Investing in Tomorrow's Workforce
Ranken Technical College recently celebrated their groundbreaking for a new workforce development center in Ashland, Missouri. This is huge for Emery Sapp and Sons (ESS) and the future of our workforce. It’s a well-known fact that the construction industry is experiencing tremendous growth and there continues to be a steep decline in skilled craft professionals. Simply put, we need more people to sustain our industry. Focused solely on construction careers, this new workforce development center is going to provide a great opportunity for future employee-owners to gain the skills they need to enter the workforce.
ESS wanted to provide more than financial support. We wanted to step up, get involved, and help optimize students’ educational experience. ESS identified representatives to serve on Ranken’s curriculum development committee. Through these volunteer positions, our team members have the ability to help create classes and shape program curriculum that better suit the industry’s needs. Pretty cool, right? Where there’s a gap in specific training areas, we can help bring that to light. Our goal is to identify what needs are missing and bring awareness of those needs through our partnerships. Creating partnerships like this not only allows us to help produce skilled construction professionals for our industry, it helps us make impactful contributions to our community.
Our very own Founder Billy Sapp, and his wife Glenda, are Honorary Chairs for the new Ranken Technical College. Billy described his passion and excitement for the new trade school, “This project is something I believe in dearly. I wanted to get involved so I could have the opportunity to have a direct impact on students entering the workforce. Not everybody needs to go to a four-year college. Building more trade schools allows for more opportunities if students have the desire to become skilled professionals and go straight into the construction industry. I look forward to the moment when ESS gets to hire new employee-owners who have taken the courses and training at Ranken.”
Ranken stands out among other technical colleges because it gives students the possibility to start training as early as middle school. Offering young students the chance to explore career options allows them to get their foot in the door and discover something they could really enjoy. Gaining that experience so young means these students will be extremely valuable coming into the industry with honed skills.
Sara Snodderley, Director of Workforce Development, weighed in to describe how this partnership is a beneficial connection. “We will be able to hopefully recruit more students from their school and put them directly into the field with very limited training additions. That opportunity to build curriculum with them is huge for ESS and the future of the construction industry.” said Sara.
Another key benefit of the new workforce development center is it’s optimal location in Mid-Missouri. The new campus is centrally located and positioned to serve students from all areas of the state and beyond. In fact, the new campus is only 20 minutes away from ESS headquarters in Columbia, Missouri. With talent being developed in our core geographic markets, students will make ideal candidates for our local Columbia team or any of our midwest teams building infrastructure across the region. Better yet, we stand ready to recruit whole cohorts, transforming classes of students into dynamic crews. What a great local opportunity! This is exciting stuff not only for ESS, but for future students ready to start their career in construction.
The Ranken Technical College will be located on 5 acres east of Highway 63 and south of the Ashland overpass. The project team aims to have the campus complete and open by early 2023. Aside from construction, Ranken also offers training in medical services, industrial engineering technology, and information technology. The campus is anticipated to maintain a maximum enrollment capacity and students are expected to get a job within six months after graduating. Ranken will be a great asset for the future of construction and ESS is excited to be in a partnership that provides us an opportunity to grow the industry’s workforce and add to our fleet of talented employee-owners!
Future home of Ranken Technical College in Ashland, MO.