Construction company teaches professor what to teach students

Construction company teaches professor what to teach students

Construction company teaches professor what to teach students


GH Phipps wants to address the shortage of skilled workers in construction.

 

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GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. — Matt Barrows is used to being in the front of the classroom as an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska. But, he’s spending his summer in Denver being a student.

 

“My main goal is to bring industry into the classroom,” Barrows said. He is working as a Professor in Residence at GH Phipps Construction in Greenwood Village. This program started three years ago to address an industry-wide problem.

 

“There is an aging workforce in our industry that needs to be filled,” Kate Lavicky, GH Phipps human resource partner, said. Lavicky said with all the construction going on around Denver, there is a demand for skilled workers to come out of college ready to go.

 

“The goal is (to) take a professor who’s very engaged at a university level in teaching various types of construction curriculum and bring them back into the workforce (to) get experience with industry in hopes they’ll take what they learn back to the classroom,” Lavicky said.

 

Barrows said it’s been a great experience learning at job sites, working with planners, and being exposed to the latest technology developments. He said he is staying current with the industry.

“It’s benefiting me more than them probably,” Barrows said.

 

Lavicky calls it a win-win.

 

“It’s a key function to make sure that the students that they are engaging with are caught up to speed and that they have the skills and the background needed that we as an industry require when they graduate,” Lavicky said.

 

Barrows believes his summer learning experience with have a ripple effect in his classes at the University of Nebraska.

 

“Construction management is a very hands-on industry and learning out of a textbook is not the way to get that done,” Barrows said. “I have a product that they want and so they have a vested interest in making that product more successful.”

 
 
GH Phipps Awarded Contractor of the Year

GH Phipps Awarded Contractor of the Year

GH Phipps Awarded Contractor of the Year

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DENVER — GH Phipps has been awarded 2018 Contractor of the Year for the Colorado, Wyoming and Dakotas segment of ENR Mountain States.

A shortlist of three firms from the region were selected by ENR staff based on revenue growth, ranking, new initiatives, safety, reputation and strong community. Editors from across the country selected GH Phipps from a one-page outline of recent and current work, recent awards and the company’s Retention Initiative.

“It was always about the relationship that you had with the client and being that trusted partner. We don’t look at clients as transactional in nature … we really look for clients that have those work programs where we can establish a relationship with them and continue to be engaged with them for years,” President Kurt Klanderud told ENR Mountain States when speaking of his history with the company.

In 2015, GH Phipps won the Colorado Project of the Year from ENR Mountain States for the distinctive Science Pyramid at Denver Botanic Gardens (DBG). This year, GH Phipps is back to work at DBG, constructing the 100,000-square-foot Freyer-Newman Center for Science, Art and Education – the final piece of DBG’s 11-year-old master development plan.

“The Phipps team has just been outstanding,” says Brian Vogt, CEO at the gardens. “They care deeply about the mission of the gardens and they understand our institution.”

Phipps is also building elementary and high schools in Colorado and Wyoming; a $70-million expansion of the Children’s Hospital Colorado North Campus in Broomfield; and Lakehouse on 17th, a 12-story, $107-million condominium-and-townhouse development in Denver.

The company is also the 2018 recipient of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) in the Community Award for an annual volunteer program to contribute 1,952 hours across 60 charities.