The executive leadership team at Western Specialty Contractors launched a pilot program in 2019 that takes an innovative approach to training and guiding new employees for leadership positions at the company’s 30 nationwide branches. The Training Hub Program, which will have graduated nearly a dozen participants by the end of 2020, requires that new hires spend six months in St. Louis fully immersed in the company’s culture and processes.

“Our goal is to develop well-rounded employees who can better assist the branches upon graduation and to accelerate their training development plans for future leadership opportunities,” said Mary Faris, Senior Director, H.R. and Talent Development at Western Specialty Contractors. “I am not aware of any other company offering this type of program.”

Participants in the program are all graduated college seniors who have participated in Western’s College Internship Program and will be hired to work at one of Western’s branch offices.

Program participants receive six months of training, broken down into rotational learning opportunities at each of Western’s three St. Louis branches – Concrete, Masonry and Roofing – where they will shadow a superintendent, branch managers and sales project manager. Participants also learn about each of Western’s trades and about creating job estimates and proposals, billing for jobs, life cycle processes beginning with marketing, and point of sale through closure of a project. Additionally, participants work in the home office where they learn about methods/procedures, policies, and key business processes/programs to support operations across the country.

Western provides participants with temporary living arrangements in furnished apartments while enrolled in the program.

Training Hub Program Participants/Graduates

Ramiro Arroyo, Colorado State University, B.S. Construction Management – branch to be determined

Brant Attleson, University of Wisconsin-Stout, B.C. Construction – branch to be determined

Tyler Bishop, Indiana University, B.S. Business Management – branch to be determined

Dayton Bowie, Oklahoma State University, B.S. Construction Engineering Technology – hired at Tulsa, OK branch

Grant Holland, University of Central Missouri, B.S. Construction Management – branch to be determined

Kalen Inouye, Texas State, B.S. Construction Management – hired at Dallas, TX branch

Colton McClintock, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, B.S. Industrial Engineering – hired at Maryland/DC branch

Joey Ottovegio, Florida Atlantic University, B.S. Business – hired at Ft. Lauderdale branch

Sarah Ray, Louisiana Tech University, B.S. Construction Engineering Technology – hired at Charlotte, NC branch

Tristan Smith, University of Central Missouri, B.S. Construction Management – hired at Kansas City Roofing branch

Zach Taylor, Ball State, B.S. Construction Management – hired at Houston, TX branch

Surveys are provided to both the employee and the management team upon completion of the program. The feedback is then incorporated into action items to improve the program.

“The key to the program’s success has been from the strong commitment of our entire STL management team,” said Faris. “They strive to provide the guidance and training of these new employees, which is key to its success.”

Zach Taylor, a graduate of the program, was hired as a Sales/Project Manager at Western’s Houston, TX branch. He praises the program for contributing to his career.

“During my time at Western’s Training Hub Program in St. Louis, I obtained invaluable knowledge and new skills to add to my resumé. I worked with great teams at the home office as well as the Concrete, Masonry and Roofing branches. This experience was very humbling, exciting and a great opportunity to further my career development not only at Western as a Sales/Project Manager, but in building new skill sets as a person,” said Taylor.

For more information about career opportunities at Western Specialty Contractors, visit