The Construction Veteran Podcast

Navigating New Terrain: A Soldier's Transformation into Construction Management

February 05, 2024 The Construction Veteran
The Construction Veteran Podcast
Navigating New Terrain: A Soldier's Transformation into Construction Management
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever stood at a crossroads between your career and the call of duty? Our latest episode features Josh, an Army National Guard veteran whose journey echoes this familiar conundrum. From the hum of motor transport to the buzz of construction sites, Josh unveils the blueprint of his transition into a thriving career in construction management. Discover the resilience required to balance the rigor of military service with the demands of civilian roles, a skill that Josh has refined through his experiences first in commercial plumbing and later as a project manager in Cleveland, Ohio. His story isn't just about career shifts—it's about the adaptability and tenacity that's emblematic of our veterans' contributions to the workforce.

Embrace the organized chaos of the construction industry with us, as we unmask the multitude of career avenues beyond the physical work. The episode emphasizes the critical importance of passion, continuous learning, and the power of networking, especially on platforms like LinkedIn. We navigate through the twists and turns of Josh's career journey, emphasizing the need for mentorship and support systems. This dialogue isn't just an exploration; it's a beacon for those in the military wrestling with the transition to civilian life, highlighting the value of research and certifications, and sharing the stories of those who have successfully bridged the gap between two demanding worlds.

As we wrap up our engaging discussion, Josh extends a warm invitation for mentorship over a casual coffee chat, proving that the journey doesn't end with the transition—it's about the connections we forge along the way. His readiness to share wisdom and guidance echoes our own mission to build a community where stories of success and perseverance inspire our listeners. Whether you're a veteran eyeing the next chapter or simply intrigued by the lure of construction's organized chaos and limitless opportunities, this episode promises a trove of insights and inspirations. Join us and capture the essence of a veteran's adventure from boots on the ground to blueprints in hand.

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Speaker 1:

Hey Josh, how's it going man?

Speaker 2:

Good how you doing Scott.

Speaker 1:

I'm good. I'm glad to have you on here. So Josh is one of the few people that's reached out to me directly. He emailed me After listening to the show. I'm very humbled because of that. I think Josh has a really cool backstory. He's currently working in the industry. Let's talk a little bit about your service background, josh.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so I I enlisted in the Army National Guard back in 2012 While I was going to college and when I enlisted I kind of made the dumb decision of not really caring what MOS I signed up for. So I originally enlisted as a 88 mic, motor transportation. After doing boot camp and AIT and getting to my first unit after six months, I realized that I was not meant for that. So I did some research and I found a Indiana National Guard unit that was airborne and I said why not? You know, jump out of perfectly good airplanes. So in 2014 I did the start, the transition paperwork over to Indiana Guard and Stayed there through 2020 until I got out.

Speaker 1:

Very cool, and so what are you doing now?

Speaker 2:

So right now I am a project manager for a construction manager general contractor in Cleveland Ohio.

Speaker 1:

Very good. So were you doing this while you were in?

Speaker 2:

So I was in service as actually a project manager estimator for a commercial plumbing company and so doing, you know, construction during the week and then going to drill weekends when it was that time, and bouncing back and forth, and then, right after I got out, I made the switch over to the GCCM side.

Speaker 1:

Smart man. No, I Mean there's a lot of us that came from a tray. But yeah, it's, I like where we're at. I went back to the sub side and I wanted to come back to the GC side, but how was? How was your business, with you having to do the drill work and drill weekends away?

Speaker 2:

It was tough. I mean, there was definitely that, you know, always looking ahead, trying to make sure everything was taken care of before you had to leave, especially if you had a Friday or Thursday report date or if you had, you know, your two-week stint over the summer. The big thing when I switched over into the Indian National Guard, I Joined a Lurs unit long-range surveillance unit and with that I was fortunate enough to attend a bunch of schools, but with those schools that Counted towards time away from work, school, family. So you know, I think every every year I was in that unit I was at least gone for two months of the year Between miscellaneous schools and trainings and whatnot.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's quite a long time away. So is this something, when you got into the industry, that you made known right off the bat, or did you? Were you already in the industry when you joined that company?

Speaker 2:

No. So I actually when, when I joined the military, I was actually going to school for nursing and then after a year of nursing, I just was not. You know, I didn't like it as much as I thought I was going to. So I left public university, decided to do some gen ed classes and actually one of my mentors in life he owned a residential remodel business painting exteriors, doing some small interior remodels, and so I started working for him when I was at community college and I said well, you know, I kind of like this stuff. Why don't I actually go to school and and get a degree in it? So I, you know, finished out almost my associates and switched over back to a four-year university to get my bachelors in construction management.

