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Exploring Opportunities in Rail Construction: Insights from Industry Leaders

Exploring Opportunities in Rail Construction: Insights from Industry Leaders

It’s OK, you’re allowed to brag a little!

On Thursday, March 30, 2023, the Construction Management Association of America’s (CMAA) Southern California Chapter is hosting a virtual, educational seminar presented by Anser Advisory with guest speakers Kosta Mallakis, from the Port of Los Angeles, Francisco Aragon from the Port of Long Beach, and Kim Chan from Los Angeles Metro to help demystify and, yes, brag a little about their work in the field of rail construction. The intent is to provide a resource for emerging professionals who either do not know what they want to do with their degree or are interested in rail construction but don't know how to get started.

What's the Point?

Some of the topics we'll cover during this virtual seminar include: 

  • The history of rail construction
  • How much, and how little, it's changed over time
  • Who are the common stakeholders
  • The specific safety regulations involved with rail construction
  • Why rail is a vital piece of our country’s infrastructure and supply chain
  • Various aspects of rail transportation, from goods movement to people movement

To a certain degree, there are commonalities across all areas of construction. That's why getting involved early in a specialty, such as rail construction, is a great opportunity for recent graduates to shape their careers and position themselves as the next generation of experts. Experienced professionals and organizations like CMAA teaming up to present and discuss some of the options available gives these young professionals the opportunity to find a specialty that captures their interest and passion.

We are so grateful to our guest speakers for taking time out of their busy schedules to assist in this effort. However, this seminar will not be complete without great questions. As the title of this seminar, “Rail Construction 101,” suggests, the discussion will be relatively light in detail, which will leave plenty of opportunity for attendees to ask questions that delve deeper into the subject matter.

One of the best ways for emerging professionals to distinguish themselves from the crowd is to ask good, poignant questions that not only show that they are paying attention but have taken great interest in the topic at hand.

So why do this?  What’s in it for the speakers?  

Well, for one, they get to brag a little about why they love their work and why you would love it too. On top of that, it is also an opportunity to give back and help impart some knowledge, but that is just icing on the cake: who doesn’t want to brag a little…just a little? Yes, bragging can go too far, but everyone should take a moment at various points in their career, consider what they have achieved, and pat themselves on the back for their accomplishments.  

Looking to get Involved?

What do you specialize in? Do you need a moment to brag a little about your specialty? CMAA is always looking for new topics to share with the Construction Management Community, and every year, they receive a new group of recent graduates and/or near graduates that are looking for a little nudge in the right direction. Reach out to your local chapter about your proposed seminar topic and help develop careers while showcasing your expertise.

On the other end, to all the emerging professionals out there, take a moment, watch from your phone, or have the video up on your second monitor while you work on admin tasks, but attend this seminar and our future seminars to explore your options. You never know what might spark your interest.

To register, visit the CMAA SoCal Chapter event page!

Meet the Authors

Jason Rechlecki


Jason Rechlecki
Senior Construction Manager