Employee Spotlight | James Knipe

Employee Spotlight | James Knipe

From Drafting Contractor to Preconstruction Engineer

James Knipe’s Career Journey with KGa

In the fall of 2016, KGa Preconstruction Engineer James Knipe took a full-time position with KGa as a Draftsman. Since joining the company as a full-time employee, James has continued to grow his skillset and is now a Preconstruction Engineer. Here is his story.

In October of 2016, James officially joined KGa as a Draftsman. Although he has only been an official employee of KGa for the past three years, James has been a part of the KGa family for more than six. Prior to taking on a full-time role with KGa, James spent three years as a self-employed drafting contractor for KGa. As KGa continued to grow, the need for a full-time Draftsman became greater so James joined the team.

When asked how he got his start in the construction field he replied, “my father worked in excavation and home construction, so I grew up around tradesmen” he continues, “I went to college for engineering and started my career in the glass industry in 2005. This niche sector of the construction world has been good for me and my family.” Now a Precontruction Engineer, James is responsible for “reviewing newly awarded projects, procuring material quotes to buy out the projects and assembling submittals for the new client’s review and approval.” He shares that the Preconstruction Department’s “goal is to hand the Project Manager an organized, bought out package that they can hit the ground running with.” Although it can present its challenges like keeping up with tight schedules, “and keeping track of all of the moving parts to completion;” James shares he loves “working out challenging design issues and [his] favorite days are the ones spent 3D modeling a system to expose the potential problems that need to be resolved.”

When asked what career advice he would give to a high school student struggling between pursuing a typical college degree or pursuing a career in the skilled trades he shares, “I would say take a year to get exposure to a trade that interests you rather than go straight to the college path.” The product of a tradesman and dedicating his professional life to the skilled trades, James continues “learn as much as you can and decide from there what path to take. College will still be there in a year if you want to go that route, but you’ll likely find the earning potential and demand for skilled workers in the trades is a much better option.” Thank you for sharing your story James!

Kensington Glass Arts, Inc. is always on the lookout for motivated individuals who want to build a future within the commercial glazing or glass fabrication trade. We have employees who began as part-time seam & wash technicians and are now running the entire fabrication department (you can check out Eddie’s story here.)! These employees are a testament to the career paths offered by starting your career at KGa. KGa’s motto is “The Future of Glass” and for good reason, we continue to push the envelope and make the impossible, possible. If you are ready to make the leap, please visit, http://bit.ly/2JInJkS to see a full list of open positions and get ready to Be Part of the Future of Glass