Jurgensen Companies Finds Value in Teacher Externship Program

Cincinnati-based The Jurgensen Companies – which specializes in heavy highway construction, aggregate and asphalt production, tank storage, asphalt paving, milling, storm and sewer – reported that its Valley Asphalt affiliate recently hosted a high school teacher externship that proved to be very successful. There were four teachers across different organizations included in the pilot Teacher Externship Program organized by the Supply Chain OKI (SCOKI). 

The goal of the second year of the program is 20 participants and Valley Asphalt plans to participate again. “We hope to grow this opportunity within various divisions in our company and potentially provide multiple teachers with this externship experience,” the company stated. “We were lucky to have Brady Faust join us this summer for the pilot. Brady was with us the weeks of July 18 and July 25. He shadowed Monday, Wednesday and Friday of both weeks on day shift. The busyness of the season had a slight impact limiting what he could experience and who was available to discuss their role in the company with him. However, we showed him as much as possible and believe he got to witness what we have to offer on a high level. If he would ever want come back to learn more, we would be glad to have him. Opportunities like these are too important to pass up.”

Faust is a Career Counselor at Oak Hills High School in Cincinnati. After talking with him extensively over the course of the externship, Faust explained how Oak Hills High School has been looking at its students and found that many could thrive and find more success without a college or university experience. They created a career counselor position for him to pursue this full time; helping students find the right path after high school. “We were taken aback by his passion to understand not only the construction and mining industries, but any industry that could provide these students with clear paths to success,” the company stated.

“We mainly visited aggregate facilities during the externship with Brady, but also introduced him to GCAT (Greater Cincinnati Asphalt Terminal) in North Bend, Ohio, and asphalt testing in the main lab at Valley Asphalt in Sharonville, Ohio,” the company said. “He was able to go out with a new technician every day to different locations to hear different perspectives. We feel that hearing the perspectives of technicians and well-versed employees gave Brady the most accurate picture of an employee within our company. At our facilities, we put a strong emphasis on the need for all trades so Brady witnessed many jobs at each facility during the externship. He witnessed the aggregate technicians’ tasks and test methods the most but was also given a breakdown of the daily life of an asphalt technician. We made it evident that students could come out of school with very little experience and find success at our company with proper training and acquiring knowledge through the certification process.”

It became clear to Faust as the externship progressed that there is a wide range of talents needed in the industry from the hands-on mechanically minded ground personnel that work outdoors to a person who works at a desk in the office, to lab personnel that find success in an indoor workplace. 

“Hearing his story and how he is pursuing his passion in education is very inspiring and exciting,” the company stated. “Establishing relationships like these as a result of an externship have an incredible impact on the recruiting process and help us network to audiences interested in what we do. It was very moving to know he is going out of his way to learn these industries and to assure his students have a path regardless of their strengths and weaknesses. We are so grateful for the opportunity to help Brady, and wish him the best of luck in his career.”

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