Speaker 1:

Man, we're very similar and that we're all over the board. As far as I, I've said in the past on other episodes that I changed my Major like five times. I had three different jobs in the service, so that's interesting. So what? You've been doing this for a little while now. What about this industry has got you stable, I guess I.

Speaker 2:

Mean. It's the Unpredictability, the organized chaos. I mean I'm sure you can attest to this no day is the same. You learn something new every day and whether it's good chaos or bad chaos, it's fun to be in and you just love doing it, no matter how stressful it is or how you know some days are dead or some days are. You can't take time to sit down and Eat your sandwich, so you know just that always constant going feeling is what keeps me in it.

Speaker 1:

So let me ask about your entry into the industry. So it sounds like you knew some folks. So was it this like yeah, that seems cool, I guess I'll get into it. What was your, your attitude like Getting into this industry? So you're still in the guard, you're looking at job opportunities. What made the construction industry pop?

Speaker 2:

so when I, like, I said I was doing residential construction when I had to, when I switched over to back into public college, I, you know, had to leave that job because it was too far to go back and forth between classes and whatnot. And there was actually a career fair for the construction management program I was in and you know I wasn't. I was very hesitant on going. I was like, oh, I'll just finish my degree and then go back and work for this guy. But I said in, maybe I, maybe I'll do it, give it a chance. And I actually met the company.

Speaker 2:

I started with the plumbing commercial contractor and they said, hey, like what do you think? You know we're looking for young people to come in. And I started, you know I said, sure, why not interviewed? And you know, the first five years of my, you know, commercial construction career I spent with them just kind of getting that you know, commercial, feel what it was like. And and through that time, you know I still go into school working full-time in the guard. And when I graduated school I stayed on with them until 2021, until I switched over to the the GC side.

Speaker 1:

And so you were what like late or early 20s late teens, when you really started doing this.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, early early 20s, 2021 roughly yeah.

Speaker 1:

So let me ask this what is it that that keeps you doing this? I mean, we talked about the days changing. It's tough man, it's a stressful industry, but what is it that just gets you up in the morning?

Speaker 2:

I mean I, I personally, I just think the military and the construction industry go together so well. I Mean you can do one thing one day and then a completely different thing than next, and that's what just keeps you going. You know, no day is the same. I'm not gonna wake up, go to the office, sit in meetings, do the same spreadsheets and then go home. You know I'm gonna go to job sites, I'm gonna do paperwork, I'm gonna interact with clients, I'm gonna take someone out to lunch, you know, to try to get business, it's. You know I can I can almost make my schedule the way I need to make it to keep myself going.

Speaker 1:

Let me ask this to. So you did time as an infidermen and I think for a long time Infantry got a really bad rep that you'll never have a job after the army or you know the skills aren't good for anything, which I vehemently disagree with that. I think the leadership skills that are earned carry over into any industry, especially this one. I want to hear from your point of view what do you think specifically to, or from the in the infantry into this industry? Did you carry over?

Speaker 2:

I Mean there's I don't even know to where to begin with that, scott, I mean Not to get too deep into it, but just being with a specialized unit, you know, a long-range surveillance unit, until they disbanded back in 2017 roughly 2018, when the army got away from them, and especially, being National Guard, you had guys from all over Coming to this place with different career fields.

Speaker 2:

You know, when I graduated you know their training program and got on to a infantry team, you know I had my team leader was Actually in the construction industry doing like tremble equipment, surveying equipment in Michigan, and then, you know, the next guy in charge was a fireman in Indiana and then another guy was he was also a student in Indiana. So just that different background that brought us all together to go out in the field and Hate life together and go. You know, recon some abandoned building was so neat. But it also, you know, with all of that, there was so much planning we had to do. There was so much, you know, organization. We had to have lists of different equipment we needed. So I mean really everything that we did just transferred over and helped, you know, set my career path as it is today.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's awesome. I love hearing from you guys that have walked the walk, because I think you'll you'll agree, man, it got a really bad rap and oh, you're just gonna be a bullet sponge and that's really it. And there's just guys that look down on. Infantry is just a bunch of you know, grunts. Right, that's the, that's the the term for it. You're just a grunt. But I think some of the folks that come from the combat arms side a lot of them that I've interviewed these are amazing leaders, because you're you're taking people into a situation where they definitely don't want to be in. And how similar is that to our industry? Like, no project is just a walk in the park. It's difficult, you got difficult clients. So do you have an example or anything from the past where you can kind of think back of? I did this as a team leader and now I'm using this here.

