Editorial: 03.28.2024

Zach Slay – Progressing from a Field Laborer to a Senior Project Engineer

zach slay

Early Career Moves

Zach Slay's journey into the construction industry began in the field, transitioning directly from high school to working as a general laborer for a local contracting company. After four years, seeking a change, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, a decision he regards as the cornerstone of his career. The discipline instilled and the benefits received during his service set him on a path towards his ambitions.

Upon completing his military service, Slay pursued higher education in construction management, leveraging his insights to proactively target his desired company. He secured an internship with Castle during his final year of schooling. This hands-on experience not only facilitated his learning but also streamlined his academic journey.

Life as a Project Engineer at Castle

Following a fulfilling 13-month internship, Slay transitioned seamlessly into a full-time role as a project engineer at Castle upon graduation. His dedication to his work is evident in his approach, understanding the critical link between project management and on-site execution.

As he progressed to Senior Project Engineer, Slay found greater satisfaction in tackling complex projects, particularly relishing the challenges of underground work.

Slay expresses, “One thing I found at Castle is that the more you know about underground work, the more enjoyable the projects become. As a Senior Project Engineer, I focus more on the financials and the productivity of my projects. You really start to see things come full circle. When projects are not going as planned, you can identify issues early on and shift your focus to improve the project's outcome to be more successful."

With a profound appreciation for his roots in fieldwork, Slay takes his responsibilities seriously, recognizing the impact of his decisions on his colleagues' livelihoods. “If we fall short on something, it affects the field. If we can't get product data approved or if the project plans change, it affects the field. They either have to sit at home, or we have to find work for them to fill in. This is why I take my job seriously because I don't want to be the reason a guy misses out on a day’s pay of work.”

Desert Adventures and Career Aspirations

Zach Slay is proud of the significant milestones he has reached since his days in the field. With assistance from his military service benefits, he was able to purchase a condo a few years ago, providing him with a stable foundation. He is thankful for that and loves that it allows him to invest more in his passions and hobbies.

Slay explains, “I recently purchased a Razor, a 4-seater offroad vehicle, to bring on weekend trips to the desert. It allows me to haul friends around who typically don't go to the desert, so they can experience it too. It's definitely worth it; I love it! I have zero buyer’s remorse!"

His next career milestone is to ascend to the role of assistant project manager at Castle. He has always appreciated the working environment and overall culture of Castle. He elaborates, “It's that everyone gets along. Anytime you have a problem, you're not fighting that problem alone. There's plenty of people you could reach out to, and they truly care to help you succeed. It’s great knowing that your team has your back."

As he looks back on his journey, Slay acknowledges the opportunities and support that have propelled him forward, expressing gratitude for the invaluable contributions they've made to his development and success.

Interested in joining the Castle team? Explore open positions


Sign up to receive Castle Insights