Corna Kokosing (CK) takes the mission of building Ohio’s workforce seriously—and it is walking the walk when it comes to providing educational and training programs to develop curious learners into skilled workers. The Westerville-based company has developed its own apprenticeship program in two different trades: a 4-year program in carpentry and a 3-year program in ironworking. CK’s Apprenticeship Program is approved and registered with the State of Ohio Apprenticeship Council and the US Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship, and the program exists within the CK operations—meaning instructors and educators are mostly employees of CK and can provide first-hand experience to apprentices.
“We are communicating with career centers, students, school systems, and other community members about the opportunity that exists within construction,” said Meagan Tener, Talent Manager at CK. “We want people who are interested in construction to understand that there are ways to continue their education in a hands-on way through apprenticeships and training programs.”
CK is a proud supporter of the mission of I Build America – Ohio and its determination to improve and elevate construction as a career choice. While CK keeps an eye on enrollment and recruitment for their specific apprenticeship programs, the company embraces the across-the-industry need for workforce development efforts.
“Ideally, we would love to see all of our craft team members come from our apprenticeship programs, but that’s not the reality of today’s construction workforce,” Tener said. “We have a four-year gap that needs to be addressed, and we want to see growth for the entire industry. We are recruiting in new ways and constantly examining what is—and is not—working for the industry in terms of recruitment.”
Internally, CK is also working deliberately to attract and retain its team members to ensure there is a planned balance of new hires to existing, experienced talent.
“We’re constantly checking in with our internal departments to incentivize and find ways to better meet the needs of existing and future team members,” Tener said.
According to Julie Fountain, Associate Brand Manager for CK, marketing has also been taking new approaches to get the word out about opportunities within construction.
“As a team, we’re looking and examining how we can highlight the great team members who are part of our company and find ways to connect with other people outside of CK who can relate,” Fountain said. “In general, our company culture is assessing how best to support our existing people while finding new ways to encourage the next generation of workers with volunteer and giveback opportunities and a rich, deep culture.”
Workplace culture can be a nebulous topic, but it’s one that CK takes great pride in. They emphasize their core values, which include:
- Safety First
- Community Involvement
- Team Member Well-Being
- Customer Focused
- Financially Strong
- Continuously Improve
- Honesty & Integrity
The company’s commitment to its values make it easy to understand how and why CK was named the Top Workplace by Columbus CEO for the last four consecutive years and nominated Best Contractor by Columbus CEO for the ninth time (the last seven consecutive years).
Awards and status aside, CK is working hard to uplift the construction industry and find new and appealing ways to support the current and prospective workforce. With apprenticeships, internships, co-ops, support staff, skilled labor and skilled professional roles making up the fabric of CK, there’s no doubt the company is invested in the overall success, growth, and future of construction.
To learn more about CK, visit their website at www.corna.com.