Speaker 2:

Oh, I'm sure there's. There's something I mean there's. I mean one thing that I joke about with people in the office when we like go to meetings or stuff like that is, you know, checking your bag, making sure you have everything and making sure that it works right. You know. You know you got to make sure you do those Pre-combat checks, pre-combat Inspections, as you would say. You know when you're in military, but just making sure you have the right stuff at the right time. You know. Just something stupid is that? But then the other thing too is you know You're, you're set up to deal with so many different personalities.

Speaker 2:

Like I said, my team that I was on, we were, you know, michigan, indiana, ohio, and when you're, you know, in the industry, with construction, you know you can have one client that is very easygoing, very understanding of the whole process and there's some that you need to Walk them through step by step. And you know, with being the guard, at least you get that different background of Some people are different and you just learn to adapt to that situation.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, all the soft skills, man, I think they come with it. It's you get this free education, if you will, through the service that most guys in their early 20s don't get for some time into their career. So you, like me, you've changed a lot of things along the path. Do you think there's anything that you might do different? That if somebody's coming up through that Maybe not in nursing school, but maybe they're they're unsure of what they want to do, or they're bouncing around Something that you would suggest to them that they do, or something that they could do the same that you did.

Speaker 2:

I mean, I, I just think being in the military in general sets you up for any career field. You know, construction aside, you know just having that background, knowing different, different tricks of a trade, you know you were a CV. You did different, different buildings for different units. You know I was a grunt. You know we, we went out on missions but at the end of the day it was the same. You know we were going in one team. One fight, as you say to you know, accomplish one task and in any industry You're in that's, that's something that you're always trying to achieve. So I just think being in the military in general is a great start to any career.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I agree. So if if we have vets in the industry man, there's a ton. I've met a bunch of vets throughout the industry, obviously more so through the show, and, like I said, it's, it's really easy to get burned out doing what we do it. It's exciting that everything is different but at the same time that can be very draining, just like a mission being canceled or a deployment being extended. Right, it's a bummer when a project oh gosh, they took a month away from us. So if you've got guys out there that maybe walk the same walk that you did, how would you encourage them to kind of keep after it? I mean?

Speaker 2:

one, one thing that you always got to have, that that release. You know, something to help take your mind off. You know any of the tough times. You know as bad as I am about it. I try to get up in the morning early to work out before I go to work. You know, that's just kind of my, my hour, hour and a half alone to just Sit there, work out, not think about anything. But you know, lifting weights and then they're. You know. On the other hand, on weekends my wife and I, like you know, we like to go walking or go to different parks, you know, walk through different places, go shopping, you know, just trying to take your mind off the industry as a whole, putting your phone down, putting the laptop away, to try to decompress and get, you know, get the stress of the work week off of you.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, let me. Let me ask you a different question here. So you, you were kind of any unique scenario where you were still serving and I've talked to another guest about this too he was in the reserves and I know with me I was in the reserves, I joined after I was already in this industry. But you, what was it like when you, when you left the guard and you said, okay, I'm gonna pursue this full time, what was your mind going through?

Speaker 2:

It was really a tough decision.

Speaker 2:

I'm gonna be honest with you, scott, because I mean, I'm sure you have days where you're like, man, I miss being in.

Speaker 2:

But at that time, when I got out in December of 2020, you know I I would kind of had to make a choice because my unit at the time was getting ready for rotation, for Pre-deployment, and I just sit down and think, you know, do I want to, you know, next year, in 2021, go go away for a month and two months for pre-deployment, for potential deployment, you know, in 2022 or 2023, or do I want to get out, focus on my career and try to make, you know, movement on the civilian side to better myself off later on the road.

Speaker 2:

So it's kind of a tough choice at where I was at and honestly, you know I decided to get out and you know that the unit did did end up going to their pre-deployment training and they're actually finishing up a rotation right now overseas, just with some security details and whatnot. But you know that to me, if I would have stayed in, that would have taken a lot of time away Not just from family but my civilian career, and that you know. Not saying that you can put that on hold and do it at whatever time, but there's a point in time where you want to, you know, be higher than where you're at. So I had I'd made that choice to to leave, to do this.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, for sure, and I I'm gonna ask a controversial question. Maybe do you think it's it's possible? I mean, I've got my own opinions that I'll share, but do you think it's possible for somebody to be successful in the civilian industry, worldless, while they're still serving part-time, whether it's the guard of the reserves?

