Learnings and Missteps The Podcast

Builder, Teacher, World Changer: Krista Ackles

September 22, 2021 Jesse & Rene Season 2
Learnings and Missteps The Podcast
Builder, Teacher, World Changer: Krista Ackles
Show Notes Transcript

Get to know Program Coordinator / Project Manager Miss Krista Ackles. Krista studied finance and when seeking employment she decided the construction Industry was more suitable and went out and made that happen. The recession hit which caused her to seek work elsewhere, thank goodness!! Since then she has been changing worlds at Construction Careers Academy. Give us a listen for a blueprint on building a solid CTE program that connects students to jobs in Construction.

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https://www.instagram.com/nisdcca/
https://twitter.com/NISDCCA

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https://www.learningsandmissteps.com/


Especially when you spend some time in our building, like you have, you know, what we do and you know what those kids are capable of. So they're letting the kids do real work. We're not just sending kids out to sweep floors and be the cleanup crew. Uh, in fact, we, we, we tell them that's not how it's going to go down. You know, you must've been part of that cohort early on. I remember very early on when our business partners, mostly commercial would say we can't hire people under 18, you know, our insurance policies. And somebody, somebody stood up, maybe it was you and said, you know, check with your insurance company because as a trainer and accredited trainer, I guess, accredited training facility, Uh, because of DOL and NCC tower and all those things, uh, check with your insurance policy and you'll find that that you'll be covered at 16 and that's true. And suddenly we had people after sophomore year going out and getting internships that summer.

jesse:

What's going on L and M family. Jesse here. You just got a little tastes of Ms. Krista Ackles, who has been in the construction industry, started off as a construction manager and has evolved her way into serving as the program coordinator at construction careers academy, which is an outstanding program in San Antonio, Texas. So that's like a really interesting path, right? She started off in construction management, she went to school for finance, and now she's an educator administrator. The road that she went through is pretty darn interesting. There was a point of panic where she was very courageous and just would not take no for an answer. And right after she got what she wanted, she said, oh my goodness, what did I just do? And she pretty much lays out the program that, that they've put in place over it, CCA and helping, uh, fill this labor shortage that we're all dealing with. And they're putting out amazing students. She's got some great wins. Check out the Instagram account. You'll find that in the links, the NISD CCA. Something like that, hit them up. You'll see all kinds of beautiful stories of the students that went through the program that are now out there working and earning a living, in our space, in the construction space. So this was a special interview for me. Uh, not just because Chris does amazing, but also because of the work that she's been committed to and, and the, the lives that have been impacted as a result of that amazing program. Of course. I got to remind you. We do have a Patrion account. One is send a shout out to all our patrons that are supporting us. You may notice, um, the. Quality of the video and the quality of the audio has gone up significantly. And because of the contributions from our patrons, we've been able to tap into some resources to, to improve the quality, um, maintain zero commercials, except for me, of course. And outsource some of this stuff. So we can do some other fancy stuff like the live streaming that Jennifer Lacy and I are doing on 5s and relationships. Uh, so shout out to our supporters and for those interested in getting that L and M backstage pass, there are some pretty significant nuggets of wisdom that our guests have been sharing that are accessible through Patreon.com/Learnings and Missteps. And here we go. Here we are with Ms. Krista Ackles program coordinator slash project manager, uh, who does like some magical rockstar stuff at construction careers academy here in San Antonio. How's it going? Ms.

Krista:

Krista? That's fantastic. Jessie, happy to be here.

jesse:

Awesome. So how, um, how deflating was it when, when you saw the calendar invite that we would be recording Saturday at

Krista: 8:

00 AM, you know? Well, because of, because of nine 11, I guess, uh, it was more deflating. Um, but you know, I'm, I'm up and going. Um, but, um, yes, thanks to all the people who serve for sure, uh, on this day, but no I'm up, you know, a good reason to get my day going and get my coffee on. Oh,

jesse:

the coffee

Krista:

always.

jesse:

Well, I appreciate that. I mean, we've had some fun over the years and now with the podcast, I was like, man, we gotta get Christa on here. And, and I dropped the yesterday when you and I were kind of doing during the prep call, but I'm also part of, uh, a member of the skilled trades Alliance and Adam hoots. Who's the main host. They have a, we started a podcast with that group and he was asking on our last recording and he was like, man, who else are we going to bring us? If we've got to bring Cristo?

Krista:

Fantastic. I'll do it

jesse:

beautiful. So I committed you without asking, but you're all

Krista:

happy to do it with me, Jesse.

jesse:

Fantastic. All right, Krista, so question question, number one. What do you want the L and M family out there? Just the community. Country world at large. What do you want them to know about you? You know,

Krista:

you know, it's, that's a, it's just such an open question, Jesse. I don't know where to start, but, um, I, I think kind of what sums it up for me is, is I am the B product I was created by, uh, an engineer and an artist. Um, my dad's an engineer, my mom's an artist and I'm a pretty good combination of those two things. And then everything kind of, kind of blooms away from there. You know, once one's very black and white and one's very colorful and, uh, so that, that kind of starts kind of sets the stage for, for all of it. Um, so I mean, if you're talking about background, you know, I pretty much have grown up in San Antonio. I live in a house that I grew up in. I bought it from my parents. I love it here. And, um, went to school at UTS. I was an economics major. Um, who would know. Right. And, uh, um, you know, I've been in education for 14, 13 years now, and I dare say, I've never heard one of my students say, want to go to college. I want to major in economics, not once. But, um, so anyway, that's kind of the, I, I got into, I got into construction. Uh, I, that kind of goes to the next question. So I'll save that. But, um, man, I got the coolest job in the world. So

jesse:

is that, what is that cool job? Cause I agree I'm a little jealous of your job in super happy that we connected, uh, the way we did. Um, but what is that rockstar job that you do?

Krista:

So construction careers academy is a public magnet school. We're not a charter school. We're part of the north side system. And, uh, north side has committed to magnet schools. And back in 2009, they opened, uh, the construction magnet school. And I came in, I was in the field. I was a, a construction manager for 13 years. And then I did some estimating and purchasing for a few years after that. And, uh, but at the time this was in 2008. And, uh, do you remember what happened in 2008?

jesse:

Was that the HB 12 thing?

Krista:

Well, I mean the current construction just kind of crashed 2008, 2009. Right. Well, I put you on the spot. So, um, you know, we had a little downturn in economy and, and people, all my buddies around me, everybody was getting laid off. I'd done an inspection for about 16 years at that point. And I mean, people were just dropping like flies, you know, because construction was, was going down. So, um, I thought, well, I'll, uh, I'll I'll think about teaching, you know, I mean, I, I was still, I was still working. I was still making good money, but all the bonuses were taken away. Right. Once that happened, I thought I could make this much money teaching. And so I started going back for my, uh, alternate certification teaching certification program. And I'm thinking I'm going to go back and teach math and economics. Right. And, uh, because I was an economics major and I'm very mathy from, from the dad's side of my family, you know, that side of my brain. So, um, I started doing the program and right when I was in the middle of that program, low and behold, I live in the north side district and I got a, I got a thing in the mail flyer in the mail. And it was from north side saying, um, you know, was celebrating the, the, the new opening of our newest magnet school, construction careers. Okay. And I thought, are you kidding me? I mean, this is like, this is a construction school and here I am going to be a teacher I'm just coming out of the construction field. And I mean, I got chills. I'm like, how am I going to get in this? How am I going to do it? And, uh, I immediately started making calls to the district. I didn't even know who to call or whatever, but, um, I just started making calls. I'm like, this is my job. I got to get there. And, um, I got my certification and, um, just kinda kept knocking on doors until I got the interview. And, um, now I got, I got in, on the ground floor of the program, right. That right out of the gate. So I started teaching even before our building was open. And so I was a teacher for, I don't know, eight years or so eight or nine years. And then I've slowly kind of started moving into administration. And, um, so now I, I, uh, you know, like you said, we, one of our, kind of our capstone thing is the tiny homes. That's kind of what we've come known. But I don't, I don't like being known for that so much because what's more important to me is the curriculum and what we teach the kids, we teach the kids the skills and, um, that that's what we need to be. We need to never lose sight of the curriculum. And what's what we're teaching the kids. The tiny homes are a cool feature. It's very trendy. People like to see him. It brings people into our program, which is great. Um, but more important. We're teaching some kids a really, really great life skills and career skills also.

