Startup Spotlight: CaHill Tech caters to next generation of construction workers with app
Growing up, Carley Hill spent her summers working for her family’s construction company in Western New York.
Now, she has taken the knowledge gained from her family’s business and created a business of her own, CaHill Tech. Through its award-winning aQuiRe app, CaHill Tech is focused on training the next generation of construction workers in a way they’re already familiar with – through watching videos on their phones.
Training for frontline workers
After studying fine art in college and a career making public art and working in the film industry, Hill returned to Buffalo 10 years ago and went back to working at her family’s construction company.
During that time, she served on some national construction boards and saw the same issue pop up over and over: Construction companies were struggling to attract and train the next generation of workers as baby boomers were retiring.
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The aQuiRe app contains thousands of safety and training videos, everything from how to read a tape measure correctly to how to pour concrete. The videos are shot on job sites and feature workers with years of experience sharing their knowledge with the next generation.
“This is designed for the front-line worker,” Hill said. “It’s designed for somebody in the field, greasy gloves, hard hat, muddy boots.”
The app has 400 modules with thousands of resources to go along with the modules, Hill said, and new modules are added regularly. The CaHill Tech team is working on adding training about solar panel installation and can create custom content for companies.
Around 4,000 employees from 40 companies across the Northeast are using the app, Hill said, including Harrison and Burrowes, a family-owned bridge construction company near Albany.
“It’s easy to use. It’s user-friendly,” Harrison and Burrowes COO Chris DiStefano said. “It’s a great refresher for some of the older guys that kind of think they know everything and get a little bit complacent. It’s great for the new guys that haven’t really learned what we do yet.”
Making the construction trade accessible
Hill plans to grow her company from seven employees, especially on the sales and client success sides, she said. The Clarence-based company is also in the process of raising $800,000 from investors.
To continue growing CaHill Tech, Hill wants to make the aQuiRe app as accessible as possible.
She’s working on a potential partnership with BOCES to get the app in the hands of students. She also wants to target and empower military veterans and people who were formerly incarcerated.
“We’re really trying to democratize access to these trades-based skills by putting it in a format that anybody who has the drive and the motivation to be a part of this can access,” Hill said.
The CaHill Tech team is also working on translating the aQuiRe app’s content into Spanish, which Hill believes will unlock a global opportunity for the company to expand beyond the United States.
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THE LATEST, IN CONTEXT
What: Tactical camera company Bounce Imaging recently raised $4.2 million in funding from investors.
Tell me more: Bounce Imaging is a 43North company based in Buffalo that makes stabilized, 360-degree cameras for the military, police and other first responders. Bounce Imaging’s customers include the U.S. Department of Defense, the FBI, U.S. Marshals and more than 400 state and local law enforcement agencies and fire departments across the U.S., Canada and Europe.
Local investor Jack Greco, who is one of the cofounders of ACV Auctions, is an investor in Bounce Imaging, according to the company.
Why it matters: Bounce Imaging plans to use the $4.2 million investment to “expand our reach within the U.S. military and first responder community,” including in Ukraine, CEO and founder Francisco Aguilar said. The company previously donated its throwable camera balls to forces fighting Russia in Ukraine.
Since winning 43North in 2017, Bounce Imaging has grown to more than 20 employees and has raised more than $10 million. It also won a $15 million contract with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to support port inspection.
Catch up on news tied to Buffalo Niagara’s economy
After going public on the stock exchange in March 2021, ACV Auctions’ stock price shot up to more than $33, but the shares have steadily declined since. ACV shares fell nearly 8% Wednesday to close at an all-time low of $8.20.
A pair of residential complexes on North Forest and Maple roads that would bring 300 apartments to the middle of Amherst, the region’s largest suburb, is being proposed by Bliss Construction and PB Investors.
Five solar-power projects in Chautauqua County have been given final or preliminary backing for tax-break requests. The projects, valued at more than $23 million, will generate more than 20 megawatts of electricity in all.
Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns says there’s a serious problem with more than 10,000 properties across Erie County that are facing hundreds or thousands of dollars each in late property taxes.
Douglas Jemal continues to buy downtown Buffalo properties, paying $1.14 million for the three-story building housing JJ’s Casa di Pizza Restaurant on E. Mohawk St., as well as the adjacent Washington Street alleyway parking lot.
After slashing costs in the first quarter, Buffalo biopharmaceutical company Athenex Inc. is pivoting its focus, trimming its expenses and strengthening its balance sheet while focusing on developing cell therapy programs.
The confrontation that led to a felony charge against Christopher H. Koch, CEO of New Era Cap Co., began Saturday night when his girlfriend’s ex-husband pulled up and abruptly confronted Koch by Oliver’s Restaurant.
A federal complaint filed against Starbucks accuses the company of engaging in illegal workplace behavior toward employees of its Buffalo-area stores.
Mickey Rats Beach Club is planning to open for business again by Memorial Day, for what may be its final summer, as plans for its redevelopment are proceeding but have been delayed, while neighboring Captain Kidd’s has already been demolished.
Dr. Todd E. Shatkin’s $7.85 million project to create a dentistry college alongside his existing Amherst businesses is drawing criticism over the unusual structure of the relationship with Daemen College, and his bid for nearly $400,000 in sales tax breaks.
Dr. Jill Owens was named interim president of Upper Allegheny Health System, which includes Olean General Hospital and Bradford Regional Medical Center.
A $1.5 million donation to the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital from KeyBank and the First Niagara Foundation will further develop and sustain a program to address maternal health and racial equality in health care.
Amid a contract dispute with National Fuel Gas, IBEW Local 2154 representing the utility’s workers in Southwest New York state and Northwest Pennsylvania is holding out the possibility of going on strike.
Katherine Conway-Turner, president of SUNY Buffalo State, discussed with The News the future of the school, the challenges ahead, and the needs of new students and how the school is addressing them.
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Roswell Park is planning to rehab a historic 1,300-square-foot house at 907 Michigan Ave. while constructing a significant modern addition to the south that will more than double its size.
In the largest deal in the firm’s nine-year history, Buffalo-based private equity firm Lorraine Capital acquired ICM Controls, a North Syracuse manufacturer of electronic controls.
Jericho Road Community Health Center has purchased a former assisted-living facility in Buffalo for $2.05 million, with plans to renovate the structure and use it to assist asylum seekers.
Niagara University received its largest gift in the university’s 166-year history as Jeff and Mary Helen Holzschuh gave their alma mater $10 million, earning their name on its business school.
Buffalo Next reporters Jonathan D. Epstein, Jon Harris, Natalie Brophy, Janet Gramza and Mike Petro contributed to this roundup.
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The Buffalo Next team gives you the big picture on the region’s economic revitalization. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org or reach technology and startups reporter Natalie Brophy at email@example.com.
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