Working with Today’s Students to Build Tomorrow’s WorkforceApril 17, 2014
Over the past decade, Miron has made the grade on more than 100 educational projects, including elementary, middle and high schools, as well higher education facilities in the public and private sectors. Our services encompass all aspects of facilities projects, from pre-referendum assistance through design and construction. But beyond the construction of the facilities and the assistance we provide to our clients, Miron collaborates with local schools on another level: volunteering and mentoring.
Miron has worked with the Neenah Joint School District for several years through its Junior Achievement (JA) program. JA helps prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs, which make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace.
Dave Walsh, vice president, leadership & organizational development, and Lindsey Johnson, human resources coordinator, took students through the many facets of what a career-oriented employee looks like, including soft skills and teamwork. Walsh and Johnson role-played with the students and worked as a class to come to best practice solutions.
From Travis McDonough, Neenah Joint School District:
In addition to classroom visits, curriculum and personal experiences shared with the NHS students, we also had time for a number of site tours providing the necessary link from the classroom to job site. A tour of Miron’s headquarters set the stage for what’s to come and did not disappoint. Every turn gave insights into how a quality business is organized and no one seemed too busy to pause for some brief words with the students, including company President and CEO David Voss. We were also able to experience a site currently under construction— Fox Valley Technical College’s new Public Safety Training Facility. Words cannot express the impact the day had on students. Classroom experiences helped build students a new understanding, but field experiences help to solidify the concepts into a concrete understanding of how each career path truly looks and feels.
Miron took a generous leap in connecting with the youth of Neenah High School by donating time, materials and energy. With a give and take relationship like this we hope the long-term effect is a growth in students’ interest in the fast-paced work environment provided by companies like Miron. Tomorrow’s workforce may have a leg up on the competition, because as members of the Miron team will gladly tell you—every construction project starts with a great foundation.
Youth Apprenticeship Programs
Miron has worked with students interested and engaged in construction trades by providing structured office, field and classroom time. One of the more recent apprenticeship programs Miron is collaborating with is the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction – General Construction Youth Apprenticeship Program (launching this year). Along with the Appleton Area School District, Fox Valley Technical College and the Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin, Miron is excited to meet and work with school instructors to engage youth apprentices in the trades by working alongside them and lending their expertise in all aspects of general construction.
The realities of an aging infrastructure and a maturing workforce are a fact that we must all face, but now that the economy is starting to turn around, the demand for skilled labor continues to increase. That said, careers for those interested in construction reach beyond the field; areas like project management, business development, risk control, estimating, technology systems and Building Information Modeling are all positions students with a four-year degree can attain in the construction industry.
Through networks like Connect a Career, a program of the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce, Miron has connected with local students by helping navigate possible career paths and providing work-based learning opportunities. Helping to shape and cultivate tomorrow’s leaders is a priority for Miron, not only because developing a future workforce will benefit our industry, but because it reminds us all what it is to be young and excited about the adventures and opportunities that lie ahead.
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