In 2011, Tracy Young entered a construction industry that lacked both women and technology, and in doing so, helped to ignite a digital transformation for an entire industry. As the CEO and founder of PlanGrid, a mobile construction software solution, Tracy was determined to increase collaboration and efficiency in the industry through the use of mobile technology. Although this was far from a cakewalk at the start; it involved Tracy and her growing team bringing the physical hardware, like smartphones and tablets, onsite just so field teams would actually start using PlanGrid. But with growing to over 300 employees in only 5 short years, it’s clear her commitment to improving productivity on jobsites through construction mobility has paid off.
Today, we’re thrilled to share the news that Tracy has been selected as the “Rising Star of the Year” by the 2017 Dive Awards. The award, from one of the leading industry publications, Construction Dive, recognizes the industry’s top disruptors and innovators. As the sole recipient of the Rising Star award, Tracy joins the ranks of top executives, companies, trends and breakthroughs that are transforming the industry and shaping the future of construction. As part of the nomination process, Construction Dive tapped suggestions from its nearly 80,000 subscribers, and winners were chosen by the editors of the publication based on resonance and industry impact.
According to Mary Tyler March, Associate Editor for Construction Dive, “Tracy Young will attribute PlanGrid’s success to being in the right place at the right time—but the company wouldn’t be what it is today without Tracy’s brilliance and expertise.”
Once she graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a civil engineer degree, Tracy started her career as a construction project engineer. After observing a serious lack of technology solutions for builders to actually be effective in their jobs, she founded PlanGrid as a result—never looking back. Since then, beyond growing the company that has built some of the most iconic construction projects of the last decade, like Hudson Yards, Tracy has been recognized by numerous publications and executives as a pioneer working to transform the industry and helping to shift companies from paper to digital—a movement long overdue in construction.
Despite making progress, the construction industry still has a long way to go in its technology transformation. And Tracy isn’t stopping anytime soon. In an interview with USA Today, Tracy commented, “When you’re building a startup, a company, you have to find a problem that is worth years—actually, decades—of your lives. You have to be incredibly passionate about what they’re building, and about the product building. Everything is much easier that way, and life is better that way.”