Category: Success Stories
"This area is full of people who desire to help each other and to better the lives of those around them. Having the opportunity to work with these kind of people makes every day enjoyable and fulfilling."
Cameron Jones, a Professional Engineer and Surveyor in Training with Benton & Associates, Inc., is a young professional growing his career in Jacksonville. Benton & Associates (B&A) is an employee owned multi-discipline Consulting Engineering and Surveying Firm serving both public and private clients in Illinois and Missouri. B&A has six office locations in Jacksonville, IL, Macomb, IL, Kirksville, MO, Macon, MO, Rolla, MO, and Lebanon, MO. Cameron began working for the firm after graduating from Southern Illinois University Carbondale with a degree in Civil Engineering. We wanted to learn more about his role with the firm and his experiences living in the I-72 Opportunity Corridor.
Q: What do you do for Benton & Associates?
A: I am part of the Environmental Department where we specialize in assisting clients with water and wastewater infrastructure needs. From new water mains all the way through water and wastewater treatment plant. My focus is in treatment and collection of municipal wastewater but I assist clients in all aspects of projects from concept through funding, design, construction and operation. I also have a background in surveying and help lead our Geographic Information System (GIS) and laser scanning services to best support our clients needs.
Q: What inspired you to start your career?
A: I was always looking to solve problems growing up and enjoyed working through math and science problems. I did a job shadow in high school with Jamie Headen here at Benton & Associates and had the opportunity to go out on a rural water project with him. For some reason, it really stuck home that I could have a job where I got to solve difficult problems but could still work outside and accomplish work which made a better life for others. Through my college internships, I grew each year in drive and love for the water industry and the service that water and wastewater treatment provides to everyone each day.
Q: Why did you choose to make your career in Jacksonville?
A: I wanted to work where I could make a difference each day at work or in the community. This area provides great opportunities for young people to get involved quickly and help others each day. I wanted a company where I could be involved at every level of a project and could move into ownership and leadership quickly. I was born and raised in Jacksonville and I live here now with my wife.
Q: How has being located here benefited your career and your life?
A: This area is full of people who desire to help each other and to better the lives of those around them. Having the opportunity to work with these kind of people makes every day enjoyable and fulfilling.
Q: What are your future goals?
A: I would like to continue to grow in my knowledge and understanding in my field to better serve my community and meet their needs. I would also like to one day be a Principal at Benton and Associates. I would like to raise a family in this community. And, in everything I do in life or work, my goal is to serve the Lord.
Q: Why do you enjoy living here?
A: I love the community support and spirit of a place that has a rich history along with a very bright future of growth and diversification. We are a hidden gem that can offer the support of a larger area while having a community spirit of a small town. The diversity of our business from manufacturing to insurance to tech to agriculture, we have everything you would need to grow a business and a family while still having the small town support of neighbors. This is also a great area to raise a family with many great opportunities and growth potential.
Q: How are you involved in the community?
A: I am a Member of Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Network, Member of the Jacksonville School District #117 Sesquecentinial Committee, Public Relations Chair for the Morgan County Fair Association
Q: Is there anything we should know about the Young Professionals group?
A: The group is open to all Young Professionals under the age of 35. We do multiple volunteer and social events each month along with a monthly meeting. These events help young professionals to network and get involved in the community while having fun and making friends. You can contact Lisa Musch at the Chamber of Commerce or find us on Facebook at Young Professionals Network - Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce.
Q: What opportunities are there for young professionals in the area?
A: There is an organization for every interest and each group is always looking for new people. Whether it is the Chamber, Kiwanis, Rotary, the Art Association, Ambucs, the Fair, and so many more.
Q: Is there anything the community can do to support yourself and other young professionals?
A: The community can continue to support development and growth of young professionals in the area in order to grow our existing businesses to highlight the benefits of living in this area.
Young professionals, like Cameron, are giving back
One thing that stands out about Cameron and other young professionals who make this area their home, is their commitment to making this area the best it can be. They are giving back, serving, and using their talents to grow our communities. We are pleased they have chosen to call the I-72 Opportunity Corridor home and invite other young professionals to join them.