With eyes set on cultivating the future leaders of Arizona’s construction industry, the Young Builders Council has been working to mold the minds of the future through meetings, education and attraction.
In an industry that is seeing many baby boomers retire, and a lack of manpower and talent, the Arizona Builders Alliance group is focused on showcasing Arizona’s construction industry, says Jeremy Keck, chairman of the Young Builders Council and director of preconstruction at Chasse Building Team.
The Young Builders Council focuses on four pillars to tighten young construction professionals’ connection with the industry, which include:
With these four pillars in mind, the Young Builders Council hosts meetings to provide a path and opportunity for young construction professionals so they can become future leaders, Keck says.
There are meetings where construction veterans share years of industry knowledge and young builders are given opportunities to get involved with legislative advocacy and outreach to the local community.
“It’s really fun to get to know those folks within the industry and really see the power of when folks come together to accomplish a common goal, it’s really impactful when you see that take place,” Keck shares.
Since the recession, Arizona’s construction industry has lost a lot of talent over the years. And the industry faces old perceptions that years of technology innovations have changed.
Keck says the Young Builders Council is working to rebrand construction by showing that the industry isn’t just hammering nails, but it’s technologically advanced and highly collaborative.
The group reaches out to students within Arizona to get younger folks interested in the trades and that there’s a viable career path in construction, Keck says.
Eric Pach, immediate past chairman of the Young Builders Council and a commercial insurance broker at Minard-Ames Insurance, helped found the Arizona Builders Alliance group.
He helped create the group to get young construction professionals in the same room more often, so they could learn and collaborate.
The Young Builders Council was founded around the idea of, “what if you had some of the most ambitious, young construction people all in a room? What would you do? How would we influence Arizona construction in a positive way?” Pach asks.
They’ve influenced the industry through the council’s four pillars, growing to over 100 members, he says. The council has worked on reaching out to local universities and connecting newcomers to Arizona’s construction industry with a variety of resources.
Pach has had the opportunity to hear the effect of the council from the Arizona Builders Alliance board of directors.
“There are board members, lifetime board members and board members who have been involved in the ABA for decades, and they’ve never seen as much young involvement in the ABA since we started this group,” Pach says. The group was officially established in 2016.
The Young Builders Council also provides a place for its members to network by getting to know more people within the industry, says Jared Kredit, Young Builders Council vice chairman and executive vice president at K2 Electric.
The council is involved in the community by working to attract more folks to the construction industry, which is facing labor shortages, Kredit says.
Members in the council work to change the image of the industry by showing young professionals that high-wage jobs exist within the industry.
The council is, “helping people to understand (construction) really is a well-run, professional industry, (construction) is not just slogging it out there in the heat,” Kredit says.
The Young Builders Council is also focused on providing a variety of experiences for its members by hosting many events, says Brianna Verderame, marketing chair for the Young Builders Council and director of visual media at Small Giants.
Many young members aren’t in a place in their careers where they can leave the office early to go to a meeting, so the council addresses attendance challenges by hosting many events to give young professionals many opportunities to collaborate and gather, Verderame says.
The council also helps young, future leaders stay in touch with this changing industry by having opportunities to listen in on the latest trends from each segment of the construction industry.
“There are so many different pieces within one construction project, and I feel like the YBC has components from each of those,” Verderame says. “It’s really nice to build those relationships in each of those layers.”
How to join
Young construction professionals can join the Arizona Builders Alliance Young Builders Council by completing a nomination form online. Nominees must be from an ABA member company in good standing, under the age of 40 and pay annual dues of $250. Contact Erica Lange at [email protected] to learn more.