Sink or Swim – A Better Choice

When I was a kid, my grandfather told me when he was a little boy, his father took a rowboat with my grandfather in it to the middle of a lake. Once there, he threw my grandfather overboard and pointed to the shore, telling him that he would meet, if he learned to swim. This practice was fairly common, and it brings to mind the phrase, “Sink or Swim.” I always felt fortunate I had swimming lessons in a swimming pool with a swimming instructor.

small child swimming

In the construction industry, we can sometimes still find the “sink or swim” philosophy at work, especially for those who are in the role of project coordinator or assistant project manager. Whatever the title, at some point, this person is asked to help a project manager. In a very short time, they must learn very complex procedures with unfamiliar terminology. For some, it is like being thrown into the lake without know where the shore is. Basically, they are find themselves in a “Sink or Swim” situation.

The problem with this method is, it takes a lot of time to learn. Most everything is learned on the job using trial and error. Until now, formal training has simply not been available for those in this role.

Approximately one year ago, requests came in from several ABC of Wisconsin members about training for this role. Working with those members and industry professionals, we developed a six-week (one day per week) program specifically for project coordinators/assistant project managers.

The first cohort class starts Thursday, April 26 and is held every Thursday in May for a total of six days. Here is a breakdown of the sessions:

Day 1 – Intro to Project Coordination

Day 2 – Life Cycle of a Project

Day 3 – Construction Plans and Specifications

Day 4 – Communication, Negotiating Skills, & Schedules

Day 5 – Working with Construction Documents

Day 6 – Putting it all Together

The project coordinator program will be taught by industry experts with a combined 95 years’ experience in the construction industry, working with small and large general contractors, subcontractors in residential, commercial, and horizontal construction. Their experience, overall knowledge of and enthusiasm for the industry and enthusiasm are second to none. For more information about the project coordinator program, click here or email Wayne Belanger or call 800-829-9926.

By Wayne Belanger

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