Robins & Morton’s craft development program graduates third class into management roles

The nine members of Robins & Morton’s Rocky McMichen Field Leadership Program class of 2021 recently graduated, taking their places in entry-level field management roles.

The program is named for retired Robins & Morton Senior Vice President Rocky McMichen, who began his career in the field and advanced into an executive leadership position within the company. McMichen started the Robins & Morton Craft Mentorship Program – since renamed in his honor – as a way for craft professionals to progress into a management role.

The nine recent graduates were selected from Robins & Morton jobsites across the country. Trainees chosen for the program are paired with Robins & Morton managers who serve as their mentors. The program, which typically runs 15 months, includes classroom and on-the-job training, structured mentorship checkpoints and a final exam.

Over three classes, the program has advanced more than 30 people, and a fourth class will accept nominations later this spring. “These are men and women who come up in the industry and show themselves as leaders,” said President and COO Robin Savage.

For participants, the Rocky McMichen Field Leadership Program is both a life- and career-changing experience.

“You’re selected for this program because somebody sees something in you, and knowing that tells me I’m worth something,” said recent graduate and General Foreman Jeremiah Smith.

Classmate Bruno Mendez, who was promoted to low voltage superintendent after graduation, said the program gave him the skills to better manage teams. “I’m definitely looking forward to utilizing everything I’ve learned,” he said.

The program addresses both the demand for construction professionals and Robins & Morton’s emphasis on developing and promoting its people. This provides a clear career path for many who understand the company’s values and culture.

“The industry needs people. Robins & Morton needs people,” said McMichen. “It’s identifying people and giving them the opportunity.”