Speaker 2:

Oh, absolutely. I mean a lot of senior NCOs in the unit, as in were, you know, fire chiefs, successful business owners, you know they're it. At the end of the day, it's what you put into it. So you know it was a Selfish reason you can say to get out so I could focus on this civilian career. But there's, you know, if you're determined enough, you can Make anything you want to happen.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, I agree, and I got out for family and I think everybody's different, right, and I I don't know about you, but I beat myself up for it a lot, but everybody else is like man, you did the right choice. I'm in a different life Area. I'm in a different part of life than I was when I got out, got off active duty in 2011,. You know, I was single, with no kids. So I think you're making the right choice for sure. And the reason I ask is because I think there are some people out there, at least that I've talked to, that they they're scared to join the guard, they're scared to join the reserves. They think they're gonna get some sort of repercussion by their, by their company.

Speaker 1:

But, man, if that's what you're wanting to do, do it. If you're in a position where you can go, go, and I think there's this misunderstanding about the legalities of it too, that they're not gonna up and fire you one. That's illegal. They've got to support you in that. So and times are different, man, I mean with, with when we're at in the world. Who knows what's gonna come up next, but we're technically in peacetime. I guess you could say so. It's a tough choice to make, but I think you can still be successful doing that if that's what you want to do. Oh, Absolutely.

Speaker 2:

I mean I still have buddies in that I talked to regularly and they're, you know, they're still in there jumping units if they want to, or staying in the same unit and they're still, you know, handling family, handling their job, still, you know, successful. So I mean there's no, it doesn't you're the only person that would hold yourself back from doing it. So I mean it's you know, I hate to say, but you got to make a choice to if you, if you want to do it, then do it, don't look back at it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, absolutely. So why did you decide to do the guard instead of the reserves? I'm just curious.

Speaker 2:

So while I was in college for nursing, I was actually part of the ROTC, so I was like there was One of the recruiters was out of our you know, rotc units, that's where his office was set up and I was just Talking with him one day and he's like hey, man, if you, if you join the guard, like you can do the, the program where you can contract direct and all this. So you know, pretty much pulled the recruiter tactic on me to get me to join the guard instead of the reserves.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think and you might have your own opinion I think, with our industry the reserves might be a little easier, just because it's more predictable. That's and that's why I chose the reserves over the guard. The guard had more combat arms, which the reserves don't. I think Hawaii might have the last reserve infantry unit, the last reserve infantry unit, but you, you know when your schedule is going to be, you know when you're going to work up, you know when you're going to have your two weeks training. So where is the guard? If there's an emergency, especially like here in Texas or florida with Hurricanes or tornadoes, you gotta go help and what not. But hey, to each his own man. So absolutely support you for that, but you definitely got swindled.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean it comes down to two. I mean what I know a couple people who joined army reserves and they, you know their unit is located in different state. So I mean what the benefits of the guard is. You know, whatever state you join you're gonna stay in. You know you could be traveling across that state to get to your unit, but you're at least staying within those boundary lines where the reserve it could be anywhere. So I mean it's just a big thing and doing research, trying to find out what you want, what makes the most sense for each individual.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, on that note, switch back to the industry, to. I think I would encourage people to do their research into what they're doing, especially I can't stress enough the people that are single with no kids or they don't intend on going back to where they grew up. There's so much opportunity out there. How, what's a practical way? You would say somebody can maybe look into getting in this industry somehow, regardless of their background. Let's say it is an infantry Person or maybe a cook who knows, you know, they have no construction background. What would you suggest?

Speaker 2:

I'm young enough to say that you know there's technology, that you can find anything online. So I mean, if you just have A curiosity and something, you can easily Google, search it and find any certificate, any college program or even you know internships Available for those types of things. So I mean just Doing the research and finding out what you like different programs have or different industries have different programs on. One big thing that Cleveland's doing right now is they have a pre apprenticeship program, so pretty much it's a class where you can join and you learn different apprenticeships. You know just kind of like a week by week basis on you know the different trades and then at that end you can make a decision on what apprenticeship you want to join, which I think is great because you know you could be interested in, say, electrical, but really you want to go into HVAC or vice versa. So I mean Just doing that research, finding out classes, whether it's a night class, trade school, something to help get your foot in the door.

