Hire Heroes USA Industry Spotlight: Construction

Despite the rapid development of industries like technology, a long-standing industry has remained on a steady increase: Construction. Many construction companies have grown tremendously due to the multiple sub-sections of the industry available to multiple-leveled professionals looking for employment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently projected that the construction industry will be one of the fastest growing industries in 2018 and well into 2020.

The construction industry is not just for those considering carpentry, concrete, electricity, plumbing, or welding. To uncover some of the additional functions in the construction field, I sat down with Army veteran Stephen Taylor to discuss his journey in the industry.

Stephen, a Georgia native, Army Veteran, and Hire Heroes USA Volunteer, currently works as a Field Office Trainer with Tradesman International. Stephen is based out of Atlanta but spends most of his time traveling to more than 170 locations across North America. Stephen coordinates with local management and office staff to develop competency through mentorship, facilitated learning, and modeling best business practices. Stephen utilizes many of the skills learned through his military career and other vocations to complete one mission: to leave the world a better place than how he came into it.

When I asked Stephen how he transitioned from the Army into construction he was not shy in saying it was not an easy path. Stephen was unemployed for months and wondered why with all his experience and skills he could not land a job. Then, Stephen started networking with skilled tradesman and submerged himself into the construction field. Stephen said, “All experience is just a jump away. Network with individuals within the construction field to learn the ins and outs.” LinkedIn is a great tool to search for construction companies and professionals to gain information on positions available within the industry.

Stephen related his 6 years of experience in the Army to construction operations. He says, “In the military, we have combat support – all units and functions of the military are needed to support combat operations. The same is true of construction. There are several functions to support the labor component.” Here is a list of positions that support the labor operations:

Project Manager: Oversees the planning, design, and requirements of a construction project, including the timeline, cost, and procurement of labor, materials, and equipment.

Design Engineer: Works on a team with several engineers to develop conceptual and detailed designs that ensure buildings will function, perform, and fit customer needs.

Financial Analyst: Determines the cost of operations through the establishment of standard costs and collection of project details from the project manager. Prepares the construction budget and tracks reports to show costs compared to the original budget.

Quality Control Manager: Conducts initial screening of projects to ensure constructability. Reviews project specific quality plans and recommends corrections to specific risks. Maintains oversight of project teams for adherence to internal company quality protocols.

Job seekers who are looking for these types of roles may seek these opportunities within the construction industry. Stephen discussed that many construction companies have opportunities to move laterally or vertically. Many construction companies also offer training courses and education that make moves within a company more obtainable.

Although the focus of our conversation was about the construction industry, I did ask Stephen what advice he would give veterans and military spouses who are currently seeking employment opportunities. Stephen replied, “Think outside of the box. We have so many societal standards and rules to follow it can keep us from finding other avenues to finding employment.” Stephen also encouraged job seekers not to become complacent or hesitate, and to jump on every opportunity to learn more about an industry.

If you would like to connect with Stephen and gain more insight on the construction field, please feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephen-taylor-073935a5/

Written by Erin Kuhlmann, Hire Heroes USA Transition Specialist