The business that Eric Vogell has grown into a large Maine contracting company started out as a summer job for he and some friends. While students at UMaine, Vogell and two of his friends decided that painting houses would be a fun and lucrative job for the summer between their junior and senior years. The three not only discovered that it would make a good summer job for themselves, but could also become a viable business.
By the end of the first summer, they were already hiring employees. They did market research, delved into the industry, and decided the best move was to bridge the gap between the residential and commercial industries – and ACE Corporation was born.
Now, Vogell is CEO of the company. But he says that rise is not all that unusual in the construction industry. In fact, the opportunity for growth in your career is one of the major appeals of the industry.
“The breadth of jobs in the construction industry is huge,” says Vogell. “You can basically do anything you want.”
Vogell’s own experience shows that, but so does the experience of their employees. His first hire came in 2004 — a painter in an entry-level position. From there, he was promoted to foreman, and has now worked his way up to Vice President at ACE.
“In the construction industry, just because you come in as a laborer doesn’t mean that in three or four years you won’t be a high level employee,” explains Vogell.
The opportunity for lateral movement within a company gives you the chance to explore options in everything from project management to accounting to human resources on top of the trades work involved in construction projects.
Add to that, Vogell says, you don’t necessarily need a major degree – and the hefty student loans that often come with it – to earn a good living with benefits and plenty of advancement opportunities.
And, with Maine’s workforce shortage, there are plenty of jobs in the construction industry to go around.
For people who want a career that provides opportunity, a good living, and interesting work, Vogell says you just can’t beat construction.
“Every single day there’s a challenge, and it’s a good challenge. There’s never a dull moment. Construction is a contact sport in a good way.”
Want to Learn More About a Career in Construction?
Ask your teacher or guidance counselor about attending the Craft Championships! Held once a year, the Craft Championships is a free field trip and hands-on opportunity to try out construction trades.
Email Hope Perkins to learn more.