Making a Difference that Matters

Born in Dos Palos, near Merced, Jim relocated to Riverside, California in 1968 when his father returned from Vietnam and was stationed at March Air Force Base. His, father was career Air Force, serving in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

In 1969 at age seventeen, Jim followed in the footsteps of his father and brother and enlisted in the US Army. He attended Army medic training at Fort Sam Houston, TX; Army Airborne School (jump school) at Fort Benning Georgia; and was assigned to the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg, NC before volunteering to go to Vietnam. In 1970 he was deployed to Vietnam where he served as a combat medic in the same squad as his older brother in the 173rd Airborne Brigade.

“Although I was born in California and returned here after my military service I hadn’t expected to find my California Dream when I started driving a ready mix truck. But I loved it,” says Jim Gore with a steadiness that reflects his demeanor. From that first job, he steadily built his successful career from the ground up.

Today, Jim is responsible for putting together a team that has permitted approximately 2.4 billion tons of resources in Southern California in Southern California for Vulcan Materials, Inc., the nation’s largest producer of construction aggregates.

“I wouldn’t trade my time in Vietnam for anything. I went as an eighteen year old kid and came back as a nineteen year old man.”

When he returned to the U.S. from Vietnam in 1971, it was with a Purple Heart awarded for wounds received in action. He also earned Combat Medic Badge; Parachute Jump Wings; Army Good Conduct Medal: Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Unit Citation, Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Honor Medal First Class Unit Citation, and Vietnam Service Medal with one Service Star.

He enrolled at Riverside Community College (RCC) with the GI Bill. He thought he would be a police officer. After, he transferred to Cal State LA to pursue a degree in administration of justice, but ended up on a different career track when he took an entry level job driving a ready mix truck.

Like many military veterans, Jim found the transition from military service to construction materials very natural. The schedule, discipline, teamwork and values among aggregate producers were well suited to what he had learned in the military.

“The best part was that every day you knew exactly what you were going to do that day. And at the end of the day, you knew you would be home on time. While I appreciated the certainty of a fixed schedule and assignment when I first started out, now I find that I love the challenge and excitement of something new every day. People say, I wouldn’t have your job and I respond, you can’t have it anyway because I love it. I’m passionate about the work we do and the difference it makes. You see the results of your work on the roads you drive, the house you live in, and the park your kids play in.” 

Jim Gore, Vulcan Materials Company, Veteran

In over forty years in the business, Jim moved steadily up the ranks. After more than six years as a driver, he became a heavy equipment operator and then moved to plant maintenance. When he was approached to take on the safety officer job, he readily accepted the move up and just kept moving – first to purchasing, then to contracts and finally into permitting projects.

For Jim Gore, making a difference matters.