In the first quarter of 2022, we reached over 3,800 students. How do we manage to attend so many different events and reach that many GenZers? Well, through the amazing work of the passionate industry professionals who are known as Build California Ambassadors.
Our Ambassadors are industry professionals who are passionate about educating and supporting the next generation of California’s construction force. 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.
New Ambassador Zachary Reed, an Engineer with Turner Construction in Sacramento, is our Ambassador of the month! Recently, we asked Zach a few questions around his experience in the industry and being a Build California Ambassador. Check out what he had to say below!
Build California: Why are you passionate about supporting the next generation of construction workers?
Reed: Construction is so much more than I ever thought it could be. I had such a limited understanding of how expansive and encompassing an industry it could be, even though it seems so simplistic on its surface. I am excited to share what I have learned about all the available opportunities and hope to help dispel the stereotypes that prevented me from finding my passion for building earlier in my life. I see a version of my younger self when visiting high schools and I want to tell that young me that you do not have to take on the overwhelming burden of student loan debt to have a career that allows you to support yourself and family comfortably.
Build California: What is your favorite part about being a Build California Ambassador?
Reed: I enjoy the authenticity of the organization’s mission. I like that even though I am a representative of Turner, I am participating in Build California as a member of something bigger. The mission is about promoting the many benefits of construction while simultaneously offering a rewarding career that puts one in control of their future. When you take out the inherent motivations of a company spending time and money at events like career fairs and replace it with the concept of just getting young adults interested in an industry, you are allowed to get back to the basics of what drew you to the construction in the first place.
Build California: Why do you think others should become Ambassadors?
Reed: Our industry faces a crucial crossroads that is characterized by an aging workforce and overwhelming demand. I see it as our responsibility to ensure that the next generation has the same opportunity, we do to discover the world of construction and all that it has to offer. Plus, the kids are fun to interact with, they have so much potential and a lot of times they do not appear to fully grasp the possibilities, which gives us the opportunity to introduce them to construction and its plentiful possibilities.
Build California: What is your unique construction story, and how do you think it will help inspire students to join the industry?
Reed: For as long as I can remember I was searching for a career that provided an opportunity to be challenged, rewarded, and appreciated. It is natural for one to have an insatiable appetite to be a part of a team that seeks to accomplish and be a member of something bigger than the sum of its own parts. We are the modern-day pyramid builders. On my first day at Turner, we happened to be celebrating an employee that was retiring after 25 years. The marketing team had made a collage of all the projects he had worked on over the years, and I remember a feeling of awe and hope that someday I would be able to drive through a city and be able to show a member of the next generation how I helped to physically change a city’s skyline.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.