From making basements to forming Akon’s house Orlando Cruz managed to start his own construction company on his own. Coming from a foreign country all by himself at the age of sixteen, Cruz wanted a better life. “I came to the United States for a better life and future”. In 1988, Cruz started off picking tomatoes and other vegetables in Florida earning 3.35 an hour. Not satisfied with his job he decided to go out and go to Georgia. In Georgia he settled in Holly Springs, where he lived with ten other people in a trailer. He worked at a chicken hatchery for a year. Still thinking he could do better Orlando started working for a man named John Peters who did construction. John Peters would leave Orlando with all the work and he would go on vacation. Only making ten dollars an hour, and knowing he had a huge responsibility on his hands managing a company that was not his. He told his boss that he wanted a raise for having such responsibility, and the answer was no. Orlando decided to make his own company. “I did not like the way people treated just because I was from a different country and how they made me feel small”. He says he recalls people making racist remarks when he went to the store or walked to his work. When he started to form his company he said it was not easy he bought simple materials and only had two workers. They would wake up every morning at 5 am and stop at 7 at night. People started to know about his business, and he got more work. Later, he said he started to see money coming in and he decided to buy big trucks and more supplies. He started hiring more people and by the time he noticed, he had twelve employees. Growing up with a single mother, Mr. Cruz says he owes his success to his mother. His father passed away when he was young, and growing up with nothing and having to work at such a young age he said he learned to be independent and hard working.
ROMA Concrete is the name of his business, and he has been in business for fifteen years. Mr. Cruz worked numerous years to bring a simple idea to a money making business.
ROMA Concrete has been in business for many years, and they have done numerous jobs for well-known people. I had the opportunity to go to one of their construction sites where they did some poured walls and slabs for famous singer Akon. Mr. Cruz says he takes every job seriously and makes sure it is perfect. I witnessed very friendly interactions between the workers and I think that is what has made them a successful company.