jesse:

Yes. So I've been able to hang out there. Y'all have had me over for, um, mock interviews and career-ready and different stuff. And it blew my mind because, you know, pre COVID, at least I got to visit a bunch of local campuses here in San Antonio, north side, independent school district, S a I S D east central Northeast, you know, all of 'em town. And they all kind of have a CTE program that kind of, they all have a CT program, but the program that you're at a construction careers academy is a very sophisticated program. Like it's not, it's not shop. Right. So would you mind expanding on all the different tracks and the, some of the complexity of what y'all are doing?

Krista:

Yeah. When, when CCA started, um, you know, I mean, of course it, it really, it was, you know, birth way before 2009 because they had to, to get the bond and do all those things. But north side went all in. They didn't just say we're going to take a wood shop and do cool things with it, or turn it into an electrical program and, and focus on that. Uh, they went all in with their, their bond issue and, um, And created a whole, you know, a whole building, a large building on top of another, uh, comprehensive high school. So, um, it, it, like you said, it's, it's more sophisticated than we, we get, we get school districts all the time coming to us saying, we want to do what you do. It's like, man, you need to start big, go big. You know, north side really went big. So in that building that they built us, um, down below on the first floor, we have four shops and those, so we do carpentry, uh, which is also a, a, a DOL, registered DOL apprenticeship program. Our carpentry is we have construction management and we have electrical and HPAC, which is also DOL kids can work toward their journeymen and electrical. Uh, and then we have plumbing, pipe fitting and welding. So that's also a DOL apprenticeship program. And then upstairs and some of the classrooms and labs, we have a full architecture lab and a full engineering lab. Um, and so that's, those are the six areas of. So, um, our, our kids, you know, I, I met with Morton buildings on, if it can I say names because they, uh, they, they hired, it was really exciting. They, we went to lunch this week and, um, they hired one of our boys back in 2018 and she was super excited earlier this summer. She said, he's, he's the youngest person we've ever promoted crew to. And then she, a couple, a couple of weeks later, she's like more super excited because they just hired two more of our students and put them all on the same crew. And it's like, this is the youngest crew we've ever had. It's all your students. They're incredible boys. They're very respectful. They're hard workers. They show up on time and I'm getting chills. You know, it's like, this is exactly what we want. So, um, that's been a, we, you know, I feel like sometimes I live vicariously now through, through the students, who've gone through the program because they are doing amazing. Amazing. So that's really cool.

jesse:

Oh, it's it is phenomenal. I mean, we got to, when I was at TD industries, we got to get a recruitment, a few of your y'all's high school stoop. I think they were juniors at the time. Um, well,

Krista:

yeah, the juniors will do internships. Right, right. Sorry.

jesse:

Yeah. So Samantha came in on the Samantha and Jose Moreno.

Krista:

He's still there. I think he's

jesse:

still there. He, well, he left a little bit, right.

Krista:

That's right. That's right.

jesse:

And then he went back to, towards for TD. So he's, uh, he's probably a third year apprentice at this time, three going in his apprenticeship program. Um, I remember interviewing him in the mock interviews and I'm like, so, you know, w what are you, what are you doing here? What do you see going forward? And he's like, oh, I'm going to own my own plumbing business. I see. I'm thinking like this guy's a junior, right? He's a little skinny kid. Like what do you like you and what other plumbing experience do you have? He's like, oh, I just, what I learned here at CCA to give any family members like, Nope. And I said, okay, you seem pretty darn confident. Like, where's that confidence coming from? He's like, well, you know, my mom, she came over here and she's fought and clawed for every inch and built a life for us. And. If she can do it, I can do it. So that's what I'm going to do. And I was like, I'm not kidding. After that interview, I called Diana, who was our talent acquisition. It's like, we gotta get this guy. He's one of our,

Krista:

it's funny because you know, we set up the mock interviews to, to, you know, we want to teach our kids soft skills. Like I said, it's, it's, it's about, you know, getting the kids well rounded and things like that. And very early on our mock mock interviews turned into real jobs and were like, this was really just supposed to be a mock interview. But the people that were coming in from business interview where our kids were so impressed, they started hiring off of the mock interview

jesse:

for the folks out there to understand the. The caliber of people that are coming out of CCA, they come out with the Nosha 10 certifications. They come out with, depending on which track they took, but we'll stick to plumbering cause I'm buying, they come out with a fundamental knowledge of the materials, the different types of fittings, the different types of systems, the different types of tools. Like they come out with this skillset that we normally industry typically has to pay to build. Right. And in this case we don't have like, they already have that.

Krista:

And then they also have, we use NCCR curriculum, which means something to some people and doesn't mean anything to other people. And I get that, um, it doesn't mean much to people in residential because I'd never heard of it before, but commercial people put it out. And uh, so we use the NCCR. So, uh, they'll come out with a level one, um, plumbing, uh, We also do dual credit with St. Phillips college. So they come out with college credit and, um, we've had plumbers, you know, walk the stage with a St. Phillips certificate called the plumber's helper. And, uh, and then anyway, it gets kids about a year into, uh, a, um, associates degree if they want to continue on with St. Phillips college. So they're very close. I mean, a lot of stellar where kids have gone through that program also. So, um, yeah, they have, they have a few credentials that like most people would have maybe when they're 25 or so. That's my guess. I don't know, but yeah.

jesse:

Yeah, it takes it, you know, it might take a couple years, but so he was the thing, you know, of when we started that internship program at TD people thought were, well, people thought I was nuts, which I kind of am, but they were concerned it wasn't going to work. Um,

Krista:

because of the age of the cans, because of the

jesse:

