It’s not uncommon for people in the armed forces to come to a crossroads when their military duty comes to an end. They might sign up for another tour of duty, pursue educational options or consider obvious careers where their talents can easily convey, like defense contracting or law enforcement.
And sometimes, at just the right time, Kitchell comes knocking with opportunities to pursue a lucrative career with a secure future of employee ownership.
Kitchell has many Veterans within our offices and jobsites, in wide-ranging roles from safety to facilities management. And while they don’t relish being in the spotlight or speaking about their military past, they are happy to explain why their experience translates well to a career at Kitchell.
“Kitchell has given me an opportunity to work on a lot of projects and with many different groups of people, allowing me to use many of the skills I learned in the Marines,” said Kitchell Facilities Management Supervisor Geody Domingo.
Geody was a Squad Leader, primarily trained to use high-power assault weapons, shoulder-fired rockets and demolitions/breaching. While those skills don’t seem to be a natural fit for the building industry, Geody’s dedication to teamwork, attention to detail, adaptability, critical thinking and awareness of surroundings are all ideal for what he does every day. He knows how to make the best use of available equipment/resources to accomplish tasks, which is completely applicable to what he does every day in managing equipment, maintenance and asset/lifecycle management.
Scheduling Engineer Sam Curry believes his path to Kitchell was blind luck. He left for boot camp after graduating from high school, spending eight years in the infantry with four deployments before being medically retired in 2015.
“I was in my last semester at ASU, studying supply chain management,” Sam said. “I explored countless career paths when an individual who was my recruiter in the Marine Corps reached out to me via LinkedIn and asked if I was interested in a career at Kitchell, and the rest is history.”
Sam echoes many of Geody’s comments about why a career in the building industry is a great fit for Veterans, including operational planning, personal skills and overall mindset.
“I didn’t have technical skills that translated, except maybe digging trenches,” said Sam. “I can dig a trench like it’s nobody’s business. But what really helps are the personal skills, especially when external factors beyond our control begin to take effect.”
Safety Coordinator Drew Timon was working for a consultant that specialized in workplace injuries and response, assigned to a light rail project in San Diego. He was the on-site medic for two years, which was a natural transition from his duty as a combat medic for the 1st Calvary Division of the Army.
“I definitely had a ‘take care of others’ mentality, which is what I’ve been doing for 15 years,” Drew said. “I know how to respond under pressure, handle emergency situations and am attentive to detail. I’m looking at all aspects of the job, safety-wise. In the military you also learn to work with very diverse groups – there are people from all walks of life and backgrounds – the military prepares you for that.”
Drew appreciates Kitchell’s ongoing investment in his professional development, especially after feeling like he had hit a ceiling in what he could do in terms of emergency medical response.
“Kitchell has a great support system,” he said. “We put a lot into training. In just a year since I started, I’ve already attended several OSHA trainings, have an appointment to take a certification exam and have had to pay nothing out-of-pocket. I’m permitted time in my schedule to train and work on my own development to improve the company. Kitchell puts its money where its mouth is.”
We thank our Kitchell Veterans for bringing their love of country and dedication to service to Kitchell. Happy Veterans Day.
Are you a Veteran, or know of a Veteran who is interested in a career in the building industry? Look at our open positions.