Denver, CO — The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s Innovative Industries Internship program allowed ISEC to continue to support workforce development and educating future leaders in construction. ISEC, a prime trades contractor or construction and architecture firms, utilized this state program that supports industries critical to Colorado’s economic future, to continue to facilitate paid internships in construction.
This program was first established in May of 2015 and provides matching grants up to $5,000 per intern for a minimum of 130 hours on-the-job training hours to be completed in six months. ISEC first learned of this program through the Associated General Contractors of Colorado (AGC), who partnered with the Colorado Contractors Association, one of six industry groups in the state to provide outreach for the program. AGC has supported several recent workforce development programs including Construction Careers Now, Careers in Construction and Colorado Construction Career Days.
ISEC used the grant to hire local Coloradoan and college student, Heidi Dowling as an intern for this past summer. ISEC’s department managers led the internship program to ensure that Ms. Dowling received exposure to all sides of the business. These opportunities included preconstruction activities and both office and field operations. “The most rewarding part of the internship for me was the ability to work on the job site and apply the skills I gained in the office out in the field,” commented Heidi Dowling. Ms. Dowling operated a work truck by herself on-site and visited several ISEC job sites across the state from Steamboat Springs to Denver.
“Our biggest priority in hiring an intern was to find someone that matched our core values of integrity, respect, safety and teamwork,” said Jenay Gifford, Business Development at ISEC. “This grant allowed us to show Heidi that women can be involved in all parts of construction from project management to engineering to installation.” Ms. Gifford confirmed that ISEC will be pursuing this internship program for the next application cycle which opens January 1, 2017, with awards distributed in March 2017. She advises other firms applying for the grant to understand the commitment involved, conduct adequate preparation, and know they can attract and attain local talent by offering a higher than minimum wage hourly rate for the interns.
Photo courtesy of ISEC