When small construction projects come up on the East Bank, FM calls-in “Mr. Fix-it.” You may have seen Jaime Jackman hauling everything but the kitchen sink around campus on a small hand cart. With more than 30 years of experience as a carpenter, he also carries around a wealth of knowledge to get the job done.
A second generation carpenter, Jackman got his first taste of construction when he helped his father, a life-long carpenter himself, build his retirement home in Elk River in 1975. Only 15-years-old at the time, Jackman decided he liked carpentry and wanted to make it his trade.
After graduating from Elk River High School in 1978, where he ran track and cross country, Jackman entered the carpenter’s apprentice program and spent four years learning his trade. He then spent another twenty years working in construction, mostly commercial remodeling, before landing at the U in 2003.
His first few years at the U of M were spent working in construction for FM and CPPM, before landing his current job as a maintenance carpenter. Now, instead of gutting and remodeling offices he fixes windows, doors, chalkboards and other small projects.
“In construction, you could be on one job for half a year,” comments Jackman. “With this job, every hour I’m somewhere else. It gives you a change of venue and you don’t get bored of doing anything.”
Jackman has been married to his wife Paula for 13 years, and the couple has raised three children: Christopher (24), Jacob (12) and Jessica (9). He spends a lot of time driving Jacob to boy scouts and Jessica to dance, gymnastics and band. Jackman serves as an assistant troop leader for Jacob’s boy scout troop.
An avid boater, fisherman and skier (water and downhill), Jackman and his family used to travel a lot to enjoy the outdoors. But after building a cabin just north of Mille Lacs for his in-laws a few years ago, he bought the land next to them to build one for his family. After more than a year of work, he hopes to finish the cabin by this Spring.
Construction is a labor of love for Jackman. Whether he is building a cabin, remodeling an office space or just fixing a door knob, he loves what he does.
“I like to see some progress and something get complete,” remarks Jackman. “ I’m in charge of 13 buildings here and it just so happens to be the oldest buildings at the U. I like to know that I’m the guy that can fix almost anything here.”