109 years ago, Andrew Polivka III and his family moved to McKees Rocks and Stowe Township in search of work. He had likely heard of this growing town’s abundant job opportunities, recently furnished by the local Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad yard. Imagine the sight of the rail yard in that era: massive, monolithic trains pumping thick black smoke into the air surrounded by the sound of industry, train whistles announcing their hulking presence, and the endless meanderings of immigrants and locals. It was truly a hustling, bustling place: a distinctly american melting pot.
Andrew found himself surrounded by that living landscape of industry, working on the yard for many years as a laborer. It was honest work that payed well enough for him to provide for his family, nestled in an idyllic little home a hill over from the rail yard.
Imagine our excitement when Polivka International was awarded work on the very rail yard that Andrew worked at over 100 years ago. CSX has tasked our company with transforming the aged yard into a state of the art intermodal facility.
As with most high profile projects, there was a grand opening with pomp and excitement. A. Basil and his son, Basil II walked on the yard where their ancestor tirelessly labored during the CSX ground breaking event. It was attended by the mayors of the local townships, CSX’s highest ranking officials, and a large crowd of locals. They were all excited to see substantial investment into their old industrial town.
It has been a difficult time for this region, suffering the loss of most of their industrial services. But just as Andrew’s McKees Rocks was given its lifeblood by the local rail industry, CSX has endeavored to bring jobs back into the region.
We do not usually have this kind of connection with our jobs. We have the great gift of giving back industry and jobs to the town that provided our great-great grandfather his livelihood. Moments like these make our work worthwhile.