I grew up on a farm in Alabama.
I grew up on a farm in Alabama; my dad, a cattle rancher. He was a tough boss – think John Dutton from Yellowstone, generally an overworked entrepreneur in a cowboy hat. After school and on the weekends, I was building fences, cutting hay, feeding steers and chickens, cleaning out manure, and ledgering mortality rates (if you know, you know). Of the 27 kids in my high school class, most went into the trades or military; I was the only one to travel more than 50 miles away for college.
Over several years, I observed a common problem: there weren’t enough builders in any part of the economy.
After business school, a focus on technology led to San Francisco, first consulting for companies at McKinsey and then leading business development for future projects at Uber. Over several years, I observed a common problem: there weren’t enough builders in any part of the economy. Electric vehicle infrastructure? Not enough electricians to meet the need. Drone delivery? Not enough people to service them.
It led me to reflect on my time as an educator with Teach for America in Birmingham. Many of my former students were working gig jobs, unable to find a career because, while talent is evenly distributed, opportunity is not. What if these students had known there were options aside from college? What if these students had known the availability and importance of “builder” careers?
What if these students had known the availability and importance of “builder” careers?
Our first idea didn’t work. But hundreds of conversations later, it came together.
I had long wanted to make a bigger impact in serving this type of mission, and in March of 2021 I had an opportunity to start pursuing it as an entrepreneur myself.
Our first idea didn’t work. But hundreds of conversations later, it came together. Millions of Americans are in dead end jobs, looking for a way to create a stable career. At the same time, employers are in need of millions of skilled workers to do things like repair machinery, install new technology and build critical infrastructure. What if they could help each other?
UpSmith unlocks opportunities for individuals to create high pay, and high purpose careers in a way that also solves productivity problems for employers. And it all starts with upskilling a new generation of builders.
It all starts with upskilling a new generation of builders.
Thank you to those who share our belief in people and are eager to join the mission.