Matt Sieber’s career path started out smoothly, but when an injury disrupted his plans, he was forced to look for other options. After completing two construction courses with Goodwill – free of charge – he’s back on his feet and enjoying every minute of his new career.
Matt joined the National Guard straight out of high school and served for three years before sustaining a back injury and being discharged. He attended school part-time, off and on, while also attending to his medical issues with multiple surgeries. “I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. A friend of mine, we were working together at a restaurant, did the construction training through Goodwill and he actually got hired with Shea Homes three years ago, almost four, right after finishing the program,” he said. “I started thinking that I would be interested in project management more so than engineering. I hadn’t really considered construction because you can do project management in all kinds of things.”
Reggie, Matt’s coworker and friend, gave Matt’s resume to Shea Homes several times, but it wasn’t reaching the top of the pile due to a lack of professional construction experience. “I was having a hard time [finding a job in the construction industry], so I decided I would look into the Goodwill classes.”
Matt was working a ‘nine-to-five’ for a manufacturing company, at the time, and was grateful to discover the courses he was interested in were offered in the evening. “They had the Goodwill classes available at night, so I was able to start right then,” he said. Through Construction Basics and Intermediate Carpentry, Matt earned two certificates – one from the National Center for Construction Education and Research, and for OSHA 10: Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Matt says the most beneficial part of his experience with Goodwill was working with Verona Hendrix, his Career Navigator. “She looked at my resume, listened to what I was looking for and worked hard to find something for me,” Matt said. “I still talk to her a good amount. She’ll ask for some pictures, or want us to come to classes, and we definitely try to do as much as we can for her because she did the same thing for us.” All Goodwill participants gain access to our special team of Career Navigators, who work tirelessly to help Goodwill University graduates navigate their job search. Career Navigators, paired with the Employer Engagement team, help connect graduates to hiring employers and aim to make the perfect match.
Goodwill “works with all these construction companies that know it’s a place where they can look for people,” Matt said. “I ended up getting a job doing commercial renovations straight out of the class as a superintendent/project manager. I was doing that for a while, for about a year.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, a lot of the commercial contracts his company had secured fell through. As a result, “I ended up getting laid off from that job,” he said.
Through the summer of 2020, Matt worked for a smaller company doing special projects. Toward the end of the summer, Shea Homes was hiring – looking for assistant superintendents. Together, the certifications Matt earned from Goodwill, plus his year of professional experience prepared Matt for the next step. This time, his resume rose to the top.
In September 2020, Matt was hired as an assistant superintendent for Shea Homes. In this role, Matt and his boss are responsible for a neighborhood in Fort Mill, where they supervise day-to-day operations, schedule work crews, conduct quality control of the worksite, check work against the construction plans and act as liaisons between their construction team and the homeowners.
“It worked out kind of perfectly,” Matt said. “It’s exactly what I want to do!” He’s looking forward to seizing opportunities within the company and advancing his career.
“Without Goodwill, I never would have had this opportunity,” he said.
Over the past few years, Matt has found the confidence, industry-recognized training and passion to launch a successful career in new residential construction. You can find the same – learn more about our construction training courses at goodwillsp.org/train.