Granger Construction hosts tour of site for skilled trades students

Granger Construction recently teamed up with the Careerline Tech Center, part of the Ottawa County Intermediate School District, to provide students in the Building Tech/Construction Management program real-life exposure to the commercial construction industry.

Students from Ottawa County’s skilled trades program got an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the ongoing Bultman Student Center construction project at Hope College on Friday, October 7. Approximately 80 students attended the tour, which began with Granger team members providing an overview of the facility and some of the key construction features.

“We appreciate the partnership with Granger Construction to provide our students the opportunity to see first-hand how a commercial construction site looks and works,” said Kyle Dannenberg, development coordinator for career and technical education at Careerline. “These real-world learning experiences help our students gain insight into careers in the industry.”

Students in the program learn the skills, technical knowledge and work habits necessary to succeed in the construction industry. All aspects of the residential construction industry are taught including blueprint reading, framing, roofing, siding, masonry and basic carpentry skills.

This tour was designed to give students insight into different roles that exist within a commercial construction project; students witnessed nearly 75 trade workers onsite, ranging from bricklayers, electricians and pipefitters to construction managers, welders, MEP system specialists and concrete finishers. Students also learned about other aspects of commercial construction, including learning about Building Information Modeling and how it helps create a higher quality product and a more efficient job site.

Granger is serving as Construction Manager for the new Jim and Martie Bultman Student Center facility, a 50,000 square foot multi-use building dedicated to students that will open in time for the start of the 2017 fall semester. Located in the heart of campus, the new facility will connect to the DeWitt Student and Cultural Center and offer a large, multi-purpose room with links to an adjacent patio, a family lounge with picture windows, a theater and a small prayer chapel. The building will also have a state-of-the-art food and coffee area, offices and collaborative meeting spaces for various student organizations as well as offices for counseling and psychological services.

Worker shortages mean employers are looking for talent

Employers are actively seeking skilled talent to fill the projected 6,700 skilled trade job openings each year through 2022, according to the state. With this shortage in skilled workers, many schools and organizations are making great efforts to inform students of this often-overlooked career choice.

“It’s no secret that there is a shortage of skilled trades workers out there, and it’s only projected to get worse,” said Chad Nienhuis, West Michigan regional director for Granger Construction. “These partnerships are the perfect opportunity to help promote the various types of careers that the construction industry has to offer, whether in the skilled trades, construction management or the design side of the business.”

Skilled trades students prepare to tour the Hope College Bultman Student Center project in Holland, Michigan.
A laborer cuts masonry stone to fit prior to installation in the building facade at Hope College.
A cement finisher floats recently placed concrete sidewalk outside of the Bultman Student Center at Hope College.
An artist’s rendering of the completed Bultman Student Center at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.

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