age of the kids. Right. Like, well, they're 18 or they were, they weren't even 18. They were 17 and 16. We couldn't go younger than 16 because that would be breaking the law. And we, and it was important for us that, that they got to operate the tools and actually do the damn work. Right. Uh, so we had to do a lot of research to find out, to like learn that it wasn't an OSHA violation. It was a liability thing that organizations were not hiring under 18 or interning under 18. Uh, so once we worked through all that Riga Maru, we made it happen. Um, and at first people were freaking out, but at the end of that first, the very first summer, there were so many of the superintendents and foreman. They were like, Jess, why didn't I get an intern? And it's like, well, because you were crying and you were scared. Like the most common thing, two things I heard was I'm not a babysitter. Right. And what if they get hurt? What if they cut their finger off? And I'm like, We got 46 year old people getting hurt, like it's injuries do not discriminate. We just, we got to put the systems in place to make sure they're okay. And they'll be okay. Um, and, but here was the thing, you know, the credentials they're great, right? That, that, that helps open people's minds, employers' minds about it. Um, but what I got to see was we have these 16, 17, 18 year old students, right. We, when we did the internship and then when they graduated and actually came to work for TD back then the attitude was, and when I say attitude, I don't, I'm not, I don't mean like they've had a very positive attitude, their attitude about the money they were making was different. And, and here's why I think I never, you know, I didn't do any research, but when we're hiring somebody that has been out, um, Out of high school in, in milling around trying to find a, a route that you'll usually, by that point, they've got some kind of debt. They've got some brand, they've got a vehicle, they've got insurance. Sometimes they got family already. They got kids. So, you know, the 15 to $20 an hour, it really isn't enough. And, and, and of course, you know, our, uh, we work in the elements. So that, that also is not awesome, except for maybe like 10 days out of the year in San Antonio. Um, so the kids came out, the kids, the students came out and they were making 15 bucks an hour and they love it. Like, it was a lot of money for them. Don't have the debt, they don't have the rent. Uh, and, and so their attitude about what they were being compensated enhanced, their focus and commitment to learning. And that just created this dynamic where the, our, our journeymen out there were like, I want like Samantha and they were fighting over her by the end of it. Cause we had to rotate or they spent a few weeks, a third of their time with the plumber, a third of the time with the sheet metal team and a third of the time, the fitters and welders. And every time it was time for her to go, they're like, nah, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. I'm going to keep her like, nah, she's got to go. And then she came back. So that was summer. She reached out and said, Hey, spring, break's coming up. Can I come and do some interning over spring break? So yeah, it was only a week. We'll get you in the, so she was in the office and she got to experience that side of the business. And then Christmas break, I get another call. Jessie, can I intern over Chris's brother? Like, oh yeah, like, that's awesome. Um, and, and that's you, and I've had this conversation a few times and, and I'm hoping, I mean, it sounds like it Morton homes, it was Morton homes, right. That Martin mal buildings more than Mel buildings. Um, if they're hiring your people that, uh, I love hearing that because back then when we started this internship thing, what I understood was, was CCA was graduating students with this knowledge and this energy and they were not entering industry. Was, was that how accurate is. Uh,

Krista:

yeah, a few where I think more are now. And I mean, I think that has something to do just with the evolution of our program and how we recruit, you know, and, and, and, and like, again, the evolution of, uh, getting the right business partners. And like you said, getting internships and things like that. So, um, but you know, it's interesting that you say, you know, the, the kids are, you know, thrilled with the money. And, and I think it's more than that though, because I think that at this point business partners, do they know that, especially when you spend some time in our building, like you have, you know, what we do and you know, what those kids are capable of. So they're letting the kids do real work. We're not just sending kids out to sweep floors and be the cleanup crew. Uh, in fact, we, we, we tell them, that's not how it's going to go down. You know, you must've been part of that cohort early on. I remember very early on when our business partners, mostly commercial would say, we can't hire people under 18, you know, our insurance policies. And somebody, somebody stood up, maybe it was you and said, you know, check with your insurance company because as a, um, uh, what are we as the, uh, um, I can't think of the word. Um, help me, Jessie, what's that word as a, um, a trainer and accredited trainer, I guess, accredited training facility, uh, because of DOL and NCC tower and all those things, uh, check with your insurance policy and you'll find that you'll be covered at 16 and that's true. And suddenly we had people after sophomore year going out and getting internships that summer, which has been phenomenal because like you said, it, it, it kinda, it, it grows them up quickly. They, I always love seeing the kids come back after a summer of work. Uh, they seem more mature. And the other interesting thing, and maybe it's about that money-making piece. A lot of kids. I don't know if it's a cultural thing now, but a lot of can seem to want to go back to where they were, like you said, Samantha kept coming back, kept coming back. You know, I'll have kids next summer say I'm going back to work with, with Metro or whatever. And I'm like, go somewhere else, try something else, try a different company, see what the culture's like somewhere else. So you can get a, you know, and they're like, no, I, I, you know, I really liked it there. They become very attached. And I guess they kind of grab onto that, that if they, if they had a good experience of course, and, uh, kind of had that family, people took care of them, then they wanted to, you know, take care of them as well. So that's been kind of an interesting thing. I didn't realize that kids were going to be that, uh, attached that you know, which is kinda cool, but I still encourage you to experience a different, you know, you want to know, you want to know what it's like to have a great boss versus a crummy boss, you know, learn that. And now, you know, a lot of money, no amount of money can make up for a crummy.

jesse:

No, you have 100%, right? Like, ah, I'd rather be broke. Um, the guys said I'd rather work for a hard ass than a dumb ass, uh, greed. Um, yeah. And that's the thing though. It's a great, it's a great indicator for those companies that they have an appropriate culture and appropriate measure of respect for the people. If the students want to come back, um, you know, I've, you, you and I both have had miserable bosses in our past, and that's not fun for our, for our youth that you don't have any debt. And like, you know, I've had miserable bosses and I had to go back to work because I had to pay my crap. They don't have any debt and they're opting to go back. And so that's, that speaks very well for, for the employers out there. Uh, so good job to all of y'all out there that are making that place safe and making these students want to come back and, and you know, it, it triggers this thought in my head where a lot of us, even me I've said it every now and then we love to deflect ownership of our cultural problems in the industry by saying, millennials don't want to work. What do you think about that anymore? Right. There's a whole new

Krista:

and some other generations, something, something, I don't know what they are, but, um, um, you know, I always, I always ask for feedback, you know, from our, our businesses that hired our kids because, you know, they're. There is some of that. And, and I try to be very careful too, of, of who I strongly recommend for companies to pick up, but she knows some kids just need to mature also. Um, so, you know, sometimes you gotta take the risk and say, you know, I know this, one's not really that mature. Um, but you know, um, we, we hope they will find that when they, you know, uh, get into a real world arena, um, you know, we, we have both, we have really hard workers and then we, I have had some feedback saying they would not get off their phone. You know, it was not good off their phone and they, and, and you know, this particular one did not. You know, ask what, you know, when they finish a test, did not come and ask, you know, what we can do next. And so, you know, we try as far as, you know, as far as a global, what about, you know, millennials not wanting to work? Um, I don't know, but we try to, we try to realize, we gotta bring that back into the curriculum to, you know, we've got to teach kids, you know, uh, when you're done with a task, go ask what else you can do, you know? Um, so I, I don't know, hopefully we can, we can have some influence on teaching work skills. I hope, I hope that we're able to, uh, you know, do that well for our kids. It seems like we've, we've been pretty good, but, um, you know, and there are some kids that just, like you said, I think with the Jose example, um, at TDI, I think he was young. I think he thought the grass was greener SeaWorld. Cause it was, he was, he was having a good time with friends. And then realize, you know, it's time to really get a grown-up job. And then he came back and you guys were good enough to bring him back in. Like he's, he's, he's all about it now. Right? So, uh, yeah, no, that they're, there's, they're young, they are young. Um, but boy, we've got some kids. I know, won't, won't go back because they're doing incredible, you know, and they're having, they're liking it or having a good time. So, you know, you, do you have some that maybe don't want to work, but I guess I don't see that as much, you know, I'm, we're kind of at a different place with our kids. Luckily, thank God. That's why it's such a great place to work, you know?

jesse:

The the, the key point there is you have built, you're taking the feedback from industry and, and building that back into the curriculum. Like, Hey, when you finish, go ask for something else. I mean, that's, that's sounds super simple.

