Future architect Jamal Chambers, for years, has had a vision where the local construction development industry is virtually connected in a space that allows professionals and students in the field to curate their digital profiles and portfolios while fostering collaboration.
With the joint efforts of his business partner, Justin Taylor, JusConnec Limited was created to realise Chambers’ vision.
“It is [a] virtual directory for the construction development industry called Connec where users can upload their works and share with clients. Likewise, the average person can come and search for professionals they’d like to work with,” said Chambers in an interview with Our Today.
Chambers shared that the name ‘JusConnec’ is a play on words where the idea is literally to just connect people and businesses within the construction industry.
“JusConnec can also act like a digital portfolio or cloud-based storage for users working in the field or trying to access services in the construction development industry,” he added.
“Service providers would include professionals such as architects, engineers, and plumbers among all the other professions within the specific space. It’s a non-exclusive space so it is also available to students studying or majoring in architecture, engineering, and other related courses or programmes. Sole practitioners and companies are also free to use it,” he said.
The foundation of JusConnec
“The idea to create Connec originally came somewhere between 2016 and 2017, which is [around] the time in which I graduated with my first degree from the Caribbean School of Architecture at the University of Technology Jamaica (UTech). I started to write down my idea and plans in 2018, which blossomed while I worked at an architectural firm. I delved into research to help build out my idea, and that assisted me in solidifying the idea,” Chambers said.
He said that while he was at the firm, he began to conceptualise his idea of bringing the construction development industry together. After a year with the firm, he resigned and began pursuing his Master’s degree.
“I left that job and began my post-graduate journey from which I wrote my dissertation in 2020. It was during the time of that writing process where JusConnec became a more solid and structured idea. I registered it as a business in 2020,” said Chambers.
“Justin is a web developer, and I am in architecture, so I figured that the two of us could make the idea into a reality,” he added.
Chambers shared with Our Today that before he secured Taylor as a business partner, he penned his ideas for the various web pages by drawing them in his sketchbook. He drew page connections, the home page, and how some pages would be linked to various discipline pages.
“I also drew how the flow of a user would work and then I started mapping it out in Photoshop. Essentially, I was preparing to do a presentation to Justin so that I could paint the clearest picture for him. I wanted him to know what my exact vision was,” explained Chambers.
JusConnec as Business Media
Chambers shared that the digital platform is more along the lines of business media than social media because users would use the space as they prepare themselves for the professional world.
Business media, he said, incentivises users to “genuinely improve their productive capacity, level of professionalism, skills, network, products, and services,” among other areas.
“The aim is not to stay on the platform all day, the aim is to go and be great in real life and then come back to show us. The natural comparison users will have amongst themselves will be professional
competitiveness. Therefore the bi-product of the user is that of a more competent entity of society; more
skilled, more qualified, more experienced, more professional, and more developed,” he said.
“Users can create a profile which will outline who they are, what they do, where they work, or which school they attend. The profile will be a space that highlights the experience that this specific user has amassed over a period of time,” he explained.
Chambers added that the JusConnec operating as business media facilitates the company’s network retention model which highlights that users will have a profile with a continued desire to improve it, “and the only way to do that is to genuinely always be improving yourself”.
“In our business media network focused structure, the model focuses on:
- encouraging users to gain more qualifications through courses, schooling and experience
- encouraging users to present themselves in a more respectable manner, become more prominent experts in their fields etc.
The aim of the guest is not to stay on the site forever, it’s to find what they need,” he shared.
Inclusion of students studying various disciplines in the construction development industry
Chambers said that a big part of the JusConnec focus is for students within specialised fields in the construction industry to matriculate more at ease into the professional world.
“During the conceptualisation and building of the JusConnec, I was a student. So, my thought process was done through the lens of a student. I really wanted the entire value chain of the industry to come together and as such, it wouldn’t have made sense to exclude the student if,” said the JusConnec creator.
“Let’s say that you’re a student of architecture. If you’re in the first year of your studies, what you can do is to start creating a portfolio and build on that over time to show your lecturers your progress and some of the projects you have done or worked on. With that, you can share your portfolio, your profile, projects that you’re working on, collaborate with others,” he explained, highlighting that by the time a student reaches their final year, they would have amassed an entire portfolio that shows their progress and track record.
Chambers pointed out that from the student’s perspective, building a portfolio using the JusConnec platform “can act as verification to demonstrate that they have been in the field and actually doing the work. So, rather than just a regular resume or a regular portfolio, you can actually show a potential employer your page, and your digital portfolio.”
He highlighted that the hope is that students who use the platform will eventually become certified and practicing professionals and company owners in their field.
“They would eventually become leaders of the institutions, and so we hope that they will be the tech-savvy ones that would organically adopt a platform like JusConnec and lead the way. They can bring it to the firms that they go to. So, it really is a ‘from start to finish’ journey of being in the industry, and that’s why we would never exclude students,” he explained.
‘JusConnec’ting the future
Currently, the platform is free for users to create profiles and seek services from various disciplines within the construction development industry.
However, the JusConnec team has plans to expand the offerings with their business management systems for professionals and business owners. Interested users will be able to pay monthly fees based on what they are looking for from the four tiers.
The paid tiers, Professional, Executive, and Enterprise are not yet available, while the Standard tier, which is free, is currently available for businesses or business owners within the industry.
“As we’ve established, JusConnec is not just for people in the industry. It is also for people who are looking for a service provided in the industry. The tiered business management systems, especially the paid ones will assist businesses in retrieving potential clients based on the structure of their profiles. For example, other than word of mouth, a user seeking a service might use Google to find a plumber, and the first result that comes up may not necessarily be the best. It’s just a business or service provider who has the best Google SEO when the service seeker may need a certified and reliable small residential plumber as opposed to search result received. The tiers allow that person to go through that person’s or business’s profile and judge based on credentials, experience, and ratings if that provider is what they want. So, it’s beneficial for the seeker and the provider,” explained Chambers.
“That’s why we call it a directory because you can literally view potential service providers you ultimately want and connect with them,” he said.
JusConnec highlights disciplines within the construction development industry such as real estate, architecture, photography, civil engineers, and interior decoration, among many others.
Connect with the company at their website, jusconnec.com, via email at [email protected], or on Instagram @jus_connec.
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