04 Oct Team Spotlight
We are fortunate to employ some of the best people in the industry here at Eckardt and today we want to highlight our own Cara Lea Black. Cara Lea has been with Eckardt for two and a half years as an intern and assistant project manager while working towards her BS in Construction Management from Kennesaw State University. She was recently selected (for the second year in a row!) as the recipient of the Atlanta Electrical Contractors Association Scholarship. Cara Lea is a model of hard work and dedication. She first joined Eckardt as a dual-enrolled high school student working her way through college. Over the last four years she has developed into a vital part of our team and the construction program at KSU.
We spoke with her recently to learn more about her background and her future plans.
What made you interested in construction?
“I shadowed my uncle’s best friend who is a superintendent in heavy construction and witnessed his team construct a bridge in under a month. From that point forward, I knew I wanted to work in construction so that I could contribute to society in a way that will last for decades. I want my life’s work to be meaningful but I also want to be challenged, as well as have the ability to turn around and help others be successful. Out of all the trades I considered, construction was the only one that dealt with something as critical to society as its infrastructure, the only option that had the lowest number of women than any other field, and the only option which would provide with me the means to be able to train and help others grow both in the field and out. My job impacts not only me, my family, and my employer, but also every single person in the world in a way that not many people realize. It just so happens that I’m also really good at what I do and I really enjoy everything that it entails.”
You are very involved with the student NECA chapter at KSU. What started your interest in NECA?
“I was invited to speak at the industry advisory board meeting where I was seated next to Chuck Little. Chuck invited me to the career fair that led to my internship with Eckardt, and he also got me interested in the NECA Student Chapter, which was struggling at the time due to the merger of Kennesaw State University and Southern Polytechnic State University. I immediately volunteered on the team and was the only student who went to San Francisco (for the annual convention) with the former President. My experience on that trip proved my worthiness as the next President and so the torch was passed to me. NECA has given me the ability to branch out with others in this field, experience new leadership building classes and situations, help other students interested in this field, and it has shown me that I have so much to learn to be successful as well as that I am eager and ready to learn as much as I can.”
What are your future goals? “My plan is to become a project manager and from there grow into a senior project manager or even possibly head of a department of my company. I hope to stay with a company like Eckardt to help them grow and reach their goals while also reaching my own. At some point I also want to get involved in helping KSU grow as a school and recruit other students like me as a way to give back to the school as well as the industry.”
When will you finish KSU? “I am on track to graduate with a Bachelor’s of Science in Construction Management from Kennesaw State University this December 2017 after my 21st birthday.”
Cara Lea is a huge asset to our team at Eckardt Electric. As you can see, she is smart, tenacious, and driven to succeed. All of us at Eckardt are thankful for her contributions to our company and the industry.