Sophia Kircher’s Can-Do Attitude Makes Her an Asset in the Field and the Office
Sophia Kircher can be forgiven if Georgia summers were a bit of a shock to her. Having moved from the more moderate climate of Spokane, Washington, she recalls a particularly scorching day when she was a newly hired flagger with Marietta’s Baldwin Paving Company.
“It was so hot, and then it started pouring down rain,” she says with a laugh. “I took my hat off and started dancing. People were probably thinking, ‘This lady is crazy.’”
VIDEO: Sophia Kircher discusses her experience with the Construction Ready at Build Cobb Program. Meet more Construction Ready graduates on our YouTube channel.
Truth is, Sophia is extremely smart, and plenty tough to stand up to the heat and anything else life throws at her.
She relocated to metro Atlanta in August 2016 to be close to her father, who lives in Acworth. With some college coursework in inspection technology on her resume, she was intrigued to learn about Construction Ready at Build Cobb.
“I saw a flier and decided to check it out,” she says. “The way I saw it was, ‘If I can obtain more training to expand my range of skills and knowledge, then I should take advantage of that.’”
Sophia graduated with Group 10 in June 2017 and was hired right away by Baldwin Paving. Within three weeks, she had worked her way up to an office position as company safety administrator. She still logs time on work crews as well, flagging on Saturdays when weather and time allow.
“I’ve always had the attitude of, ‘Show up and be ready to work,’” Sophia says. “I think that has helped me at this company. I like the outdoor work because I like to connect with others and let them see that I’m not just a prissy person sitting behind a desk with no knowledge of what’s going on out there. You have to have a certain attitude when you’re out in the field. You need to know what you’re doing and you need to not be afraid to ask if you’re not sure what someone is saying.”
Sophia’s combination of practical and people skills has made her an effective liaison between the field and office environments. In the latter, she does everything from rigorously maintaining files to decorating for holidays to encouraging new hires, including those who don’t claim English as their native language, as she’s fluent in Spanish.
She’s direct and honest, which also helps in her line of work. “I had one girl come in who was very dainty,” Sophia recalls. “The hair, the high heels. I try not to judge, but I said, ‘You know this is a job in grading, right? This is not what you’ll be wearing out there.’ I saw her a week or so later and she was in her work clothes and said, ‘Oh, I love it. I’ve learned so much.’ And I have noticed, the foremen out there, they don’t necessarily baby you, but if you’re eager and willing to learn, they’re there for you and they will help you along. We have quite a few women out there.”
Besides being a springboard to a new job in a new town, Construction Ready also helped Sophia bring order to her personal finances.
“They had an advisor come in and talk about things like setting goals and how to save,” she says. “That has helped me a lot. I was able to take a good look at my spending habits and start saving for emergencies. Now I’ve been able to provide my children with Christmas gifts without stressing, and still put money away on a monthly basis. With this job and the way everything has worked out, I feel like I have landed in a really good spot.”