Recent TCC graduate Justin Chavez credits the College with helping him land at Potere Construction as an estimator and project engineer. Before coming to TCC, Chavez worked as a commercial glazer, installing windows and frames for buildings. As he got to know his coworkers, he was encouraged by a superintendent and crew member to “learn more about the industry to further advance myself in the field,” he said.
Chavez researched schools in the DFW area and was surprised to find the Construction Management Technology program offered by TCC. It was based at TCC South, a 10-minute drive from his home. He reached out to instructor James Howard and enrolled for the 2021 spring semester.
“My experience with the program has truly been fantastic,” said Chavez. “The instructors are great and have experience from their time in the industry. They can use real-world situations they have run into to help teach us about obstacles we may run into one day.”
His professor, Keith Thomas, suggested companies who would look for students coming out of school. Chavez said his friend, Victor, was hired by a company as an assistant superintendent and has worked on schools being built throughout the Metroplex.
Chavez credits the Construction Management Technology program with helping him network and connect with others who are wanting to grow in the construction industry. “If I ever need to contact someone about residential houses being built, I have business connections I made with students in my class who are now building custom homes, to connections with those building apartments.”
During the summer of 2022, Chavez was introduced to Potere Construction by Howard, after he mentioned they were looking for students. Although he was already working with a general contractor, he decided to reach out to Potere to learn their company mission and if they thought he would be a good fit for their team.
Potere Construction is a 27-year-old construction company founded by Sharon Douglas, the CEO. According to Area Manager Carlos House, the company “grew from providing construction final cleaning services and general contractor to now, a turnkey concrete contractor also providing construction management staffing on various joint venture projects that total millions of dollars.”
TCC Supplier Diversity Manager Andre McEwing said, “Potere is a joint venture partner with Hunt Construction and Tom S. Byrne building the TCC Southeast campus project. Industry joined with higher education to create direct career pathways for TCC students. We continue to engage industry representatives with TCC departments such as Career Counseling and Purchasing as well as faculty and staff to accurately understand specific career opportunities that align with industry workforce gaps.”
Dan Lufkin, president of TCC South, agrees. “Through our construction programs, students gain hands-on construction experience and learn industry specific knowledge that makes them work ready on day one because of our excellent faculty and incredible industry partnerships. We hope to continue to build partnerships and programs in support of our students and community.”
House says in the DFW area, demand for construction management staff exceeds supply. “After several failed attempts to hire experienced staff, we opted to focus on hiring qualified college graduates and interns,” he said. They also researched the TCC apprenticeship programs. “TCC understood our objectives and welcomed our endeavors. They continue to guide us through the processes with an end goal of both entities being successful.”
Potere Construction reached out to TCC’s administration to request that their company be mentioned to upcoming graduates. Chavez was among the candidates who met with company representatives. House stayed in contact with Chavez during his last semester at TCC and asked him to join their company as an estimator and project engineer for a 2,800-space garage project in downtown Fort Worth.
Chavez joined Potere Construction on Dec. 12. Citing his qualities of fortitude and determination, House said, “These qualities cannot be taught but are paramount to succeed in the construction management industry.”
Thomas agrees. “Justin is a dedicated and focused student that came into the Construction Management program to further hone his estimating and scheduling skills. As Justin completed his practicum experience this semester, he looked forward to joining a progressive industry partner like Potere Construction and will be a quality asset to their organization.”
House believes the construction industry here in DFW (especially Fort Worth) will continue to thrive for years to come. He says Potere’s management team is committed to sharing their wealth of knowledge and many years of experience with the up and coming generation of construction managers.
Chavez heartily recommends TCC’s Construction Management Program and believes industry career prospects are “endless.” He said, “There are countless jobs out there and the industry is always growing and will need individuals to fill these jobs.”