C.D. Smith Construction at Trades Roundtable with
Carpentry Apprentice Austin Ferch

Interview with C.D. Smith Construction Carpentry Apprentice Austin Ferch

 

Austin Ferch highlights his career pathway as a carpentry apprentice and offers advice in this interview and represents C.D. Smith Construction as a guest speaker at WRTP | BIG STEP's Apprenticeship in the Trades Roundtable.

WRTP | BIG STEP stands for Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership (WRTP) & Building Industry Group Skilled Trade Employment Program (BIG STEP). With a mission of enhancing the ability of companies to recruit, develop and retain a more diverse, qualified workforce, this national organization is an industry-recognized workforce development tool.

On November 15, 2021, WRTP | BIG STEP held an Apprenticeship in the Trades Roundtable event. C.D. Smith Construction Carpentry Apprentice Austin Ferch was one of the guest speakers featured on a panel of apprentices in the building trades from across Wisconsin. We captured the answers to his discussion questions and documented them in our own interview. You can find the Q & A below.

C.D. Smith Construction Carpentry Apprentice Austin Ferch at Madison Project Jobsite

Interview with Austin Ferch

What made you pursue this industry? What was your pathway into an apprenticeship?

When I was a senior in high school, like most kids, I needed to earn money. My uncle knew a project manager at C.D. Smith Construction. I applied for a job online and was hired as a laborer. I worked on weekends and after school. My job assignment was to watch and learn as I worked as a mason tender, mixing concrete, stacking brick, hauling, cleaning, sweeping and whatever else was assigned. I performed many necessary and sometimes not-so-fun tasks that exposed me to many elements of a construction job, the trades, and the skilled labor needed to complete a build.

What are valuable skills in the trades? How can someone prepare for an apprenticeship?

Construction was a good fit for me. I like the outdoors and working with my hands. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishing something daily. There is a camaraderie among the union, the laborers, apprentice workers, journeymen and associated trade workers that are most of the time cohesive and positive. I knew this was a good fit for me and I wanted to earn more and learn more. My work ethic is to show up early and work hard. Do a job well and take constructive feedback and incorporate that in my learning. I was noticed by the superintendent because of my efforts and capabilities and offered an apprenticeship in construction.

Do you have any advice or words of wisdom? Is there a message you would like to send to anyone considering an apprenticeship in the trades?

I respect those who work in the trades. I am proud of what I do, and it takes many hands to complete a project. I have worked on multi-family housing units, manufacturing facilities, elementary schools, and mixed-use and industrial ventures. My advice to someone interested in the construction trades is to be open to what is available. There are many aspects and careers to consider. Get on a jobsite and experience it. You will soon see there is no one set way or plan, and even the best-made plans need to be adjusted. You need to pivot and be innovative. Everyone has something to bring to the job. No two project managers or superintendents are the same. Work hard. Set yourself apart with your skills and talents and, most of all, have a "get it done right" attitude.

Date: November 23, 2021 | Author: Molly Haack

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Building a Stronger Tomorrow

 

Programs like WRTP | BIG STEP and ACE Academy are Beneficial for Schools, Construction Businesses, Apprentices and the Future.

In combination with programs like WRTP | BIG STEP, schools and the business community can effectively develop mutually beneficial Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs that build a stronger tomorrow by training students today. K-12 Academic and Career Planning is an avenue for bringing awareness to construction and skilled trade career pathways.

The Fond du Lac High School ACE Academy was born from confronting the realities of the workforce. C.D. Smith helped to transform Fond du Lac High School's construction curriculum into a flagship operation housed in the 6,000 square foot facility you see today. Enrollment in the program continues to grow as ACE Academy graduates find employment with the very businesses that instructed them in the classroom.

C.D. Smith Construction Building School Partnerships for Construction and Skilled Trades Career Fond du Lac ACE Masonry Week

The opportunities in the construction trades are so great, that The Daily Reporter recently published multiple articles in a matter of a few days. One was about current and future apprenticeship deductions and tuition tax breaks, and the other was about the wages and benefits of union apprenticeship grads rivaling those earned by college graduates. The article was titled, Report: Apprentices earn as much as college grads and is linked here.

"At C.D. Smith, we seek the best and brightest through our support of skilled trade career pathways, workforce development programs and apprenticeships. Clearly there is pride, fulfillment and healthy compensation in a career in the trades. By collaborating with programs like WRTP | BIG STEP and ACE Academy,  we're able to share the great potential and variety of growth opportunities in the construction trades. You can write your own ticket!" -Terry Owens, Vice President of Field Operations at C.D. Smith Construction

 

Learn more about our support of future leaders in the construction trades by visiting the links below:

C.D. SMITH'S K-12 SCHOOL PARTNERSHIPS FOR CONSTRUCTION AND SKILLED TRADE CAREER PATHWAYS

MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION (CTE) PROGRAMS CONNECT SCHOOLS AND CONSTRUCTION BUSINESSES

FIELD CAREERS | APPRENTICESHIPS AND BUILDING YOUR SKILLED TRADE CAREER PATH

 

 

 

 

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C.D. Smith

About Us
C.D. Smith Construction is a nationally recognized industry leader in safely providing the highest quality commercial construction services. Utilizing an integrated approach and in-house technical expertise, our team serves as a solutions provider throughout all phases of a project, from planning through closeout. With veteran leadership and dedication to our employees and clients, we proudly place our name on projects of all sizes across the United States.
Safety
Culture of Safety

Through a proactive safety program, strict standards and our “Think Safe. Work Safe.” campaign, we have built a solid culture where safety is our number one priority day in and day out.

