AustinJonesAs a graduate of Rice University, Austin’s first job post undergraduate studies was the AmeriCorps Public Allies program in California. For ten months, he served as an apprentice doing community work as a youth coordinator. Then, he decided to move back to Houston. He found himself drawn to his passion and decided in 2010 to work in the field of financial service. He went full throttle into the business. “I enjoyed the world of finance and wanted to immerse myself in it.” By working for a Fortune 100 financial services company, he obtained his insurance license and became an inside sales broker. A year later, he got hired within the senior insurance market.  In 2012, he began working independently to offer senior health plans to retirees. Austin soon discovered a way to fuse his insurance brokerage background with construction. He moved forward to acquire his claims adjusters’ license in 2017.  One afternoon, Austin was having a conversation with a friend about the construction industry and how the NCCER program was beneficial across industry lines. “During my eight years with in the insurance business, I enjoyed the work, but was ready to move into an exciting new industry.” He then received a referral from a friend to check out the NCCER Core Curriculum training through the Houston Area Urban League (HAUL). “The opportunity to try something new led me to explore this option and I saw the training as a way to enhance my understanding as a claims adjuster. I soon realized that I liked the opportunities that were available to me in the field of construction. Plus, in the field of claims, a lot of claims adjusters have a construction background. I felt NCCER credentials would be of added value.” Austin interviewed and joined the Fort Bend two-week NCCER cohort. “I was exposed to OSHA training, how to use tools, blueprints, construction math and financial literacy. I soon realized that there was more to the field than what I was aware of.” After the training, he went back into doing sales, but threw caution to the wind by stepping out of his comfort zone to give construction try. He decided to take a community workshop, Million Dollar Blueprint program, offered by D. Samuels and Associates (DSA). “We had to do a PowerPoint presentation and write a mission statement to discuss how our personal goals and skill aligned with DSA.” Austin began applying to various positions but found out during his submission process that DSA was hiring. “The following Monday, I sent my resume to the owner and I also showed up to his office with a hard copy where he interviewed me on the spot. Two weeks later, I got a call that I was offered the job and all of my hard work paid off.” As soon as he learned that he was hired he immediately called HAUL. “I was really excited about the series of opportunities that I experienced. The NCCER curriculum gave me 10 hours of OSHA training and had I not had the certification, I would not have qualified for the opportunity. Also, I would like to own my own business. I am looking forward to the start of an awesome career in construction.” Austin’s word of advice to clients: “Make sure that the company you are interested in aligns with your values because every day you want to wake up doing the right thing, at the right time, for the right reasons, with the overall intention of adding value to those you build reciprocal relationships with.”

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About NCCER

NCCER develops standardized construction and maintenance curricula and assessments with portable credentials. These credentials are tracked through NCCER’s National Registry which allows organizations and companies to track the qualifications of their craft professionals and/or check the qualifications of possible new hires. The National Registry also assists craft professionals by maintaining their records in a secure database.