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  • Daenya McDonald, CCXP

Mentor Spotlight: Jose Mancia, Assistant Project Manager.

Updated: Jan 14

"If you think you're too small to make a difference, you've never spent a night with a mosquito." - African Proverb

The team at R-PCI Construction builds more than buildings. We build futures. January is National Mentoring Month and we're featuring a few of our employees who give back to the communities where they live, play and work.

Describe your mentorship opportunity.

I coach and mentor youths in a basketball program at a local high school. I volunteer two to three nights each week after working Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

What inspired you to mentor?

I love sports and the teamwork environment that builds upon each other’s success. As I've matured, I wanted to share my expertise in the areas where I'm passionate. Basketball isn't just a game. Sports teaches kids about life and exposes them to teamwork and leadership skills. Working towards a common goal helps children develop communication and problem-solving abilities that will benefit them both on and off the field. To be honest, it just feels good to share my knowledge, play a game I love and contribute what I've learned over the years. No-one is ever too small to make a difference.

What's the biggest challenge for you as a mentor?

The biggest challenge is getting them to absorb the lessons inside and outside of the game. They sometimes assume that coaching is only about the game - but I view all my kids as student athletes. Students is the key word - they're students first. I hold high standards of personal excellence for my kids and expect them to maintain good grades. School is the top priority.

What do you find most rewarding about being a mentor?

Overcoming obstacles and seeing these kids mature into successes. Giving back pays itself tenfold when you hear that one of your students is successful. I've got one student that made it to the NBA! And when they come back and say thank-you, knowing that I made a difference is priceless.

What skills do you need to have to be a good mentor?

Be open-minded. There's more than one way to accomplish a goal. Be patient. Listen - you need to hear and understand their needs to genuinely support them.

What's your advice for anyone curious to start out in the construction industry?

There are great career opportunities in construction, even if you don't have any experience to start. In other jobs, I think you reach a ceiling for how far you can progress, but in construction, there are lots of different paths for advancement. In the office consider starting out as a project coordinator or bid administrator. These support roles help you learn how your office approaches coordinating the details of a project or bidding. The next level would be an assistant project manager to project manager, managing the life cycle of multiple projects. Field staff can get a foot in the door by apprenticing for a skilled laborer, or even getting out on the site as a flag person to learn the roles and processes. The future of construction remains bright for interested candidates looking to build a successful future with lots of opportunity to explore which path would be right for you.

Mentoring is a critical component in the lives of young people - a resource for guiding them to make the decisions and connections that lead to growth and opportunity. You can help expand the mentoring movement by volunteering today. Learn more at www.bit.ly/BeAMentorIRL

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