Equipping students with the skills they need to succeed in the construction industry is rewarding. It’s especially true for instructor Robert Streatch of New Brunswick Community College (NBCC), who has more than a dozen combined years of teaching and project management experience in the industry.
“When you have a former student who gets in touch after graduating, and they’re on the road to a decent career, it feels good,” said Streatch.
Since August 2016, Streatch has taught construction management for NBCC’s Building Engineering Technology Program. This two-year program provides instruction on a variety of topics, such as computer-aided design, jobsite safety, and contract law.
During Streatch’s flagship course, Construction Site Supervision, students build models of residential buildings and use Procore to manage the project. The impetus to start teaching Procore in the classroom came after a number of instructors from the program met with construction professionals to ensure students are graduating with the skills needed for future success.
“To meet the industry’s needs and requirements, we decided that we would design a course around a construction management software package, and several firms were already using Procore in the area,” Streatch explained.
To get started, students are required to upload building drawings and specifications into Procore. From there, they use a variety of project management tools to track material costs, submit information requests, build and manage project schedules, and record direct labour costs. Manual tasks, like maintaining a communications log in Microsoft Excel, are also performed so that students know how time-consuming these actions can be without Procore.
“When I show them the Daily Log in Procore, they realize how much easier it is,” Streatch pointed out.
Leroy Harrison, an NBCC graduate who took Streatch’s construction course, explained the value of learning Procore in the classroom. According to Harrison, his knowledge of Procore turned out to be crucial when applying for a job.
“During my interview, the company wanted to know what my skills were when it came to using computer software,” Harrison recalled.
The interviewer’s eyes lit up after Harrison explained that he already knew how to use Procore. With classroom exposure to the software, coupled with Procore’s online certification courses, Harrison was able to hit the ground running after his graduation.
Today, he works as a site superintendent for a large construction firm in New Brunswick, where he uses Procore every day to get the job done. The Daily Log, RFI, and Submittals tools contribute to day-to-day operations.
“Procore saves the superintendent or project manager a lot of paperwork.”
Back in the classroom, instructor Streatch is preparing a new class of students for careers in the construction industry, and he couldn’t be happier.
“To put it simply, it’s the best job I’ve ever had,” he said.