AECOM's Isabella discusses the changing face of the construction industry and what young people need to do to succeed


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AECOMs Isabella says new technologies change and influence

AECOM's Isabella says new technologies change and influence

According to AECOM, the construction industry coming across problems when it comes to recruiting new people. The issue is not just who will take the baton from the retiring generation, but how this knowledge will be passed down from this highly skilled group to those rising in the industry today. AECOM Tishman’s Isabella Franks discussed her thoughts and perspectives on this industry wide concern. 

A changing generation

Isabella believes the construction industry is not selling itself well. "Construction is competing for talent from a younger generation who are seeking fulfilling, innovative, and, often, flexible work environments," says Isabella. "A career in construction definitely satisfies all these elements but other industries do a better job of promoting themselves in our tech-driven, digital world."

"Even in my ten years on the job, I’ve seen a huge change," adds Isabella. She believes one reason for this change is the shifting priorities and mindsets of the younger generation.

A focus on collaboration

However, even if the priorities of the younger generation have changed, the core values and skills of the construction industry haven't. One of the most important parts of Isabella's job is to assist engagement and partnership and an important skill is to bring out the best in each project stakeholder.

"It’s also invaluable for those just starting their careers to realize that they’re going to be working with people from different backgrounds. It’s one of the best parts of the job, actually. I love that I can go onsite and get totally different perspectives on a complex issue. A construction site is a great mix of people with varying views of the world and those that succeed do so because they’re fantastic practical thinkers," comments Isabella.

Isabella agrees that AECOM is unique because of its combination of skills-based knowledge, technological expertise, and reputation in the industry. "I do think that’s something we do really well because we have a team with great experience and work with the best subcontractors thanks to our construction legacy. Everyone’s learning from each other," says Isabella.

The advent of new technologies

Something else that Isabella finds interesting right now is the advent of new technologies which are changing and influencing the way we build. "We’re on the precipice of a new wave of innovation and we don’t quite know where it will lead us," says Isabella.

Advice for the next generation

And Isabella's advice for young people on how to be successful in the construction industry? Ask questions, no matter your level of skill or expertise. "You can never stop being interested in how and why things are built, because at the end of the day, that’s our reward," adds Isabella. "You can actually see what you’ve created and it’s a legacy you’ll always carry with you. That’s a rare, tangible prize that can only be found in construction."

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