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WVBO Classic Car Show & Cruise

Saturday, July 18, 3-6:30 p.m., Appleton Campus, East Parking Lot

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8/4 Easy Start Session

Tuesday, August 4, 4 p.m., Appleton. Learn about Fast Forward grant programs, then complete all your admissions requirements in one visit.

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Focus Magazine | Current Issue | Spring 2015

Building Careers: Construction Management Technology

Building Careers: Construction Management Technology

Spring 2014

Apr 3, 2014

At age 26, Jim Peterson has already come a long way in his career field. The recent graduate of Fox Valley Technical College’s Construction Management Technology program is a project engineer for Catalyst Construction, a residential and commercial builder in Milwaukee. “I do whatever it takes to make sure a job gets done right,” he says. “That includes everything from ordering materials and coordinating delivery to providing onsite supervision, in addition to reviewing and hiring subcontractors.”

Peterson, who had joined the U.S. Marine Corps immediately after high school, slowly developed a clear career plan. “I grew up building projects with my dad in Little Chute,” he says. “I like hands-on work, but in the long run, I wanted to get into management.”

A friend who studied construction management at FVTC recommended the program. “He was right,” says Peterson. “My teachers were terrific. Plus, many students were skilled tradesmen and women who offered practical insight into every topic.”

Peterson also points out how those classes supported his professional growth. “I would learn something on the job and then learn the details in class,” he says. “Other things, like finances, I learned first in class and then was able to apply those discoveries to my work.”

In addition to classroom work, Peterson advanced his career through internships. After completing just two classes, he landed a paid internship position with a community developer and urban planner, working on the Eagle Flats development in Appleton. His second paid internship was as a commercial project coordinator with ProBuild, one of the nation’s largest suppliers of building materials.

Peterson found his current position through a volunteer project for Rebuilding Together Fox Valley in Appleton. “I got to work with the senior project manager for Catalyst during that experience,” he says. “He ended up offering me a full-time job.”

Peterson frequently recommends FVTC to others. “I gained a lot in both the general education and construction classes,” he says. “At Fox Valley Technical College, you get what you need to succeed in the workforce.”

Quick Facts:

63% of graduates from FVTC’s Construction Management Technology program immediately enter the workforce in a supervisory position (FVTC’s Graduate Employment Research Reports, 2012 & 2013) 

3rd highest-paying job on the rise (U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Employment and Wages Data, May 2011, based on 17% projected growth from 2010 to 2020 for construction managers)