Now an Assistant Project Manager, Jake Good joined the BLOCK Builders team fresh out-of-college and has very quickly developed into a vital contributor.
“I just always had the mentality that the faster I learned, the more I would be able to help.” That quote from Assistant Project Manager Jake Good could just about sum up his time as a member of the BLOCK team thus far. Today, Jake is a crucial member of project teams on some of the most intricate endeavors BLOCK is involved with, but it wasn’t too long ago where Jake was simply a young man starting his first job after college with minimal construction experience. It was that hunger to learn and to help that has helped Jake grow.
AN EDUCATION ON-THE-JOB
Jake joined BLOCK in the fall of 2021 as an Assistant Estimator. At the time, Jake had a lukewarm feeling about the role as he was hoping to get involved with project management as soon as possible. Afterall, his favorite college courses had been on project management and as a former college athlete, he thrived on the idea of teamwork. “Looking back at it, starting out as an estimator was the best thing I could have done,” Jake would tell you today.
Firstly, being so entrenched in the estimation process for many of BLOCK’s proposals, Jake gained a full grasp on the financial aspect of projects and the amount of details that are considered in the planning process. Secondly, since Jake was involved with so many different projects, he was constantly interacting with his BLOCK colleagues that had spent years in the industry and could impart their knowledge to him. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, Jake had the opportunity to spend many hours communicating with BLOCK’s trade partners, building a rapport with them, going over drawings and getting to ask questions. “I am always looking for an opportunity to ask questions of our trade partners, they’re the experts and I knew there was a lot to learn about the work they do. When I was estimating, they were extremely kind and willing to go over each project detail with me.”
A TRANSITION TO PROJECT WORK
Almost a year into his career in construction, all those questions asked and lessons learned had helped to make Jake a more prepared and capable professional ready to take the next step. BLOCK President Dan Connolly encouraged Jake to diversify his workload and start performing more APM tasks as the company onboarded more estimators. Like he had as an Assistant Estimator, Jake dove into his new responsibilities and tried to learn as much as he could from his colleagues in between RFIs, submittals and meeting prep. Eventually, Jake started to work on more and more projects with Art Cardinal, an SPM with more than 30 years of industry experience. “I was fortunate that I was able to sit right next to Art and learn from the way he handled his responsibilities,” Jake recalls. “It’s safe to say I asked him a lot of questions too,” he says with a laugh.
A few months later, Jake was moved into an APM role on a full-time basis. As a result, his responsibilities are different from his first days at BLOCK. Today, he manages material procurement for major projects as well as traditional duties assigned to an APM. He’s also become well-versed in change management and continues to use his experience estimating to help him keep track of project financials. His technological skills have made him the go-to person when anyone in the office has issues with project management software. “That’s what’s great about working at BLOCK. We all have different strengths and we’re willing to support each in pursuit of a common goal, which is great outcomes for our clients. I’m happy to have helped some of my fellow team members out with all they’ve taught me along the way.”
There’s no doubt by looking at his story that Jake Good’s mentality and inquisitive nature has helped him learn and grow as a young professional in the construction industry. Among many lessons learned, however, Jake holds some ideas above the rest:
- The little things matter! It’s important to be incredibly detail oriented.
- Projects only go as far as the trades take them, developing great relationships and communication with partners is crucial.
- Organization helps keep everyone on the same page and a project moving.
- Clients deserve open, transparent communication at each step of the process.
It’s these same ideas that Jake and his BLOCK colleagues strive to exhibit in their work every day.