Speaker 1:

Do you know the name of that program? Offhand.

Speaker 1:

I could find it and send it to you, but yeah, yeah, if you would, man, I'll definitely include it in the show because that's awesome. I know there's a lot of different programs across the US like that. I mean there's some where they're getting these kids started in high school and I think we're seeing a shift that people are coming back where the trades are getting more popular. These practical skills and I've talked to other guests about you know I like the fact that I can take care of my own home, even something as simple as that. I can fix my own plumbing. You know I can wire up a new light or whatever. I'm a carpenter by trade, so I can modify things if I need to. So even if you don't intend on going into the industry is a trades person, I mean, it's not bad having that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that I just did a quick search in. That program is called the apprenticeship readiness program through Cleveland builds apprenticeship readiness program through Cleveland builds very cool.

Speaker 1:

I'll make a note of that. So we talked about the vets that are getting burned out, man. Let's talk about anybody in the industry. So I think the mental health is getting a lot better within the service. As far as, like the services that are provided to the military and the follow up the VA, I mean it gets a really bad rep. It's getting better. It's not there, but there's a lot of folks that maybe it's a pride thing or maybe they're not ashamed, but a lot of guys that don't seek out the help. So if, if they're getting to that point, they're just in a really low spot. Because I mean, I'm just gonna be blunt about it suicide in the industry is a big deal, alcoholism in our industry is a big deal. Combine that with Maybe some trauma from the service, it's just kind of a recipe for disaster. But if you've got folks getting into that dark spot, what would you tell them to do?

Speaker 2:

No, I'm, you know. I think definitely reaching out is the first step and it's not weak at all. It is a huge problem. You know I.

Speaker 2:

You know a lot of military people. Especially when you get to your NCO Positions you can tell when something's off with your team. So I mean that, even carrying that over into the industry, you know. I know a couple. You know one of my superintendents. You know he. He's having hard time because his parents are getting older and he's having to make trips and stuff. You know, it's just that constant checking in with people. You know not even if anything's wrong. It's just Taking a minute. Get your mind off work. Hey, how are you doing? How's the family? How is your golf game last week? You know, is everything good? Because at the end of the day, you know, like the military with construction, you know, if you're not in the right Mental state of mind, something can flip the switch in an instant and it could be devastating on a job site. So I just think you know, you know not even being, you know, if you're in a low spots, the people around you just checking on your team making sure everyone's in a good state of mind to carry on.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, if you ask me about my golf game, that might actually make me feel worse. So you gotta be careful. In all seriousness, I totally agree. I mean it's just I think I've seen it from a lot of non vets to in the in the industry, where we're kind of going through the muck together and, even though our backgrounds aren't similar, there's kind of that mutual respect between us and the trades people that, yeah, you might not serve but it's a stressful environment and we get it. I trauma, trauma, whatever you're going through, and it the industry can beat you up. I mean I'm not gonna sugarcoat. It can Really worry down after a while and hard projects. So it's important to talk about that stuff and I get really encouraged by the older guys that are vets and I work with a few that they get it. I mean these guys might be Golf or or Vietnam era. We do have some of those guys around back into Vietnam and they they get it. Man, I mean it's it's different war, different time, but they get that. Hey, you might need a break.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean there's there's nothing wrong with him. Pause the you know to confine someone that you trust. I mean the worst thing you want is to build that anger up or build that stress up and then one day just Unleash it all, because that's just not gonna help anyone around you. So I mean just you know, when you're down talking to someone you trust whether it's you know family member, a good friend, you know someone just to release that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'd say as leaders in the industry to we should be better and do better at recognizing that kind of stuff, especially if we know that individuals a fellow vet that you know hey, man, I've been there, I get what's up, let's go out to lunch, let's talk how you doing. And I've definitely seen a huge shift, at least over the past five years or so, in the industry where that's becoming more common. And I think it's because the guys like us, you know, guys in their thirties and even younger. You know we're getting into these positions of leadership where we can make the change. And we've had, we were in a war for 20 years, so we're carrying a lot of that over and going, hey, I don't want the guys back home to feel this way, let me help. So let's say we've got a guards person, reservists or even active duty.

