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Michigan Works! Helps M&M Excavating Develop Emerging Leaders for the Next Generation

M&M Excavating is committed to developing the next generation of leaders for their 50-year old company to ensure success for the organization and, most importantly the 70+ families the company supports. As their workforce continues to age, like many other industries, it is vitality important to transfer knowledge from existing leaders to emerging leaders.

M&M approached Michigan Works! seeking training assistance to help train 12 existing employees in Emerging Leader training. Thanks to WIOA Adult funding, Michigan Works! Business Solutions Professional Melissa McDonnell was able to offer M&M Incumbent Worker Training funds to help them train their employees.

The skills taught during the training were aimed at increasing an individual trainees opportunity to move from a crew role (seasonal work during the construction season) into a leadership role (year-round work): such as Crew Leader, Manager, Foreman, Superintendent, Project Manager and potentially Executive Roles. These roles not only include increased responsibility, but also increased earning potential for the individual. For the company, this training ensures upward growth and retention of key employees. Highly trained managers ensure jobsite/workforce safety, quality workmanship and successful project completion. The creation of safe, productive and harmonious teams results in positive morale which leads to higher job satisfaction and greater opportunities for new employee referrals to fill open positions.

The 12 individuals trained through the Emerging Leader Program are now actively working on jobsites, managing projects and people from small crews of 3-5 members to large teams of 25+ employees. Each day the Leader has the opportunity to use the communication skills and techniques acquired to better manage a safe, productive team. Construction is a tough industry - both physically & mentally: operating with and near heavy equipment, on active roadways with the motoring public, under tight deadlines, and working from sun-up to sun-down in the elements. A Leader must manage the technical aspects of the project along with the human factors involved, exercising excellent communication skills, including conflict management, establishing clear expectations and creative motivation techniques becomes the differentiator toward a healthy work environment.

In addition to the skills covered within the training sessions, the Emerging Leader training created a "cohort" of individuals seeking career advancement. This cohort bond now serves to foster encouragement and accountability toward achieving the positive culture to which each individual committed during their training. The Executive Leadership Team at M&M Excavating is pleased with the launch of their Emerging Leader Training and intends to continue developing this next generation of leadership.


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