Krista:

One of the most, one of those stunning feedback pieces we got was, I guess there's a thing now where we're kids don't know how to resign and they just say, or even, I guess, even some difficult and they just ghost you. And that, that was like the first time I heard of that term, you know, we got ghosted, we kept calling and they, you know, and, and one kid, uh, just stopped coming to work for like a week and then showed up a week later. And they're like, well, what are you where you been anyway? Um, and we're like, oh, you know what? We've never taught kids how to resign. We, I don't think we've ever told kids about two weeks ago. Right. You know, we we're, so we're so focused on getting, helping kids and jobs. What do you do if you want to leave, you know, how do you not burn bridges? So again, it's, it's been kind of an evolution thing and, and, and, you know, if you, if you don't burn your bridge, a lot of times, your welcome pack, you know, you can go on and try to sell your oats and then think, well, that was the wrong decision. And I appreciate businesses that takes the, the understands, the young kids that didn't quite get it. Now they're ready to get it, you know? So that's

jesse:

a good thing. Well, you know, in, in the industry, we don't really have the luxury to be hyper picky about some stuff. Like, no, we do not have enough people to do the work that's currently out there. And there's just more common. So, you know, it is it, the market favors the, the employee right now in our industry. And I think that's, that's fantasy. Uh, because we've got to appreciate those men and women out there in a much more, um, compassionate way, but you know, that's a soft word and people get a little uncomfortable about it. You know, I ran into Kate, Kate gauze at a AGC mixer. Really? Yes and well, you know, I don't think, um, and I looked at her, she looks familiar and then I just kind of dismissed it. Right. It's the industry. We all see a bunch of people all the time. And then she's looking at me. She says, you're Jessie is like, yeah, I am. And she's like, you, you remember me? I said, man, you look familiar, but I'm not, I can't place it. She says CCA. I was in that. I was recruiting her, trying to get her to come to TD in that place of interns. And she's working for Bartlett Cocke I

Krista:

was going to okay. Yup.

jesse:

Yup.

Krista:

Yes,

jesse:

yes, yes.

Krista:

He's graduated and I'm construction science.

jesse:

Yup. She was there with her team, the superintendent and project manager. They all spoke very highly of her. I mean, she's knocking it out. Like there was no doubt that she was going to knock it out. Uh, and so seeing that, and she had an internship that summer with somebody else, she didn't pick TD. That was, that, that didn't make me happy, but that's okay. Um, but one thing I want to make sure that our listeners out there capture, because I know there's so many organizations, right? Yeah. Really focused on workforce development across the country, in our industry. And everybody's trying to, you know, they're doing their own thing. And so there's two points I want to make is you at CCA construction careers academy in San Antonio, Texas have a phenomenal program and y'all do not hesitate to share your information with other people that want to learn. So reach out to Krista, hit me up. We'll we'll connect, I'll connect everybody so that, so that we can learn and, and those new organizations can start where you're at, uh, and, and not have to learn all the, have the, uh, bumps and bruises that y'all did along the way. Um, and to employers, you know, Part of what motivated me to, to go down the internship. Pat was because industry was complaining. We can't find enough workers. And we were fighting, I'll say fighting over the same people, just paying a little bit more 50 cents a dollar more and back and forth, back and forth and complain. Like there's just not enough people. There's not enough people. And then I was involved in advisory councils for CCA in different school districts. And it, and it, the school districts are saying like, we're putting out these kids and y'all, ain't hiring them. I was like, what? Like, duh, there's a gap. Let's close this gap. And the, the what opened it up, but it really unlocked the door for us was being clear on what we w what were the, the, um, the criteria in the students that we were seeking, like what, like, it was going, you're going to be sweat. You're going to be expected to be at work, ready to go, not in the

parking lot, ready to go at 7:

00 AM. Um, and you gotta be able to tough it out. Like it's not, you're not going to get to pick what you want to do. You're just going to have to do it. Um, the other thing was, and you mentioned it the, what really unlocked it was understanding the whole time, my entire career up until that point. My understanding was that it was an OSHA regulation. It was a safety regulation. It was legislated like, um, it was legislation. Excluded students under the age of 18 to come out on a job site, operate a bandsaw, operate a hammer, drill, operate a torch, like operate a shovel, um, except the camp in a ditch. I mean, there are some constraints. They couldn't be in a, in any trench work. It could not work, uh, on the top level of a building. So in construct typically would say roof, but in construction, that room is like a year down the road or eight months down the road. So we had to adjust the language to say the top level and they could not operate a motorized equipment on wheels, like a vehicle scissor. Everything else they could do provided it was an apprenticeable trade. And that was the operative language that when we read that and said, oh, okay, apprenticeable trade. We have an apprenticeship program that we send people to, which is ABC. These are apprenticeable trades and this was pre DOL, um, y'all's DOL approved department labor approval. So now it's completely in sync. And so, uh, again, It can be done right. Apprenticeable trade. And you can go to your insurance carrier and get a waiver specifically for these, this group of kids put a program together, be responsible with it. American brothers, they have a, uh, again, they've got a super sophisticated internship program. That's blown up. It's in San Antonio. It's in Houston. They've got partnerships with local campuses. Like it can absolutely be done. It's being done more and more all over the place. But I think for a lot of people, it's, they just really don't know where to start or adhere to the common myth that it's just not possible. And I'm here to tell you, these students bring tremendous value. They will bring tremendous value to not only the job site, but to the whole organization. We just got to get past ourselves to get there. I'm sorry. I get a little preachy about it, but it's a big deal. There's is so much.

Krista:

I don't know if you know the people at Holt, uh, caterpillar, they have an incredible apprenticeship program. Unfortunately, it didn't really marry with, with ours because they're more mechanics and welding and things like that. And, but man, that guy, he knew the ins and outs. So if you want to learn something, he was amazed. I can't remember his name. Uh,

jesse:

I don't remember his name either, but he, so the way that internship thing evolved was, uh, Nikki McNish at the time she was with essay works. She and I connected and we, you know, workforce development stuff for the city and she was like, Jesse, you can start an internship. And I'm like, yeah, you know, it's against the law and I'll say, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Cause I didn't know. Like he said, no, no, no, you need to talk to this guy with Holt. I said, oh right. You know, I shot him an email and boom, he replied and he. I love what he did at the time. I did it, but looking back, I, I needed it. He was like, come in, come check it out. So I went, looked at the, you know, the way the students were carrying themselves, like the whole desk, son of a gun. Okay. Okay. I, I, yes, this can be done. So what do I need to do? He's like, ah, you need to go to, you need to read the department of labor child labor laws and, uh, the Texas workforce commission. He's like, you need to study that, understand that, understand your intern. Constraints and, and, and connect the dots. And I'm like, well, do you have like a link or a pamphlet? And so that's what we did. Right. I went, got into the DOL website, did some studying and I'm like, okay, that's the language that says we're oh, we could do this, provided these things, or met a Texas workforce thing and started looking at that like, okay. All right. Okay. And it started looking at our stuff. The funny thing. I expected the, the government agencies to be more complex and ambiguous. No, it was our stuff. It was more MVQ was then, then the, the government agencies, but it had he not done that we would not have been able to draft a, an appropriate program. Yeah. W w

Krista:

w one of the things that, that stands out to me about his program is I think is on a Saturday, they'll have like an open house for the parents, because I mean, these kids, even if they're 18, they're still parents worry about them. They're their babies. It seems like, it seems like so silly. Like, you know, we're gonna have these 18 year old parents, but, you know, cause still, if parents were in an influence in these kids' lives, they're going to see it. And if they feel good about it, I thought that was brilliant. Even though it seemed a little like, wow, it's silly, you know, but I think, I thought, wow. I mean, that's just one more. It probably makes them very successful in what they do with that. You know, I get the parents on, on board and, you know, and then the kids will grow into it on their own, but they're young, they're their babies, you know? Yeah. The

jesse:

little babies, sometimes I'm still my mom's

Krista:

baby. They're making more money than the parents.

jesse:

