Mentorship programs provide opportunity, increase diversity

Talk to almost any successful construction management professional, and they’ll tell you that mentorship was – and remains – a very influential part of their career development.

Robins & Morton recognizes that mentorships can also serve as effective path to bring people who do not have a construction-related degree into construction management roles. The company has three distinct mentorship programs to support non-traditional career paths: The Rocky McMichen Field Leadership Program, the Barbara Wilson Mentorship Program and the Veterans Mentorship Program. All three are built upon the importance of mentorship to career development in the construction industry.

The Rocky McMichen Field Leadership Program provides a pathway for career progression for craft professionals who wish to move into management positions. It is an intensive, 15-month program involving one-on-one mentorships, hands-on experience and a classroom curriculum covering 16 established topics from surveying to business writing and communicating. Upon graduation, trainees are offered the entry-level management roles.

The program is named for retired Senior Vice President Rocky McMichen, who started his career as a carpenter and advanced into an executive position. He also served as mentor to many of our company’s current leaders and saw the potential in implementing a formal mentoring program. The program was his vision.

The Rocky McMichen Field Leadership Program also provided the framework for the Barbara Wilson Mentorship Program. The Barbara Wilson Mentorship Program takes an individualized approach for team members who want to move from administrative support roles to positions in operations. It launched in 2020 and graduated its first class in the spring of 2022.

The program is named after our former Vice President of Marketing, Barbara Wilson, who had a nearly 30-year career with Robins & Morton. Although she began in a temporary administrative role, she became an indispensable part of the team, working in multiple roles from estimating to accounting, project management, sales and marketing, and more. At one time or another, Wilson touched just about every part of the company’s operations, leaving a lasting mark on the business and its people.

The recently launched Veterans Mentorship Program is one part of our efforts to provide career opportunities in construction for military servicepeople transitioning to civilian life. The Veterans Mentorship Program pairs recently released military veterans who are early in their Robins & Morton careers with senior team members who also served. The mentors provide one-on-one guidance to help new team members succeed professional and personally. Robins & Morton also has two positions that recognize the valuable leadership skills and experience veterans offer, providing career tracks for veterans with a military background outside construction.

Just as with the organic mentorships that form between new construction professionals and experienced managers, Robins & Morton’s mentorship programs recognize the important role that mentors play in helping team members achieve their potential as future leaders.

The programs also recognize that potential is not limited to hires with a construction management degree. This approach helps Robins & Morton address the shortage of qualified construction management professionals, while increasing our diversity.