Speaker 1:

I always ask my guest this if we have somebody that I'll give you two scenarios. One, maybe they want to get in the industry. What do you think is give them a roadmap, what do you think the best way to get them into the industry is? And then the second person would be maybe they're just not sure, because I mean, I'll say from experience. I had no idea. It sounds like you to. You had no idea really what you wanted to do. So those two scenarios, what would you say to try to encourage people to get into our industry, because we need people?

Speaker 2:

bad, oh yeah, I mean, at least you know, in Cleveland construction is, it's booming. But I mean, realistically, it's what? What do you want to do with it? You know, do you want to take a superintendent route? Do you want to take an office route? And I mean there's so many, so many different things in construction you can do. It's not just going out swinging a hammer. You know putting wire and walls, you know you can do you know accounting, you can do tech. So I mean it's finding what you love and trying to apply that in what way shape form to the industry. So I mean, again, looking at schools or certifications, doing research is online. I mean LinkedIn is a great spot that has so many different. You know job postings and say we need this, we need that. If you're on the fence, I mean there's nothing wrong with with chat trying to see if you can, if you know someone, and seeing if you can shadow.

Speaker 2:

My brother, kind of, was in the same spot. I was back when I was in school and he didn't know if he wanted to get in construction or not. I talked to my boss and said, hey, we're, you know we're on a project. It's pretty light. You know safety is at a, you know is good, there's not not a lot risk. You know, do you mind if he shadows a superintendent for a day or two and then shadows me for a day or two? And they allowed it, and you know, I think that really helped him realize like, hey, I don't think construction is the right, right field for me, I think I'm in a switch pass, but I mean just even having those opportunities to shadow or do an unpaid internship to really feel, feel out the field that you want to be in is huge.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I like that idea and I've had some younger folks like high school seniors that have come out to job sites or folks that are in college, and I get to share how passionate I am about what we do and it's neat. You know, they're just, they're just guests, they're just visitors, and Worst case if they don't join. And hey, I got to show you a pretty cool project. But I love that idea. So I would encourage people to do that. Josh, I mean, go seek somebody out. So there's always construction going on base, there's always construction going on in major cities. So if you can find someone or so and so uncle is in the industry, reach out and just say, hey, can I tag along for a little bit?

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, I mean, and I think now, with the way that the construction industry is, it's being more open minded to allow people to try it out. I mean not saying you know, go do something that you know can cause a risk down the road, but at least shadow suit you know, see what it's all about. I think that's becoming more Acceptable in our industry as well what do you think in your opinions?

Speaker 1:

cause that.

Speaker 2:

I just think you know the lack of workforce. I mean, you know I hate to say millennial because technically I found that group, but I feel like a lot, of, a lot of people my age nowadays they wanna, you know, do less and make more and you know they, they want to use your avenue out and it's not to, you know, be rude to anyone, but you know, if you look back at you know, my parents generation, you know everyone worked hard. You know they wanted to do, you know, go balls the wall and now it seems like just the whole, you know the whole career Field is switched from construction to health care. I just think it's a, it's a change in in culture and it's not a bad change, but it's trying to realize, you know, what we need to do now to fill those gaps.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'm obviously huge advocate of now is the prime time for vets to get into the industry, because we know it takes to work hard to go. Step back and look at your accomplishments. So it's kind of a no brainer for me. Plus, you got a ton of these programs like you talked about or you got trades that are getting paid to go to school, learn the trade. So you're already making that that hourly or salary rate rate you're getting and you're learning a trade on top of that. Then you're gonna come out as a journeyman level making probably better money than your buddies.

Speaker 1:

So it's kind of a no brainer to me and it's needed and I'm gonna keep preaching that message, man, till the day I die or until we are fully booked as an industry and you know we got all the trades when we need and I think at least my opinion the older generation seeing hey, I'm retiring soon. I need to give my knowledge on to the next generation because there's metrics out there, statistics, that show like we're gonna lose a ton of knowledge from these folks that are transitioning out because we're not replacing them as fast as they're retiring, and that's it's concerning and so that's why you know I'm so passionate about this personally. But, man, if you're listening and you even have an inkling of thought this might be something you want to do, I just jump right in. It's like the service you want to do your four years and you figure, hey, I'm done. Maybe I don't want to do this. You still have plenty of time. So if you're in your late teens, early twenties, why not?