Yes. Oh man. I love it. Good. It's it's super happy that we could celebrate CCA the students and all the educators out there that they are committed and, and, and do it year after year after year

Krista:

it's uh, yeah, we've got some great, great teachers, you know, and I mean, I, that, that might be one of the biggest challenges of having a program like this, because I mean, You know, why, why does a plumber want to come teach? You know, when they could be making three times the amount out in the field. But, um, and you know, we, we ha we have two master plumbers on staff and I mean, you got to find the ones that have the heart of a teacher, you know? And, uh, and you know, a lot of our, a lot of our people have, um, you know, side hustles, they work over the summer and that's, that's good, you know? Cause it's yeah. So that's, that's one of the challenges of, uh, and you know, how do you get good people? I think a lot of it's you have gotta be lucky, you know, and be lucky because you know, in, in public education, you're not, you don't have head hunters to go out and recruit for ya, you know? And I mean, you know, what's funny is, is when people come in and say, yeah, I've always thought about teaching is my retirement job is that they're going to sit there with their feet on the desk and let's just hit the front of their class, you know, I always and people still say that. Yeah. I thought, you know, when I retire, I'll go into teaching. It's like, oh man, you don't have much energy

jesse:

anyway. Good. So speaking about retirement, let's, let's take a trip a time jump. What were your earliest career aspirations?

Krista:

You know, I, I I'm afraid. I don't, I can tell you what they weren't and they weren't in construction. I had, I don't know where I thought things came from, but I just didn't even, maybe it was, you know, uh, you know, being female. I didn't know. That was a thing, you know, I had no idea there was a construction. Um, you know, my mom, my mom, the artist's mom was, was a teacher. She taught for 59 years. She started when she was 21. Uh, she graduated high school early. So she started teaching when she was 21 and she fully retired when she was 79. And so she was a teacher forever. And, um, I guess I kinda always, you know, knew that was an option. Um, you know, at some point I thought like everybody wants to be a, you know, I don't know, kinesiologist or whatever. And I thought, well, you know, maybe, uh, you know, physical therapy, I had no idea really. I had no idea, no idea, uh, which leads me to, like I said, you know, whoever says they want to be an economics major. I didn't know, going into college. I was going to end up being an economics major. So, I mean, I, I just kinda, I just kinda roll things and see what they become and, and. So I just heard about when I was, when I was at UTS getting my economics degree, I had a good friend also in economics, and then he worked his way through college at a, at a local Harbor or a lumber store. And, um, and then he went in, he went into a home building right away. And when he did that, I'm like, oh, that seems like a really cool job. You know, I think I'd like to do that job. So I went out and shadowed him. This, we both graduated December of 92 from UCSA and, uh, he had, he had, he had his job, uh, with Pulte homes, um, before he graduated and, uh, I didn't have a job. And as a, as an economics major, I was taking interviews like for financial companies. I remember going down to Broadway and interviewing on the 14th floor and cubicles everywhere. And I'm like, oh, hell no, cubicle on the 14th floor of a, you know, there's no way. And so, you know, it kept talking to this guy and he's like, you know, tell me about his job. And it sounded cool. You know, he's out in a job shack and, uh, walking his houses and everything. So I went ahead and I'll tell you the story, Jesse. I went and I had an interview, I got an interview with the same company. This was Pulte homes. And, um, I went in for the interview and it went great. And I actually, I was in there to interview for the purchasing director position, you know, kind of fits with live economics and finance. Right. So I go there and interview for that job. And, um, I was offered the job on the spot. On a spot off of the job. And, um, I turned it down and I told him, I said, you know, I said, I'd really, I said, I appreciate the offer, but I'd really like, I mean, I'm, I'm, I'm young. I, you know, I would play it differently now, but maybe it was because I didn't, uh, I started really I'm really, I'd really like to be a construction manager instead. It sounds like a lot more fun to me. I see. That sounds like a cool job. I'd like to do it, like, okay, thanks for your time. Have a good day. I drive home like, like how sick myself saying, like, I really just turned down a flat offer, you know? And, and I'm like, so, so bombed social is like on a Tuesday or Wednesday. So the next couple of days. Um, and, and in the meantime, to be honest, in the meantime, I couldn't sit around and do nothing, right. So I picked up a job, driving a school bus for north side. That was my, that was my first job out of graduating college only because I didn't want to be desperate. Right. I already had my little girl. Uh, so, um, she was a couple of years old at that time, but I didn't want to be desperate to pick up a financial institution, job making 18,000 a year, which is what they're paying then, you know, so I was driving a school bus, Nick and well, you know, it gives me time during the day. Could you drive in the morning and drive in the afternoon and you have the day to kind of stop and everything. So anyway, uh, I'm driving home and thinking, wow, I just blew it. So the next couple of days. How do I get back to this guy? How do I get? So I kept calling and the secretary was blocking my calls would not put me through. And he wasn't returning my call. This was before email and texting and all that. Right. Yeah. And even before pagers, I think so I'm like how, and I'm like, I'm like, you know, is there, is there like kind of hire a police service, you know, to like, you know, take over a letter. I mean, hot of mailing was going to be too slow. I had to get something in front of this guy now to tell him, Hey, you need to, I want this job. I want the superintendent's truck. So all I could think that there was fax machines though. Right? So I hand write, my dad had a fax machine. I was still living at home cause I had my daughter handwrite a note saying, um, you know, don't pass me by. I really want to come back in, you know, for the superintendent's job, right. To get in the fax machine. And a Monday morning, his secretary calls me and says, come on in for a job interview. So I'm like, oh my God, it worked. I got through to this guy. I just knew if I got something in front of him and he had to read it. That's what I had to do. But I mean, he wouldn't take my call and I'm like, I'm not going to go over there and knock on the door. It's only, so he calls me on. So I go in and, uh, you know, we talk about the construction manager job. And I told him, I spent the day with my friend out in the field that, you know, his company and they already had another female, uh, construction manager who had a great reputation. They loved her, she did a great job. So I thought, well, that's, that's positive, right? Because I mean, everybody else is male. And, uh, so he says to me finally, toward the end of the second, second chance, he says, why do you want to do this job? And, you know, I'm like, well, you know, cause it's challenging. And, and I just, I get opportunity, you know, kind of some of those stock interview questions or answers. And he said, do you realize that in this field of construction, there are men who have killed their wives, chopped them up. I'll never forget this. There is man who's killed, killed their wives, chopped them up and flushed them down. The toilet spent years in prison, and now they're in construction because they can't do anything else. So he said to me, and I'm like, uh, no, I didn't realize. And you know, I, I didn't know that, you know what I mean, I'm stunned. And, uh, anyway, uh, offered me the job and I took it. So that time driving on the way home, I am falling, Jesse, I am falling my eyes out, scared to death thinking, what did I just do? I mean, can I handle this job in a field where these, these crazy people, these crazy men that have just cut up their lives and flush the toilet, I'll never forget it. And, uh, I came home crying, uh, you know, wondering and you know, all was well. And, uh, it was a great experience in the field. I, I definitely, I wouldn't one thing that I can take back from. Is, um, you know, we have about 30% girls, 33% girls that are at our campus. And, um, you know, I don't mean to sound, uh, you know, crazy feminist or something, but it really isn't that hard to compete with the men in the field. Uh, it's just not, you know, and a lot of people have this perception that women have a better eye for detail and attention to detail. And, and I don't know if that's true or not. I didn't feel like I did, but, um, you know, what it comes down to in the field is people want to be treated, right. They want to, they want the job to be ready when they show up, they want to know that you know what you're doing and they want to get paid at the end of the day when they've done a good job. And I mean, that's kinda what I figured out. And so, you know, they want you, they want to be treated right. And so you do that and you develop your own reputation and, and, uh, you know, your own people that want to come work for you and things like that. And there was a couple people who clearly didn't want to work for me. Um, you know, I was in the field or we had a dirt guy and, and there was two people in the, in a, another, uh, male friend of mine who were in this one subdivision out in stone Oak actually. And, uh, when he would roll through, we would give them our lists. You know, I'd give him my list of things to do, and that I needed done in the community. And he'd give him his list and, you know, day and a half later, he pulled out of there clearly not doing any of my work. And after a couple of times, uh, realizing this, you know, I was actually the lead, the lead construction person in that committee. Uh, you know, it was real easy with, with contractors cause you just don't invite them back. You know, you, you called the next guy who wants to work for you and wants to do your job. And, uh, so that was easy. So, um, that was really, uh, really the only experience I had like that, but it was very, you know, I had, I had a remedy for that. So, um, anyway, that's how I got into construction, um, wood Pulte homes. And then I worked for a couple other great builders in San Antonio. And then, like I said, when the market crashed in 2008, it was opened my door to the teaching, which, which combined what I, you know, when I went to, when I was in college, uh, getting my degree in economics, I, uh, my last semester I was on a six and a half year plan, but, uh, one of the reasons is I was staying to get certified, to teach. So I had all my curriculum and instruction hours. And uh, so that's why it took me an extra semester because I was going to go on, like I said, teach math. And I went, you know, you do a semester of student teaching and the semester before this semester, you did 20 observation hours. And I went and did 20 observation hours at a school. I won't call it out. And, uh, and um, I sat there during my observation hours and just thought, oh, hell no, I am not gonna do this. I am not. I'm no way, you know, and maybe it was the school, maybe it was the teacher, I was observing whatever, but I'm like, Nope, not teaching is not for me. Right. But you know, it's hard as a, as a coming out of college and you don't feel very much older than those, those high schoolers, you know, my, my daughter's a teacher and she really wanted to come out to teach in high school, but she still looked like she was 16 years old when she graduated college. So she went to elementary school and now she's at high school, which is great. But, um, so anyway, that's kind of where the full circle story of construction at. And I mean, I'm, I'm teaching a construction school, are you kidding me? That's amazing. But I'll all worked out.

