Colorado State University Construction Management and Construction Lab Provides Hands-On Educational Opportunities to Prepare Students for Construction Careers
December 12,2023 – Lakewood, CO — Encore Electric has partnered with the Colorado State University (CSU) Construction Management program to build the next generation of construction professionals. Working closely with CSU program leaders to build a hands-on wiring experience, Encore Electric donated the equipment and labor to create hands-on workstations. This approach not only enhances learning but also demonstrates a strong commitment to fostering practical skills in the next generation of construction professionals.
Including a specialty contractor as part of the program exposes students to the difference between a general contractor — which requires a broader, general knowledge of construction — and a specialty contractor, which has a targeted focus. One student even commented that he didn’t realize specialty contractors had project managers and this experience opened his eyes to opportunities after graduation.
“This program is a lot like working with apprentices who have already learned how to read the drawings”, says Anderson. “It’s cool to see the students realize how to translate what they see on paper to real life. For this class, Encore Electric installed three of the same stations around the room The hands-on lab was the final stage of this portion of their time with the program, and students were graded on their ability to understand the drawing and then wire the system accordingly.
The emphasis on safety, particularly through a non-powered transformer and the incorporation of lockout/tagout procedures, reflects a responsible and thorough approach to preparing students for the realities of the electrical field. Using donated and refurbished equipment supports sustainable practices and demonstrates a genuine investment in the educational community.
Chris Anderson, Encore Electric operations manager, took on the role as a guest instructor. Going beyond the traditional lecture format and providing continuous guidance, Anderson added a real-world dimension to the education process. This mentorship approach is likely to have a lasting impact on the students throughout their program and future careers.
“The cool thing about this portion of the program being built like a commercial setting is once they get one station right, they can understand that it would then be repeated 50 or more times on a project,” says CSU Instructor Chris Beuret. “Having Chris (Anderson) from Encore Electric as a guest instructor adds a unique and valuable dimension to the student’s education. His commitment to spending time every week with the students, providing details about drawings and hands-on experience demonstrates a real-world connection to the material.”
This hands-on lab provides Colorado State University Construction Management students with a comprehensive and immersive learning experience with an educational opportunity to get a glimpse of their future as construction professionals.