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Blog|October 5, 2022

Build California Ambassador of the Month – Kolby Butcher, Ghiradelli Associates

Build California Ambassador Kolby Butcher, a Safety Representative and Construction Inspector with Ghirardelli Associates, is our Ambassador of the month! Recently, we asked Kolby a few questions about his experience in the construction industry and being a Build California Ambassador.

Throughout 2022, Build California has engaged with over 6,500 students through career fairs, student presentations, and industry activations to educate students on career opportunities in construction. We would not have been able to achieve this number without the help of our amazing Ambassadors.  

Our Ambassadors are industry professionals who are passionate about educating and supporting the next generation of California’s construction workforce. By sharing their own construction career journey, they help to inspire students and make it possible for Build California to be in many places at once. 

Kolby Butcher, Safety Representative and Construction Inspector with Ghirardelli Associates, has been an Ambassador since March of 2022 and has participated in 3 different events in the Sacramento region. He is the Build California September Ambassador of the month and following his most recent activation at Bella Vista High School Career Exploration Day shared his insights into his experience in the industry and experience as an Ambassador. 

Build California: Why are you passionate about supporting the next generation of construction workers? 

Butcher: I think it’s important to remember and recognize that America was not built by suits, it was built by the hard-working men and women of the construction industry. That said, the amount of knowledge that is retiring out of the industry NEEDS to be passed on to the next generation of builders who will continue to improve the infrastructure we all use to go about our lives. Construction has so many different avenues that make great careers and there really is a spot at some level for everyone. America NEEDS the construction industry to survive and now more than ever, wages and opportunity are at an all-time high.  

Build California: What is your favorite part about being a Build California Ambassador? 

Butcher: My favorite part about working with the Build California team is the opportunity to help guide students in the direction of success. Build California is focused on helping the next generation get into careers they typically are not guided into through the general education system. I can be a resource for young adults to better themselves and learn about opportunities that can turn into very fulfilling careers.  

Build California: Why do you think others should become Ambassadors? 

Butcher: I believe other industry professionals should become Ambassadors because we are only here, realistically, for a short period of time. Once our time is done, if our knowledge is not passed on then what is it worth? Professionals who believe in what they do and are good at it, should also believe that teaching and helping others learn their craft is just as important.  

Build California: What is your unique construction story, and how do you think it will help inspire students to join the industry? 

Butcher: My construction story is a bit of a whirlwind. I’ve been in 2 unions, first the laborer’s union for a short time working for a drilling outfit. After that I joined the Operating Engineers Local 3, working for a handful of different companies like Kiewit, Granite Construction, Manson Construction and Power Engineering, then ultimately becoming a Marine Construction Deck Engineer. Now 8 years later, I work on the opposite side of the industry in construction management for a company called Ghirardelli Associates. What I can say about my career so far, is I have learned a TON about what not to do, and what makes easier money (which is everyone’s goal, right?). I believe it is extremely valuable to try different things, with different companies and figure out what you really enjoy. There are a lot of different options out there and I encourage everyone during their youth to figure out what they do and don’t like, and get REALLY good at what you love. I hope my story inspires the next generation by showing that it is ok to make mistakes, change your path/career and still be successful. I am only 26 and have a long working life left but I can honestly say, regardless of what you decide to do, if you keep your head down, and learn as much as you can with a good attitude everywhere you work, the only place you can actually go is up, and you will win.  

Become an Ambassador and join Build California as we activate the next generation of California’s construction workforce. If you are interested in learning more about our Ambassador Program, reach out to Abigail Palomares at palomaresa@agc-ca.org.

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