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, I mean there is a. You know, when I was back in the plumbing side of things, you know we had a parenthesis who are in the 30s because they were prior active duty guys and they got out and they decided to join an apprenticeship. So I mean there's nothing, you know, there's no age limit In our industry. You know, yeah, it takes a toll on your body, but you know to be, you know to keep going and what not that that's the only thing. You just have to keep moving.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, even after that, there's still other routes you can take. I don't know if I've shared this on a former prior show or not, but there was a guy can recall working with a few years ago where he was an electrician for a long time I mean the guy was in his early fifties, late forties, early fifties but decided to make the shift out of the field and in the office and was a project engineer. And so for those that don't know, you know that's that's the bottom level step is the first step. So he had to humble himself but he decided hey, you know what I want to learn that side of the industry, and to me he's probably gonna be the best well rounded project manager they have some day, if he's not already.

Speaker 1:

So even if your body gets tired Is eventually you know, you do, you get tired, your knees hurt, your back hurt. There's always another path taken and hopefully that's within the same company. I'm fortunate to be a company like that. If that's the route I want to take some day, so be it. So there's all kinds of opportunities there. And let me ask this why did you choose the project management route and not superintendent?

Speaker 2:

Um, you know that's a great question, what? And I asked myself that I think I, like you, know working in that team environment and providing that support. You know the guys in the field, you know being that that life line. But then I also, like you know being on multiple projects at once. You know there's nothing wrong with you know focusing on one project, but it's nice to know One of my projects is a ground up addition for school right now, and then I got Another project that's just a small little interior fit out. But you know it's nice to see the differences and you can you know it's, you can translate, you know things that are working on one job site to the next one, or, if it's not working, make sure that it doesn't happen again. So I mean, I think that's kind of why the project management route stuck with me.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, not, not that there's obviously I'm partial field, but that's what worked for me and I did a little bit of time in the office, you know, a couple years, and I decided, hey, this isn't the route I want to take. I'm glad I did it and it's helping the field to understand what the pms are going through. And you need strong people that are passionate about the pms side because they're gonna help you fight for what you need in the field. Get the product out to us so we can build it. So I don't fault anybody if they want to be an estimator, if they want to be a scheduler, pms, super, whatever. I think we need strong people better playing to their strengths.

Speaker 2:

I agree. I mean again, as I mentioned, there's so many different things in construction that you can do between Finance tech, being in the field, being in an office. I mean the opportunities are endless. So you know, just finding what you fit in, you know best into is gonna set you up for success and that's what you want to do.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and as we're sitting here talking, I feel secure in this industry and I think that's. Another huge thing I don't really talk about too much is the job security, because, yeah, there's only a limited amount of land they're not making anymore but you know you're gonna still see interior fit outs happening, you're gonna get clients that are coming into a new five year lease or there is a new building coming up with multiple tenants and they want to have different gc. So there's tons and tons of opportunities there for the next many decades. The jobs, the works not slowing down and when you live in a major city like cleveland, you know here in dallas or any of these major cities across any metroplex across the us, there's gonna be a plentiful amount of work for the foreseeable future.

Speaker 2:

Oh, there is. I mean it's. I mean between Repurposing buildings for new use, building new, tear down to build new. I mean again opportunities endless in this field. And I mean there is. There's no stop to it. It's a very stable career path. Anyone can choose.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, totally green man. I appreciate your time, josh. If somebody wants to get a hold of you and just kind of chat maybe they got the similar background or once, your wisdom what's the best way to do that?

Speaker 2:

I don't know if it's possible for you to take my profile in the video on linkedin, but you know, if you tag me in there for message me on linkedin, I'd be more than happy to respond and you know, catch up, share my wisdom that I have any help that I can provide very cool.

Speaker 1:

If you're in cleveland, josh is buying the first cup of coffee.

Speaker 2:

You got it alright, man.

Speaker 1:

Well, josh, I greatly appreciate finally making time to do this. We try to do it over the holidays and it was just a mess yeah, no, I'm Scott.

Speaker 2:

You know I think this is a great program. I'm very appreciate that. You know you chose me to be on the show and you know I'm looking forward to listen other people stories. You know this is it's really great thing that you're doing and I'm glad that you know you're doing it.

Speaker 1:

Thank you, man. That means a lot. I appreciate it. Yeah, of course, alright.

Transition From Military to Construction Industry
Balancing Military Service and Civilian Career
Trades, Mental Health, and Opportunity
Exploring Career Paths in Construction
Connecting and Sharing Wisdom With Josh