He is a CEO and he does not have a college degree. The educated and self taught, Josué García is the current Chief Executive Office for the Santa Clara and San Benito counties Construction and Building Trades Council. García, a native of Durango, Mexico said he “grew up very poor.” He eventually left Mexico to come to the United States after living there for nearly two decades with a goal of helping his family out of poverty.
WIth a list of prestigious job titles and community recognition, García’s first actual job in the United States would fall under the “unofficial” contracted worker category. “One the first jobs I had, I used to be at a corner, like the Home Depot workers do. I used to get people to take me to go to work,” recalled García. García chuckled as he recalled another job he held, working for a company that created the standard little green baskets for strawberries. Eventually, García’s construction jobs led him to something greater.
“I’ve always wanted to have a good paying job since I was little, so I went to the unions, for construction, looking for work. Finally, the roofers union, gave me the opportunity,” said García. For almost ten years, García worked as a roofer which led him to run for the position of union representative. García said that union representatives must run for re-election each year. He was elected three consecutive years in a row.
With the change in the economy, García left the Building Trades Council for a brief period to hold a position as the Chief of Staff for a San Jose council member. Though García has been recognized as a Top 10 Most Influential Latinos in Silicon Valley, he said some of his proudest moments professionally come from simply being able to help others. García actively helps many workers whose wages are being stolen through wage theft from contractors.
Outside of the professional realm, García is a musician, sort of. Since he was child, García has enjoyed playing the guitar but he admits, “I love it, but I’m not very good at it.” In his spare time, he also plays soccer to stay healthy. As an avid public speaker, García sharpens his public speaking skills by watching Ted Talks.
“I don’t have a college degree or anything but when there is an opportunity I buy a book so I can read it, so I can learn,” said García of his professional experience. García currently manages 26 construction unions, overseeing about 30 thousand workers. “I don’t have a college degree but that doesn’t mean I’m uneducated, I have taken it upon myself to educate myself in whatever areas I have to.”