One construction management graduate built a successful future on the foundation he gained at Northampton Community College (NCC). Roosevelt Rebimbas, who earned his degree in 2017, works as a project manager at the construction firm at which he interned, Reivax Contracting Corporation in Flemington, NJ. Rebimbas supervises a superintendent, five forepersons, and an assistant project manager at Reivax. He manages $15 million –$18 million in projects each year. As if that wasn’t enough, the hard-working Rebimbas also founded his own transportation company that hauls such construction materials as soil, stone, sand, and asphalt.
Starting at NCC, Rebimbas began as an intern at Reivax while still pursuing his degree. His work ethic was evident even then. He would commute from Bethlehem to the company’s former location in Newark, NJ every weekday. His long days started at 7 a.m. and ended at 4:30 p.m., but he would return to NCC’s Bethlehem campus for evening classes.
Rebimbas set a goal to work as a project manager at a construction company. After graduation from NCC, he worked for Reivax as a project engineer, a position in which he gained an overview of the company. He continued with work as an assistant project manager before entering his current position. Rebimbas’ boss considers him a manager who combines organization and firm leadership with kindness.
“I would describe Mr. Rebimbas’ leadership style as ‘lead by example.’ He ensures that he plans out his days in their entirety. He maintains a well-organized workspace. When speaking with fellow team members he speaks to them with respect. Even when he needs to have difficult conversations about improving production or correcting a mistake, he always goes about it with understanding and empathy while remaining firm in what needs to happen moving forward,” Xavier Pimenta, president at Reivax said. Rebimbas considers Pimenta a trusted mentor.
Rebimbas credits NCC with giving him the professional and personal tools he needed to succeed. He chose the college because it was close to home; so, he could save on room and board. He especially appreciated the learning center where tutors helped him with math. When he confided in English Professor, Dr. Javier Ávila, about his distress over a long-term relationship ending, Ávila encouraged him and presented him with poems that helped Rebimbas find hope.
Professor Barry Cohen, who taught print reading, fueled Rebimbas’ enthusiasm for his chosen field. “He would bring in real world projects from his business as in-class examples, and learning from them really engaged me in the class and continued to motivate me that I had chosen the right major. I could tell I really loved it,” Rebimbas said.
Drawing on work experience and knowledge he gained at NCC, Rebimbas founded RBR Contracting in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic slowed the business’ launch, but Rebimbas used the downtime to find an inexpensive first dump truck for the company, which took several months. His goals for the business include buying several more trucks, expanding into general contracting, and working for New Jersey public utilities. He advises others who are considering establishing businesses to take the risk of doing so.
“Starting your own business can be scary. There are a lot of unknowns that may try to pull you away from it, but I think you must dive into it headfirst. If you don’t start somewhere, you won’t get started at all!” Rebimbas offered as advice.
Family support gave Rebimbas the strength to manage the risks involved in starting a business and enabled him to succeed in school and work. Rebimbas is paying forward the support he received from his parents by mentoring his brother, Damien Rebimbas, who works under him as an assistant project manager. Damien Rebimbas is majoring in construction management at NCC, following in his brother’s footsteps, and his studies benefit him on the job.
“I could not be prouder that he looks up to me as his older brother and wants to learn from me in the field of construction. It’s very humbling. He’s very smart, driven, and a strong-willed individual that I know will go far in his career,” Rebimbas said. Rebimbas looks to the future with excitement, not only for himself, but for the success of his family.
Congratulations to you both. Looking great 👍 May you always have good fortune in your life 💕
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