jesse:

So you mentioned two things that, uh, that are really important. Um, one was, you know, this, this individual that you interviewed with and tackled, like you made it happen and that's a huge lesson that people can take and just make things happen. Right. But he, he scared you. Right? He said people, how many, how many construction people have you met that have chopped up their wives and flushed them down their toilet? Um,

Krista:

probably one, there was one very scary man. Uh, there was, and, uh, I will, I won't get into that story, but there was one, I wasn't the target. He was kinda creeping around, uh, my, my sales. Okay. Yeah. So just one

jesse:

that's, that's a good, that's not good, but at least it was only one. Um, but on the inverse of that, how many, like super amazing, super amazing people did you meet one all

Krista:

of them. And I mean, you, you, I don't know if people have a lot to offer even, you know, and it, and it was fun, you know? I mean, there was a lot of, I learned a lot of Spanish. I, I began to love Tejano music because I'd walk into homes and, and, you know, people, the painters especially were very patient. And I mean, they thought it was kind of fun that I would try to speak Spanish with them. And, and, uh, my, my buddy who worked in mat, don't go out at lunch and, and they'd be playing poker and he'd throw down 20 bucks. And I mean, you just have fun, you know? Um, but a lot of really good people. I met my, I married my concrete guy. Um, And, uh, you know, uh, that was, that was a fun seven years. Um, yeah know, um, great people, great people and hard workers. Yes. You know, it's good. It's brutal out there. It can be brutal.

jesse:

Yeah. Oh, it's not comfortable. Not at all.

Krista:

Maybe it's worth

jesse:

now. And you also touched on, uh, women in the industry. Um, and I, over the years, I remember back when I got into the trades in 95, and this was my thinking. If I saw a woman on a job site in my head automatically, she was the secretary. It never even dawned on me that she would be the project executive or the project manager, or have any influence or authority out on the project. Um, and since then I've been able to see a gigantic. I say it's gigantic just because of the disparity that I was experienced to. Um, but a huge shift in terms of women entering the industry from the trades all the way to executive leadership. Um, and you, uh, you mentioned the 33% of your students are ladies. So what kind of, how are you all focused on closing that gap of young gals coming into CCS?

Krista:

You know, we're, we're, we, we do do a few, uh, special things for the girls, you know? And, and, and unfortunately kind of in this time, you, you, you can't even really say that, you know, you gotta say, well, okay, sure. Of course, boys are invited, you know, we have an all girls build and of course, boys are invited. Um, and anyway, um, and you know, we're real careful when we go to recruit, um, you know, and, and presenting in our slides, of course, you know, and, and we do those things, but, you know, I think the biggest thing right now is, is the success stories of our, now that we've, you know, our first graduating class was in 2013, which means that a lot of our girls that went off to college are now, uh, you know, working in the field. And we, I I'd have to say more of our girls have gone to college route. Um, then the boy. But my gosh, you know, I talked about that one boy who got promoted as the youngest, uh, crew foreman for more metal buildings. We also have a girl that's at Skanska that was promoted as their, their youngest, um, project manager, lead project manager, uh, and their history and, um, Kate Goss, you know, she'll be amazing. Um, so, you know, you have to, um, we do, we have those success stories now, you know, and we, we put them out on social media and things like that. And, um, you know, you have to go into construction with a little bit of a tough skin, you know, because you just do, uh, which, which going from construction into education, the Tufts skin did not serve me. Well, I was just going to ask you that now. And I'm still, I still struggle with that, you know, um, you know, cause you gotta have a little more, you know, touchy, feely and education and construction and that's not really up my alley, but, um, so I, I, I struggle with that a little bit, but, um, and you gotta have, you gotta have a little bit of a tough skin. So, um, I think the biggest thing and, and having the companies that will hire our girls, I mean, they'd be crazy not to really, you know, cause they're amazing. And the other thing is I try to tell the girls, you know, one thing we don't teach Jessie is we don't teach, we don't teach sales, you know? And I, and I feel like, and I try to let the, let the, especially the girls know, you know, we had a girl that was an incredible plumber, credible plumbing, and she wanted nothing to do with plumbing. You know, I said, do you realize the kind of money you could make? If you went into say. Something like that, you know? And, uh, and so the point being there's there's things other than, you know, even if you, even if you have the background experience that kids gain with in our program in four years, uh, even if you went on to, to, you want to be an accountant, you know, imagine, you know, getting, going to work for a construction company, having that background, at least you, you kind of have an idea of what, what you're working with and what the numbers relate to and things. So I try to like fit to know too that there's other things besides, you know, the, all the real grunt work, you know, at least get in there and do some other things. So, um, so yeah, it's still a struggle. I'm not sure girls will ever, you know, and I don't, I don't think they have to. I, I, I, I I'm of the belief that, that girls are built differently than boys, you know, in different ways and their minds are different and their bodies are different and the physical, uh, limitations are different. That's just, that's just. That's what it is. So, you know, we'll, we will, we get to where construction is, you know, 50% women. No. Um, but I really hope that the girls who want to break the barrier are able to break the barrier and do what they want to do. That's, that's the best I think we can hope for, which is great because, uh, you know, what I have seen is that that is being allowed, uh, or being invited. Girls are being invited in. Um, I hope none of them have a bad experience because of, you know, some jerks. Um, but you know, you gotta be ready for it. You gotta, you gotta have that tough skin. And, uh, you know, sometimes you, you end up getting potty mouth, you know, and you to talk like a sailor, which again, doesn't serve you well. And when you're trying to, you know, be lady like, you know, or whatever, but whatever.

