The Great Lakes Construction Co. is one of Cleveland’s premier civil construction companies, with more than $150 million in sales. The construction company was founded in 1948 by Frank Converse Jr., a graduate in civil engineering from Case Institute of Technology who managed the technical side of the business, and Art Cushing, an operating engineer/crane operator with a broad base of experience in construction.
Today, The Great Lakes Construction Co. is a great proponent of workforce development, and according to George Palko, President, its workforce development efforts are engrained in the company at every level. One great example of The Great Lakes Construction Co.’s leadership in spreading the word about I Build America – Ohio is, quite literally, front page and center on the latest issue of Great Lakes Way, the company’s quarterly newsletter. Great Lakes Way is distributed to more than 500 community members across Ohio, and each person who picked up the latest issue was greeted with I Build America – Ohio’s message and mission.
The following article is repurposed here with the permission of Mr. Palko.
We’re Doing Our Part to Develop The Workers of Tomorrow
Workforce development–it’s one of the newest buzzwords in business today. It means different things to different people. In our industry, it focuses on matching workers’ skills to the needs and demands of the construction trade. It addresses construction’s need for more highly qualified, trained men and women who are passionate about the opportunity to pursue a career in construction.
As an industry leader, The Great Lakes Construction Co. is proud to be an active supporter of “I Build America – Ohio,” a new educational and awareness campaign to support the growing demand for skilled labor. Leaders in the construction sector have come together to launch this movement to generate pride and respect for the construction industry and recruit young people into this valuable, rewarding career.
We are excited to see the construction industry join forces to develop resources that will generate a future workforce. It behooves us to support our nation’s ongoing infrastructure needs and to attract more students into construction careers–from laborers to project managers to equipment operators.
We have several workforce development initiatives at Great Lakes (see below). Our Career Awareness Sessions are an outstanding, real-world example of how workforce development works. These sessions, help over a 28-month period at 10 different Cleveland locations, have provided the opportunity for Cleveland community members to learn about construction careers, to become educated about critical job readiness skills and to effectively network with employers. A significant percentage of the individuals attending the Career Awareness Sessions have found construction related-jobs or are engaged in the employment process.
The message from “I Build America – Ohio” is that a career in construction is both exciting and rewarding. Attracting and retaining high-quality workers is critical to Great Lakes’ success and growth. It’s a win-win proposition for Great Lakes and for our future workers as together we build a future workforce for our industry. We’re proud to be doing our part.
The Great Lakes Construction Co. Workforce Development Initiatives:
- Work Now Construction Initiative
- Job Corps
- Tri-C Pre-Apprenticeship Program
- Spanish American Committee Latino Construction Program
- Apprenticeship Program
- Great Lakes Co-Op Program
- College & High School Career Fairs