department at ETSU and realized that even though it was a lot of fun, I would rather do construction. I got into their construction management program and after graduation I worked for a company in Kansas. I enjoyed it, but it required a lot of travel and time on the road.

Luckily, I stumbled upon Wright Brothers and met Tony Boals (Vice President at Wright Brothers and AGC board member). I realized that I would really like to do asphalt DOT pavement projects, and with that I was able to get off the road and start building them instead. In my 6 years there, I’ve gone from the DOT side to the private commercial side of things. I have been able to grow my career at this company and they’ve given me the tools to be successful in my job. There’s a lot of support, I’m surrounded by a great team of people with a lot of experience.

Wright Brothers spends a lot of time and effort finding young, brilliant people to come help us out on our projects. Building up our workforce is vital, and one of the ways I get to help is by speaking at career fairs at local colleges and doing school visits. It’s a great opportunity for the kids getting into it. They get to see the DOT side of things and get experience in the field. It’s very important to get out to the schools and do that recruitment. We hire a lot of interns and many of them come back summer after summer. I wish that when I was in college someone like Wright Brothers would have presented opportunities the way that they do.

This year, I was excited to get on the BLOC board and take on the BIG PIG chair position. We have a really strong group of people in BLOC and I’m looking forward to what we have planned. I could just go to work everyday and that’s it, but getting involved makes it more fun. I’m talking to people I didn’t know before and met people I may not have otherwise. If there are issues that come up, I have an expanded network of people I can call up to see if they have what I need or if they can assist.

At the end of the day, I can’t express enough how great my company is – they’re phenomenal. Their willingness to let you grow and giving you the support you need is tremendous. It’s been a game-changer.”