Editorial: 06.15.2021

Safety Keeps Cody Hobbs in Motion

cody hobbs

Cody Hobbs entered college with plans of becoming a zoologist and graduated with a job as safety coordinator at Castle Contracting.

“I was smack dab in the middle of Illinois, so I probably picked the wrong school for zoology,” he jokes about his decision to attend Illinois State University. “As it turned out, I didn’t enjoy those classes, so I did some research, took a couple of safety classes and everything just clicked.”

As a safety major, Hobbs had to learn about a range of topics—from ergonomics to industrial hygiene, to insurance. “I really enjoyed the construction side more than anything else,” he says.

Hobbs’ budding career got an unexpected boost when his parents ran into a family friend and told him about their son’s new field of study. That friend just happened to be McCarthy Senior Vice President National Safety Kevin Maitland, who encouraged Cody to reach out to him.

“I called him up, and the next thing I knew I had my first construction internship at St. Luke's Hospital in Chesterfield,” says Hobbs.

The following summer, he secured a second McCarthy internship opportunity at the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan, Kansas.

Both experiences confirmed Hobbs’ desire to work in construction safety, so when he learned that Castle was looking for a safety coordinator, he jumped at the opportunity. “They needed a safety guy, and I was ready to go,” he says. “I did my own research and met with (Castle Senior Regional Safety Manager) Trey Patterson and (McCarthy Vice President Regional Safety) Steve Miller to talk it through with them. The job sounded like a perfect fit for me.”

Castle agreed and brought Hobbs onboard as he was finishing up the final class to complete his bachelor’s degree.

Since joining the company in 2018, he’s visited hundreds of Castle jobsites to observe construction activities, interact with crews, and identify potential safety hazards and opportunities for improvement.

“My job is to be a resource for everybody when it comes to promoting a safety culture and helping people work through issues so that nobody's left in the dark,” he says.

When Hobbs isn’t visiting job sites, he might be developing a site-specific safety plan for a new job, conducting a safety orientation for a new hire or checking in on maintenance activities at the Castle shop.

“Interacting with people is a big bonus of my job—whether it's management, field partners, other contractors or owners,” he says. “I get to help find solutions to problems and hazards, so we keep people safe.”

Castle’s safety record and reputation is something Hobbs takes pride in. “Our guys make my job a lot easier because they're very safety-oriented, which is great,” he says.  

Hobbs lives in Belleville, Ill., with his fiancée, Katie, and a newly adopted beagle puppy named Bubba.

His Castle boss, Senior Regional Safety Manager Trey Patterson, takes full credit for Hobbs’ relationship with Katie, whom he was friends with in college. “I was going to Chicago to meet up with some friends for a buddy’s birthday, and Trey bet me $1 that I was going to run into her because that’s where she lived,” Hobbs recalls. “Well, she showed up at the same bar I was at, and the rest is history.”

Katie left behind her gig as a Chicago Bulls cheerleader to join Hobbs in southern Illinois, where she now teaches third grade at a local elementary school.

And the happy couple is in the early stages of planning their upcoming wedding on July 23, 2022.


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