From High School to College to Construction: William Managan's Journey

Hes only a junior at Wazzu but William Managan already has AGC written all over him.

William is one of 11 construction management students recently awarded scholarships by the AGC Education Foundation. What makes Williams story a little bit different is that he got his career inspiration from another AGC-supported program the Whatcom County Construction Career Academy.width=200

When William interviewed for the scholarship opportunity we asked what inspired him to choose construction as a career path said Diane Kocer Executive Director of the AGC Education Foundation. He talked at length and with great appreciation about the Construction Career Academy without really knowing about the AGC connection. We were thrilled that this young man whom the industry had nurtured years earlier through the Academy was so excited about his career path.

The Construction Career Academy was established by Whatcom County Schools in 2007 with the help of AGCs Northern District; the AGC Education Foundation; AGC firms such as Andgar IMCO and Granite; labor groups; the Construction Industry Training Council and other industry associations.

The Academy prepares students for careers in construction said Liz Evans AGC Northern District Manager and founding member of the Academys advisory committee. Students learn about worksite safety construction math blue print reading and rigging width=300techniques. The program helps students explore a variety of construction-related career opportunities develop appropriate work readiness skills and prepare to enter construction-related apprenticeships post-secondary education programs or entry-level jobs.

The Academy is housed at Meridian High School and draws from students throughout Whatcom County.

Williams Academy experience included an internship generously provided by Granite Construction where he was supervised by Project Manager Rob Rasmussen. William -- we knew him as Billy -- was a great kid and very enthusiastic said Rob. Since he wasnt 18 yet he was not allowed onto the jobsite so we worked in our office. We had him certified as a weighmaster and he was able to spend time on the scales. He also did plan prep and take-offs. Were proud that Billy went on to become a scholarship winner. He threw himself headlong into his work and he was definitely an asset for us.

While at the Academy William was a leader of a team of students supervised by Academy instructor and journeyman carpenter Ted Goeres that won a regional construction challenge competition and competed in the national competition in Tennessee.

Attending the Academy proved to me that construction really was the field in which I wanted a career said William. I learned some things about myself I did not previously know. I learned that I have a talent for designing and for leading. This class opened my eyes to all the available areas I could get into and it is what finally got me on track to study construction management at Washington State University.

Williams scholarship was provided by the AGC Education Foundation through the Larry Johnson/Prime Construction Endowment Fund and Larry Johnson in memory of Mark Johnson.

Liz Evans enjoys seeing Williams path coming full-circle. We know the industry is facing a workforce crisis and we know that the industry as a whole and organizations like the AGC Education Foundation are making great strides in attracting young people to construction she said. But its especially gratifying to know Williams story and the specific positive impact the industry has had on his life. From a visionary partnership between the industry and the school district that established the Academy to the encouragement of mentors like Rob Rasmussen and Granite to the generosity of Larry Johnson and his familys scholarship endowment the industry has prepared this great young man for a productive and fulfilling career in construction.

Top photo: William (Billy) Managan

Bottom photo: William Managan second from right joins teacher Ted Goeres left and teammates to celebrate winning the Construction Challenge in 2009.