 Go to our website's SAFETY page to learn more about how in everything we do, safety is our number one priority. A video is embedded at the bottom of the page.
 
SAFETY | IT'S WHO WE ARE
#ThinkSafeWorkSafe
 
 
Giving Back
Our Community


C.D. Smith supports many local organizations through sponsorship programs and monetary donations in our community and in the communities with which we work. In the past 10 years, we have donated over $4 million to businesses and organizations throughout the state of Wisconsin, from small community clubs to large non-profit organizations.


Building community is the foundation of our organization. By supporting community initiatives, economic growth and development, we feel privileged to help ensure our team members have solid places to live, work, volunteer, serve and play.

Go to our Beneath the Hard Hat Press & Blog and select the C.D. Smith Gives Back filtered category to learn more.

 

Sustainability
High-Performance Building

Our commitment to holistically enhancing the current and future environmental, economic and societal well-being of the communities in which we live, work and play begins with education. We have a team devoted to understanding the difference between green building and a sustainable built environment. Our team will help you weigh the financial and business impacts of building green through a sustainable approach to make the most informed decisions. Join us in our commitment to creating better-performing buildings by increasing sustainable construction practices. It’s more than a trend… it’s the right thing to do!

Our Sustainability

We went for LEED Gold®, and now we're living green in the best possible way. According to the USGBC LEED Project Directory, the C.D. Smith Corporate Office is the first recognized LEED BD+C: New Construction-v4 Gold Certified building in Wisconsin, the next-generation standard for green building design, construction, operations and performance.

Discover more about OUR SUSTAINABILITY by following the link.

Trade Partners & Bids
If you are interested in working with us or would like to request adding your company to our bidder’s database, please complete our Trade Partners & Bids Form, Click here.

Self-Performing

Our self-perform capabilities are a direct result of our talented team members' skilled trade career paths in the communities in which we live and work.

Learn more about C.D. Smith Construction's self-performing capabilities from our WEB PAGE:

Are you looking to build your career with an industry leader in construction? LEARN MORE about growth opportunities with C.D. Smith from the FIELD CAREERS page of our website.

 


Contact Us Get in Touch

YOUR PROJECT. OUR PRIORITY.® | We'd love to hear from you and look forward to learning more for discovering how to build community by connecting you with integrated commercial construction expertise.

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About C.D. Smith

C.D. Smith Construction is an industry leader in safely providing the highest quality commercial construction services. Utilizing an integrated approach and self-performing trade services combined with technical expertise, our team serves as a solutions provider throughout all phases of a project, from planning through construction. With veteran leadership and a dedication to our employees and clients, we proudly place our name on projects of all sizes across the United States.

Visit www.cdsmith.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.

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Beneath the Hard Hat®, our company press and blog, offers an intimate look at the people and stories that make C.D. Smith Construction. With the latest industry news and project updates, we share insights on the superior spaces we are safely delivering year-round. Our team of technical experts provides useful tips and topics to help plan your next commercial project.

Subscribe to Beneath the Hard Hat For news, insights and updates from our blog

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TRADE PARTNERS & BIDS |If you're interested in working with us or would like to request adding your company to our bidder’s database, please complete our Trade Partners & Bids Form: Click Here.


 


Get in Touch

Corporate Headquarters
125 Camelot Drive
Fond du Lac, WI 54935

Milwaukee Office
241 North Broadway
Suite 400
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Madison Office
316 West Washington Avenue
Suite 900 
Madison, WI 53703

La Crosse Office
333 Front Street North
Suite 701 
La Crosse, WI 54601

Ready to build community and get connected with commercial construction expertise? Use the below form to submit questions or request information. We look forward to learning more and discovering how we can make YOUR PROJECT. OUR PRIORITY.®.

 

Construction Trades | Field Careers


We Build Careers. Grow With Us.

C.D. Smith offers a wide variety of growth opportunities in the construction trades. Start as a laborer and work your way into an apprenticeship program that best suits your interests and skills. Earn industry-leading wages and gain valuable trade skills through C.D. Smith Construction's apprenticeship career pathways. Learn more about field position wages, benefits, job training schedules, education hours, classroom requirements and the step-by-step stages of mapping out your apprenticeship program. Learn more by visiting our FIELD CAREERS page and exploring or inquiring about potential or current openings.

LABORERS
CARPENTERS
CONCRETE FINISHERS
IRONWORKERS
MASONS
OPERATORS
Current Openings FIELD Careers