Building the Next Generation of Talent at Bush Construction
Forty percent of the Bush Construction workforce is under the age of 40. As an effort to attract and retain the next generation of talent within the company, Bush created two programs to educate college students and recent graduates and provide them an environment that maximizes each employee’s talents, allowing young professionals the opportunity to be strong contributors in their company.
In doing so, Bush Construction was recognized as a finalist for the Best Place to Work for Young Professionals by YPQC and the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce in 2015.
The internship program at Bush Construction gives undergraduate college students the opportunity to gain real-world experience in the construction management and construction engineering fields.
Throughout the past five years, Bush Construction has hosted nearly 10 interns from Western Illinois University, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa for a summer internship program. With hands-on experience throughout the summer, the program gives them a good feel for the roles within the industry as well as providing them with real-world education they can use when they return to school.
“The Internship Program at Bush Construction is really an abbreviated Project Engineer training program,” said Rob Davis, VP of Operations. “Interns will work with our Estimating and Project Management departments to gain experience in subcontractor relations, bid solicitation, project planning, utilizing estimating software and will even have the opportunity to estimate smaller scale projects … with supervision of course!”
Interns in the program will job-shadow current Bush Construction Project Managers, helping them write contracts, respond to Requests for Information (RFIs) and communicate with subcontractors. The program truly gives the students an opportunity to be out on the job site, be privy to the ‘ins and outs’ of the job, attend progress meetings and gain valuable field experience.
The intern experience has not only been valuable to the students participating, but for Bush Construction as well. Over the past five years, Bush has hired many of the interns as full-time employees after graduation.
“The intern program is great because it gives our team the chance to feel out the work of the interns to see if they’d be valuable to Bush Construction post-graduation,” said Davis.
Project Engineer Program
The Project Engineer Program at Bush Construction is for recent college graduates who are looking to start their careers in the construction management and engineering field.
Based in the field, Project Engineers job-shadow the Project Superintendent of a larger project ($10 million or more) for a period of 12 to 18 months. Project Engineers work directly with the Superintendent on things like project submittals and field verifications, but are also given tasks of which they can take true ownership.
After the field work is complete, Project Engineers transition to the estimating department where they are introduced to the estimating process for a 12 to 18 month rotation.
After the estimating rotation, Project Engineers finish their program in Project Management. In this phase they assist the Project Managers with various project tasks and, quite often, manage their own projects with oversight from Project Managers and Vice Presidents.
“We want Project Engineers to own the process,” said Davis. “The way the program is structured gives them the opportunity to wear many hats and establish a good foundation for future work in the industry.”
When their three to five year program is complete, the team at Bush Construction works with the Project Engineers to help them determine which of the three roles best suits them for their future with the company.
Bush Construction is proud to be a magnet for young, energetic, driven talent in the region, providing the next-generation skills and education they need to be successful in the field. To learn more about careers at Bush Construction, and the positions we have available, please visit our website.