jesse:

Yeah. I know I got a little bit of the potty mouth myself. I live with a lot of it. Yeah. The core of what I've heard you say is that the option has to be there and helping them become aware of the option is, is important. Right? It's largely lacking. I mean, you talked about earlier, growing up when you were talking about, you know, you didn't even know construction was a thing. Um, and, and too many people don't know that. I mean, we have education, we've got healthcare, we've got financial services. We've got all of these industries that do not function without the construction of their facilities. They do not function without the maintenance of their facilities and the men and women that do that work, that manage that work, that sell that work are not, I don't know if you remember Diana Wong. She was, we interviewed her very early on when we start. And she's a talent acquisition and she's a recruiter head hunter. She's amazing. She's awesome. Super talented. And even her friends were like, you're working for a construction company. It was a D like she's doing the job. And she's amazing. And with the, with phenomenal companies, but because it was a construction company, it's like less than all of a sudden, so

Krista:

dirty or something, you know,

jesse:

and she doesn't have a potty mouth, like, come on, give her everything, you know, she was never out there in the field with the rest of us. Um, uh, what's the word I was, I've been classified as a barrel

Krista:

with the

jesse:

rest of those feral people out there, the rest of us. Um, so again, like that's the whole point of this party. It's to enhance the image of careers in the trades. And I know you've given us some feedback on some of the earlier episodes. How do you think we're doing so far, Krista?

Krista:

Um, Jesse, I haven't been back since the early episodes, so I'll just, I'll just tell you, I need to, I need to get back and listen. Um, but I, I did hear, uh, I think there was a, was it a female electrician early on? Yeah. So I, I know you're, you're running the gamut and I gave you the, uh, um, if you ever get hold of the female roofers, there's, there's a, you know, a roofing company out in new Braunfels. Um, but no, I, yeah, no, I think it's, I think it's cool what you do, because like you said, it's it's, this is the fight I think we have with some of the parents, you know, so the parents want, I want my kid going to a construction school. It's like, oh my gosh, you know what I mean? We gotta, we gotta fix that. And on the other hand, We've never had an adult come in, our building that has left disappointed, you know? So, so like, like you, I mean, you're trying to raise the awareness of man what incredible opportunities that are out there. So, you know, you, you, you're doing that from the podcast point of view. And we do that from trying to bring people in the building and, uh, you know, try to try to change the perception because one, if we don't, you know, and I, I think about this too, like, like as a, from a, like a mechanics point of view who is going to fix my car and 10 years, you know, who's going to be out there building something who's going to fix your AC. You know, we started CCA back in 2009, we were told. And our big line was that, you know, the average age of an AC, I'll say guy, cause a lot of them are, but the average age was like, you know, 68 or something like that, which means now there were like 80. So, you know, we gotta, we gotta bring in young talent. Jeez, you have to. And I mean, what, what, that's why I tell my kids too, what does that mean for you right now? If you're in demand, you know, let's go back to economics 1 0 1, you know, if, if, if there's a huge demand, what do you think that means for you? You know, and they finally get around to the more money, man. What an opportunity to work right now. Crazy.

jesse:

Tremendous. I thought it was big when I made my decision. Now I'm like son of a gun.

Krista:

Oh man. I, you know, sometimes I'm thinking I need to be a plumber. You know what I can, may I know, right?

jesse:

No, no, no, no. Don't come out. We need you. We really need the amazing work that you're doing over there with those students.

Krista:

I can only be one plumber, but we're, we're creating a lot of plumbers on the program though. I guess that's a, that's a good thing. So yeah. You saw the, and speaking of the girls, did you see the whole, uh, Social media blew up about, uh, the girl during the pandemic, the girl plumber,

jesse:

trying to get, I was trying to secure an interview with

Krista:

you and you and everybody else. Oh my gosh. She was, that was amazing. That was such a great story. Cause she hurt. She has three younger brothers that are all special needs and they could not live in that house. And then her mom takes pictures of her belly crawling underneath that house and fixing that pipe, you know, they could all stay there. That was great,

jesse:

beautiful program. Learn the skill, actually applied it to, to maintain their quality. All right. That's what y'all do out there. And man, I saw those pictures. I was like, oh my God, how do I get ahold of her? I went, I went Facebook and everywhere I could to try and make a straight line to them. And then hell a day later it was on the news. And it wasn't social media outlet like son of a, this is, this is beautiful.

Krista:

Yeah. It hit Fox news in New York. It hit the big Fox news too. They was Navy zoom interviewed her, but you know, that's, that's a lot, that's part of my recruiting, uh, spiel too, is that okay? You may never be in a construction career, but imagine the life skills that you're going to get, you know, and I mean, you ever want to own your own home. I mean, imagine improving the value of your home, uh, without having to hire a plumber because Jesse, how much does it cost of a plumber comes to your door? You

jesse:

know, I don't know a lot more than pizza. Oh, my goodness. Okay. So now we're going to jump into the hard question Ms. Krista, you know, the title of our podcast is learnings and missteps. That title was because I think we all evolve in, get, get to the point that we're at in our life and in our careers as a series of learnings and missteps. And so thinking back, or maybe it doesn't have to be way back whenever, uh, what is like a significant learning that you've had as a result of a major misstep that you made?

Krista:

Yeah, unfortunately, unfortunately that was a very easy, easy one to answer. Okay, good. Uh, cause I feel like, and I, I was probably in my late teens or early twenties and,

jesse:

Yup. Just like I promised, I cut this piece out because this is the fans only LNM backstage pass material. Again, hit us up on patrion.com/learnings and missteps. There's multiple ways for you to subscribe and you don't have to, you can continue listening. You can share with your friend. You can leave us a comment. You can leave us a review. You can do all of the above and I'll send you some virtual hugs Uh, I'd love you guys. And here we go with the rest of the show Okay. A little running up on time. So final question. Um, what footprint do you want to leave on the world? Ms. Krista,

Krista:

Jessie has such a huge question and it's like, yeah, I'm not like mother Teresa. You know what I mean? I don't like a drop in the bucket, you know? Um, but I think at this point in the position I'm in would have to go back to, you know, especially with the girls and constructions is very specifically is, you know, just being that role model. And again, even if it's not construction, they tick, I hope that. Uh, they can be confident. You know, I also do a, uh, a girl's, like I said, we do some special girls projects on the campus. And, um, one of 'em is a mentoring group. And I don't know if you've heard of Nabo women on national association of women business owners. So we do that every year. And unfortunately I can only, um, have, have, um, uh, 10 girls in the program, but you know, right now a couple of the girls who have signed up really need the boost of confidence. You can just tell, you know, and hopefully if you can change just a couple of those girls around and, and help them with that confidence, I mean, that's, that's a, that's a big thing and it might only be a couple of kids, you know, may only be a couple people in the world. Um, but I hope I can be a good example. Um, unfortunately I think I, I, I need to work on. My touchy touchy-feely skills, you know, uh, that would help me to help bridge the gap here. Uh, but I really care about, uh, seeing these girls successful, you know? And, uh, so I think in the end, that's, that's where I'm at. I, that's why I'm here doing what I do, you know, and, and that's why I'm in education and, and, um, uh, helping to develop these girls with, with confidence and know that they can, like I said, like, you can compete with men, you know, it's okay. You can do it. And, uh, I think that's why I got, it's kind of

jesse:

big that's that's not a drop that's, it's a big one. So what would you in that line of thinking, um, what's one thing that you would tell all the men out there, or boys, whichever, you know, February it is, what did they need to do to contribute to your effort?

