HACIA training and networking contribute to contractor’s success
Hacia training and networking was instrumental in the success of Chicago Xteriors, a landscape and hardscape contracting company owned by entrepreneur Xochitl Medina. Started in 2005, the firm specializes in commercial and residential contracting and landscaping projects and snow removal, employs 15 and brokers additional work to other contractors.
Medina credits two things for the company’s success: her marketing and media experience and HACIA training and networking available through the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association in the Chicago area.
Prior to starting her company, Medina worked in radio learning the marketing skills she was then able to use to help develop her husband’s lawn-care business and then to start and grow her own company. Though she understood the marketing side of the business, Medina had to learn to use software in the design of projects, how to read blueprints and how to estimate jobs – all of which she learned at HACIA training classes.
“I had to be able to scout for jobs, bid on them, develop estimates and design the projects,” she says. “More than anything I had to be ready to sell the benefits of using the company.”
Benefits of HACIA training and networking
Medina credits HACIA training and networking for the many opportunities she was able to access through her membership. Of particular benefit, she says, are the monthly social programs the association holds where start-up businesses can learn from other members.
“The ability to network with potential clients at HACIA’s monthly meetings was instrumental in helping me develop Chicago Xteriors,” says Medina. “The monthly meetings also provide an opportunity to find out about contracts that are being let and to learn of members who are retiring and want to sell their businesses.”
From the beginning, HACIA was instrumental in helping Medina with the application and certification of the company as a minority-owned business. The association also helps its members with financial assistance and small-business loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA) funding.
Because the association believes Hispanics must constantly obtain training and education to remain on the cutting edge of construction, HACIA offers bilingual training, professional development activities and a suite of member services to assist Hispanics Construction Business Owners in making their businesses successful and with developing powerful professional networks.
HACIA training and networking provides resources to enable Hispanic construction workers to obtain English language skills, occupational training and certifications that will help them climb the career ladder in the construction world. And through its Scholarship Foundation, the association assists young Hispanics in obtaining college degrees that will enable them to take on professional positions in the construction industry.
By combining her talents with the opportunities and training she was able to access through HACIA, Medina has grown her company and can now offer assistance to other HACIA members.