Some might say that they’re concerned about the lack of work ethic today’s youth possesses. They haven’t met 5-year-old Dane Yachisko.
Dane, who lives at Carter Avenue and Sixth Street in Indiana, has been “employed” all summer by area construction crews who have been working on the street outside.
When he grows up, he said, he wants to be a construction worker. Though he loves policemen and firemen, too, he swears he’s “gonna be a worker.” He’s getting closer to that goal, since he celebrated his fifth birthday Tuesday.
And just what has Dane been doing to help with construction on Sixth Street?
“I’ve been doing paperwork,” he said. And he gets to do it on a cool clipboard.
Dane is up every morning to get to work with the crew, from M and B Services of Clarion, who have taken him under their wing.
“We’ll go to leave to go somewhere and he’ll say, 'Dad, I can’t leave, I gotta work,'” said Dane’s father, Dave Yachisko. If they absolutely have to go, the response is somewhat like, “Well, when are we going to be back? I have things to do.”
The foreman of the crew showed Dane the ropes while he was putting the waterlines in.
“He took him around, showed him how to turn the water on and off,” Yachisko said. He hasn’t decided yet if that’s a good thing for his 5-year-old to know or not. If he slept in that day, Yachisko said, the foreman would joke “you just get up? We’ve been out here working!”
And when it comes to the schedule, Dane knows it all.
“He knew everything about it, like when the fire hydrant was going to be uncovered.”
By the time the construction is over, Dane is going to know a lot about the field.
“He’s out there asking questions and talking, and then they take lunch, and he sits there and eats lunch with them and talks and talks and talks,” Yachisko said.
To support his dreams, his parents even gave him some bright orange construction cones for a birthday present. That and a shiny new toy firetruck, of course.
Driving by, you might see him helping the traffic crew direct traffic from the hill.
The Zion Lutheran Church preschooler has been getting in overtime with a second construction project outside of his grandmother’s house, where he goes every day when Yachisko heads to work.
“He’d leave the construction site here and go over there with his hard hat and construction vest and everything and help them every day,” he said.
Construction season will eventually come to a close, but Dane’s got plenty of work ahead of him before then. Maybe when it starts snowing he’ll have some time to hang out with his family, his mother, Sherri, and siblings, Chloe and Parker.
“If they’re out there, he’s out there,” said Yachisko, and Dane agrees: “And if they’re not out there, I’m not out there.”