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From a young age, I remember tagging along to my father’s construction sites during school breaks. My brother and I would don hard hats and help pick up trash at the site. As we got older, we learned how to paint and weld. But the best part was getting to observe our dad at work. He mainly worked with metal on projects like fences and barndominiums. One project that I was especially in awe of was a gate made to look like two 8-foot spurs that went down to a ranch in South Texas. 

While construction was always part of my life, it wasn’t always clear that I would follow in my dad’s footsteps. I studied marketing and business administration at Schreiner University, where I also played softball, a childhood dream of mine. Between my studies and softball, I didn’t have a lot of time for other activities. So when I graduated, I wasn’t sure what path my career would take. 

Being familiar with the world of construction, I decided to apply for an entry-level position at Joeris General Contractors, a commercial construction company based in San Antonio. I was hired as the closeout administrator and tasked with creating a closeout process that helps to streamline the completion of a project. 

I am happy to say, we achieved that goal and many more during my time in the position. Working with some incredible project teams as the closeout administrator sparked my interest in project management and field supervision. After approaching my manager about making the move to a construction operations position, we sat down with our director of operations to plan my transition. The biggest part of that was learning more about the technical side of what we do. I enrolled in online courses that helped me better understand construction plans and the software that we use. I was grateful for the support that I had in that learning process.

Kasey Tieken walks through the exterior portion of a construction project on the North East side of the city ensuring safety measures and project details are being met.
Kasey Tieken walks through the exterior portion of a construction project on the Northeast Side of the city, ensuring safety measures and project details are being met. Credit: Bria Woods / San Antonio Report

When I was assigned my first official project as a project engineer, I thought it was a joke. The project was a Victorian playhouse, which was nowhere near the scale of the work I was used to seeing on schools, hospitals, and high rises. What I didn’t realize was how often we do philanthropic work for our surrounding communities. Joeris was donating this playhouse to the Catholic Charity’s St. Nicholas Ball as an auction item. Learning that made me excited to take on the playhouse as my first project.

In my role, I was responsible for overseeing the entire process, from ordering the materials, to monitoring the construction by our team of carpenters, to coordinating the delivery of the playhouse.

This playhouse was not only beautiful but also brought out the purpose of why we do what we do here at Joeris. Our mission of “transforming people and places” definitely came through in that project. My heart was beyond full when I heard the highest bidder of the playhouse donated it to the children at St. PJ’s Home here in San Antonio. I was very fortunate to help with the delivery of the playhouse, and seeing the staff members full of excitement and the kids watching from the windows with smiles from ear to ear reminded me why I love my job so much. 

Kasey Tieken (center), Project Engineer for Joeris general Contractors, discusses details of a new construction project with Superintendent John Beck (left) and Foreman, Bettina Garcia (right).
Kasey Tieken (center), project engineer for Joeris General Contractors, discusses details of a new construction project with superintendent John Beck (left) and Foreman Bettina Garcia (right). Credit: Bria Woods / San Antonio Report

I’m currently working on a church remodel. Though it’s a small project, it’s a meaningful one, too. It’s been great getting to know the members of the church and seeing their excitement at our progress. Being able to build a community space like this and getting to know the people who will use it is so rewarding.

My next project on a new school in Karnes City will be much bigger, and I know starting with small projects has prepared me to take on the larger ones. I hope to continue learning and growing at Joeris, while being an instrumental part of building spaces that help people and communities thrive.

Kasey Tieken is a project engineer at Joeris General Contractors.