Krista:

Oh, wow. Um, I, I, you know, in my program, at least I think, I, I think when the girls are given a chance, they see it, they see that, uh, they can, they're being out done. You know, we've got a lot of the girls that are go-to people, you know, you always have those students every year that are kind of your go-to and, um, a lot of times with the girls. So I, again, I guess in that same, same angle, I hope that the boys in our program experience it, that these girls are there to, to, you know, and I'm not going to say equal, but I mean, they're there to compete. Um, they might be better. They might be worse for, for different reasons. You know? I mean, they might, the girl might get a job, not because of her physical strength, but because she's got it going on, she knows what the task is all about and can get it. So, um, again, I hope that as examples in our program, um, and I think they do, I think the boys see, because I, honest to God, everybody is equal in our program. You know, we don't have the girls doing the painting and the boys do. And the cutting, you know, I mean, everybody, everybody does everything. And, um, and that's just how our, our, our instructors are, you know, everybody gets the same chance. And so, you know, maybe, uh, maybe it's a, it's a by, um, by example again, um, unfortunately that's not global, you know, to, to tell the boys, Hey, you know, look, these girls can do what you do, but at least in our, in our own little world here, the boys are seeing that these girls, uh, are sometimes performing to the same level and even outperforming. And, uh, and, and I think they have a lot of respect for our girls on the campus. Yeah. So.

jesse:

Um, we're here to compete.

Krista:

They are, oh my God. Our girls are amazing. Our girls are amazing. I'm jealous. You know, I am, I am one eight and you know, they're the one girl that went to Skanska was in charge of the, uh, brand new Delta airline hanger on lax. I mean, at like 22 years old, you know, our kids are buying houses now, you know, I thought I was doing good at building my own house at 27, but we just had a boy who just went to work for TDI. And, uh, I said, well, I had him send me a picture. I'm going to flood face. I'm going to flood social media next week with all of our graduates that I can find that will send me a picture of them at their job right now. And, um, so I've been reaching out to as many as I can find, uh, send me a picture. What, what year you graduated CCA? What you're doing? Send me a picture of you and action. Right? I'm really looking forward to next week and posting the one boy was, uh, was at TBI. He started out at quarter moon. He went. And, um, he sent me a picture and I said, God, you look really happy. And he texts back. He's like, miss, I am happy. I just bought my first house. I'm like, geez, man, you're 19 years old. And he was so excited, you know? Um, so geez that's and I was glad to hear it. He, you know, bought a house instead of a $70,000.

jesse:

Exactly. That is a wise decision for a young Knight because I would've went and bought me a car.

Krista:

Right. And I'm sure I'm sure they do that too, but, um, yeah, no, I think the boys are seeing, at least in our program that the, the, the, the gender gap is not very wide at all.

jesse:

You know what I mean? One on the social media post. Is this going to be on your personal account?

Krista:

No, it's on, it's on the CCA count. So we have an Instagram account. I think I'm going to do most of it on Instagram, uh, which is at NISD CCA. Okay. Let's see. Instagram account. Uh, we're also doing the school bus conversion, so we have a, uh, a CCA underscore schooly so, uh, that's just for, for funsies. And then, uh, Twitter, I believe it was the same at NISD CCA. And then, um, Facebook is construction, careers, academy, parent partnership. I think you can, I think you can put in at CCA parents and I think it gets you there, but, um, yeah, so he sent me the picture and he was up on a, on a man lift doing, uh, you know, connecting some iron pipe and I mean, he just looked happy and he's like,

jesse:

Awesome. That's that's amazing. And so to your point about the women, the ladies are here to compete, um, and it's, we're, we're in the process of, of getting the Texas construction careers initiative, build competition live, you know, the whole thing that we do out at the Freeman Coliseum with all the employers and all the school districts. The first one, I knew that dammit, we need to go and get these kids to come work for us. We need to do this. It was a result of being at a booth to interact with high school students and seeing the competition. They were physically building a space, a cubicle, or a quiet there's a bathroom doing the sheet, rock the framing, the plumbing, electrical, the whole.

Krista:

And four

jesse:

hours and four hours. And the, the judging was pretty damn stringent. And CCA had a group of all ladies. Yep. All four girls. And they were small. I mean, it was, they smoked it, they killed it. And I got to see them and I got to see a bunch of other schools, like eight other schools that were competing in the program. Yeah. So I'm like, you know, you could tell there were different degrees of, of knowledge base, but they I'm seeing them work safely. I'm seeing them communicate and see them plan their work and work in a team like, holy hell, that's what we need. Like.

Krista:

We had our girls team and I 18 and, and, you know, not only were they only the only girl's team, they mostly are the only girls in that whole competition take second place. We usually lose two to, uh, we've lost to Reagan. I remember the Reagan coach saying to me, you know, how long have your girls been practicing together? And I'm like, you know, our girls don't practice together because they're all in different strands, you know? And his team of boys have the same class together, you know? And so, I mean, our girls hadn't had hadn't really come together to practice good. They just all knew their own part. And, and, you know, and we had like one team practice or something, but you're right. They, they were unbelievable. They worked together and, uh, second place, I mean, you know, uh, it was fun. It's a lot of fun. Yeah.

jesse:

Uh, it's good. So we've got to bring that back in our listeners out there, make your way to San Antonio. Come come and see the talent that is just waiting to come and transform the industry. Particularly the ladies got to give them a shot.

Krista:

We're pretty transparent. We, we, we, we show people the program, you know, we don't, we don't mind if you, if you copy us. Cause it's it's to the better of the kids in the industry and all that.

jesse:

Yeah. Awesome. Well, Ms. Krista, I appreciate your time this morning. Did you have fun?

Krista:

That's a great meaning. You're just, you're just so easy. You're so easy to talk to you. Make it easy. Oh no, no. I, I always enjoy visiting with you, Jesse. So, uh, you know, whenever, whenever you're back in town, anytime.

jesse:

Yes. Yes. I'm ready. Whenever I can come pick, speak to the kids, speak to the parents, to the child, your staff I'm down. I'd love to do it. Sounds good. All right, then we'll talk again, Kristen Well, there you go. We just had, I don't know, but 80 minutes or so of, of Ms. Krista, Ackles her wisdom, her takeaways, and her contribution to, to our industry, to our community and to the world at large appreciate y'all hanging with us. I know these episodes are long. And my intent is to share some meaning, some positive attitude, a new perspective, and may be motivate you or a loved one to take a chance and get out there into this construction industry, because it's an amazing place to be. There are amazing discoveries to be here. And of course, we're going to give a shout out to Ms. , who reached out engage me the opportunity to speak with her crew, with the AGC, CSU Chico people. Thank y'all for the time that y'all shared with me. Thank you for giving me all this time. And Jordy was some pretty decent dialogue, even though we were virtual was a big gigantic group, and I want to shout her out and recognize her because of the behaviors that she's displaying. She reached out to damn near a complete stranger to see if that person would interact and serve the people that she serves. Uh, that's a phenomenal action. Y'all in. One. I want y'all to know. Please. I'd love to interact with your groups, career fairs, all of the above, or just talk. Cause if you don't know already, I enjoy talking, but this young professional, she didn't skip a beat, man. She just made it happen. So the rest of y'all make it happen, baby. Peace out. man you are one dedicated listener, sticking with us all the way through to the very, very end. Please know that this podcast dies without you. And we invite you to share how the episodes is impacting you along with your thoughts, questions, and suggestions. You've been gracious with your time. So we added social media links in the show notes to make it super easy for you to connect with us because to yourself. And we'll talk at you next time.