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Groundbreaker Profile

Cheyenne Grubbs — Paving the Way for Technology in Construction

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Cheyenne Grubbs Carries on Her Family’s Trade in a Brand New Way

Cheyenne Grubbs, Office Engineer at RailWorks, has continuously acted as a catalyst for change in an otherwise “traditional” industry. Grubbs has been embracing technology and leveraging its power to streamline operations in the construction industry since early on in her career. 

I absolutely think that technology improves the lives of people in construction. You save a lot of time; you save a lot of energy; you save a lot of effort.

Cheyenne Grubbs

Office Engineer

We spoke with Grubbs to discuss her motivations for joining the industry, why she chose to take a new path within it, and how, in doing so, she has impacted not only RailWorks, but construction as a whole.

Family Ties: Choosing Construction

Born into a family deeply rooted in construction, Grubbs was exposed to the industry from an early age. She told us, “My dad and both of his parents were in construction. My grandmother retired from the Carpenter's Union just a few years ago. My grandfather was a quality manager, and my dad is currently a quality manager. I've traveled with them all over the country my whole life. I've seen kind of the backstory for the whole thing.”

For Grubbs, construction is a family business — even her brothers and cousins work in the industry. And, although she was initially hesitant to follow in her family's footsteps, she eventually found herself drawn to the industry's unique opportunities, including the chance to explore new locations. Her desire for personal growth and, soon after that, her recognition of the untapped potential of technology in construction, were the motivations behind her journey. 

railway station

Diversity and Inclusion: Finding a Place in Construction 

Beyond her passion for technology, Grubbs cherishes the people and the diversity within the construction industry. She remarked, “My favorite part of my job, my company, and this industry, in general, is the people — the diversity. You always meet new people. There are new faces every day, and no two people are alike. It's just a great culture to work in.” Grubbs’ passion for the people in construction was evident as she expanded on this, expressing, “What I like about heavy civil is that no matter where you go, you're going to run across people with the same language as you. You can always communicate with them. And they are always easy to get along with. They just want to do their job. I've never been in another industry where people just want to do their job.” That’s exactly why Grubbs feels strongly about the relevance of fostering diverse, equitable workplaces. She noted, “Diversity, inclusion and belonging is essential because we want everyone to feel welcome. We want you to come to work happy, and we want you to leave just as happy as when you came in.“

A New Generation: From Tradition to Tech

Being part of a generation that grew up with technology, unlike her father and grandparents, Grubbs understands the inherent advantages it brings to the construction industry. She explained, “My generation and anyone younger grew up with technology. It's just second nature, and the ability to use that at work, and the more we can bring that into the construction industry, the easier everything will be.”

Grubbs' introduction to technology in construction came during her time at a previous company, where she first had the opportunity to work with Procore’s construction management software. Recognizing its immense possibilities, she took it upon herself to become proficient in the platform, earning multiple certifications through Procore’s free training courses. Her expertise caught the attention of RailWorks, who recruited her due to her Procore credentials. 

Grubbs has continued to make a significant impact within the company since that day, three years ago. Although her official title is “Office Engineer”, Grubbs wears many hats — office manager and administrator, and document control person. Additionally, she is the subject matter expert for all-things-Procore across the company. Grubbs stated, “If somebody needs something company-wide, they give me a call.”

That “somebody” includes Grubbs’ father, who also uses Procore. Grubbs laughed, explaining, “He calls me whenever he needs something, but it’s a technology he advocates for. He advocates very heavily for Procore just because he has seen the possibilities, even if he doesn't directly know how to use them.”

She encourages everyone to give Procore a try, even though it’s not always easy to convince those rooted in tradition that technology can actually make construction simpler. She spoke to this, saying, “We have a lot of people that come in and say, ‘Hey, this is just any other platform,’ but it's not. I encourage everyone to give Procore a shot before they let it down altogether. And I usually get really good feedback with that, because everything is so streamlined and so easy, you can't mess it up.”

crane pumping concrete into railway project

Grubbs + Procore: Simplifying Heavy Civil and Infrastructure

Utilizing her expertise of the Procore Platform, Grubbs has helped to reshape the ways in which RailWorks operates, making them more efficient and effective. This has been particularly necessary in her specific field — heavy civil. Grubbs stated, “A lot of people say that heavy civil is like running backward. That’s not necessarily true. We’re just very, very behind. If we can encourage the use of technology, that will help us get ahead a little bit faster. But, that’s our absolute biggest struggle as an industry. We’re behind. We aren’t backward; we’re very behind.”

One area where the technological shift is evident is the communication between field and office personnel. Grubbs commented, “We’ve really bridged the gap between field and office communication with Procore. We hand out field iPads, and we're able to fill out all of our reports in daily forms just on that iPad. We don't have to rely on pieces of paper that may or may not make it into the office. It has been a real game-changer for us because field-office communication has always been the biggest challenge we've faced.”

However, Grubbs is most excited about the platform’s diverse range of tools and flexibility. She told us, “The biggest benefit of Procore is that everything is laid out where you have options. If you want to do something that’s not totally with the grain, or you want to use the inspections tool for, I don't know, your punch list — you can do that. You’re not bound by any set rules. Say you don't want to use that at all — you don't have to, and you can't mess it up. You can always bring everything back.”

Grubbs believes integrating technology into construction processes can significantly enhance efficiency and productivity, and has recognized the immense, positive changes within RailWorks since implementing Procore. She stated, “What I've realized is the most important aspect of a construction platform is just the ease of it all. You have everything right there with you, no matter where you are. You're not always searching for the latest revision, because it's already there.”

With so many responsibilities, having a construction platform where all project-related data, contracts, drawings, and specifications are readily available on various devices is essential not only for Grubbs, but also, for all other project stakeholders. Grubbs emphasized the time and energy savings that result from this accessibility, pointing out, “We see a lot of cost savings because I'm not having to get in the truck, go out on the job site, and track down the paperwork that may or may not exist. These guys don’t have to take time out of their day to bring that to me now, either.”

On that same note, using a platform built specifically for the construction industry ensures that their unique needs are met without the hassle of sifting through generic solutions. Grubbs believes, “The biggest benefit of having technology built for one specific industry is that it’s there just for you. You don't have to sift through what you need and what you don't just to figure out what works and what doesn't, because it's already there. Having that at your fingertips, ready to go, is life-changing.”

Continuing a Legacy: Revolutionizing Construction

Cheyenne Grubbs stands as a testament to the transformative power of technology within the construction industry. By following her family’s footsteps while still walking her own path, Grubbs has become an essential part of improving the lives of those in construction. With her unwavering belief in the potential of technology combined with a commitment to diversity and inclusion, Grubbs exemplifies the modern construction professional, shaping the industry's future and serving as an inspiration for all construction professionals today, tomorrow and beyond.

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