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Construction Education

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Construction U Education

ABC Wisconsin offers comprehensive education programs for our members designed to support and grow construction professionals from the apprentice through the experienced contractor. Construction U education programs are designed to make a great impact on your team, your projects, and accelerate your career in the industry.

Construction U offers a wide variety of craft and professional development education in a variety of formats. Whether it is in-person, online, or a customized in-house education experience, we have something that meets the needs and budgets of our members. Please contact our Education Department at 800-236-2224 or 608-244-5883 for more information on any of the classes listed within our program.

Course Overviews

Select a course below to learn more and register online.

Communication Skills: For You & Your Crew

Who Should Attend:

  • Field workers
  • Rising leaders & key personnel in team culture
  • Administrative professionals
  • Entry Level Workers & Apprentices
  • People interested in enhancing their communication skills

Mastering communication and interpersonal skills are an essential in the success of projects. Construction projects follow a chain of communication from one person to the next, and from one party to another. With strong communication skills and workplace relationships, you can avoid delays, rework, and costly misunderstandings. Communication Skills was designed to enhance communication and improve teamwork which ultimately impacts your project success.

What You Will Learn:

  • Understanding your role as a trainer, role-model, and mentor
  • Recognizing communication & behavior styles in yourself and others
  • Explore active listening techniques and recognize the barriers
  • Discuss the importance of feedback and identify successful techniques for giving and receiving it
  • Understand the impact of professionalism on the job site with peers, supervisors, and clients


May 2: Professional Development Center, ABC of Wisconsin, 5330 Wall St., Madison, WI
November 1: 
Professional Development Center, ABC of Wisconsin, 5330 Wall St., Madison, WI
Course Session Time: 
7:30a.m. – 3:00p.m.
Instructor: Dan Paulson, InVision Development International, LLC
Registration Fee: 
$200 Members & Apprentices

Foreman Fundamentals

Who Should Attend:

  • Field workers looking to explore and grow into the role of a foreman
  • Foreman looking to improve skill sets and enhance the function of a team
  • Small – midsize construction company owners wanting to improve his or her leadership abilities

Construction foremen play a critical role in successful construction sites. They act as leaders and managers on complex construction sites; provide communications between the field and the home office and are often on the front line with the customers. Being a successful foreman requires skill. This person is an individual who not only produces a high-quality final product, but also one who is profitable, productive, and personable.

What You Will Learn:

  • Understand the role of a foreman
  • Explore your leadership style and understand it’s impact
  • Discuss why delegation is critical to your success and how to do it effectively
  • The steps to building an engaged team and establishing a positive workplace culture

April 19, 2024, ABC of Wisconsin, Professional Development Center, 5330 Wall St., Madison, WI
May 17, 2024, Hausmann Group, N25 W23050 Paul Rd, Pewaukee, WI
December 5, 2024, Hausmann Group, N25 W23050 Paul Rd, Pewaukee, WI
Course Session Time:  
7:30a.m. – 3:00p.m.
Instructor:  Bill Rozga, Trade Talk, LLC
Registration Fee
 $200 Members & Apprentices

Understanding Operations

Who Should Attend:

  • Field workers who are exploring a role in leadership
  • Field workers who want a better understanding of construction operations from the business side
  • Support staff looking to increase their business operations understanding

Each worker on a project is critical to the overall success. When each team member understands how and why decisions are made, the likelihood of project success and profitability increases. A shift from field worker to “business owner” ensures that everyone is working towards the same goal.

What You Will Learn:

  • The concepts of shifting to a business owner mindset
  • Communication that will influence decision-makers
  • The cost of poor decision-making and understanding the risks
  • An understanding of the importance of goals and action plans and measuring operational performance
Maximizing Field Communications For Results

Who Should Attend:

  • Field workers / Team Leads
  • Key Personnel in Team Culture
  • Administrative Professionals
  • Entry Level Workers & Apprentices
  • People interested in enhancing their communication skills

In this dynamic session, we will explore the vital skills required for effective communication within a construction crew. Discover how clear and efficient communication can enhance efficiency, safety, and project success as well as how to resolve conflict in a healthy, productive way. Participants will learn how to navigate the unique challenges that come with working within a construction team by understanding emotional intelligence and how it impacts our decisions on how we communicate with each other.

What You Will Learn:

  • Discover the secrets to successful crew communication
  • Learn the foundational communication to achieve a high functioning crew
  • Understand how to address conflict, in a healthy and productive way
  • Create a communication action plan that will allow you to diffuse and resolve situations respectfully

Course Session Time: 8:00a.m. – 2:00p.m.
March 13, 2024, ABC of Wisconsin 5330 Wall St., Madison, WI
Registration Fee $200 Members & Apprentices

Plan & Specifications Reading

Who Should Attend:

  • Entry level workers
  • Apprentices
  • Admin professionals
  • Team members interested in enhancing their skill set in reading construction documents

Reading construction documents and plans are fundamental skills necessary for anyone striving to be successful in the construction industry. This Plan & Spec Reading course has been designed for individuals with little to no experience with reading construction plans and specifications. This course will provide a basic overview of construction plans and specs including, Civil, Site, Foundation, Floor, Roof, Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing.

What You Will Learn:

  • Architectural Lines & Symbols
  • Terminology Used in Drawings & Specifications
  • Guidelines for Reading Plans
  • Specifications
  • Building Codes

Plumbing apprentices are still required to take Plumbing Blueprint Reading.

May 9-10, 2024, ABC of Wisconsin, Professional Development Center, 5330 Wall St., Madison, WI
November 7-8, 2024, Tundra Lodge Resort, 865 Lombardi Ave., Green Bay, WI 54304
Course Session Time:  7:30a.m. – 3:30p.m.
Registration Fee
 $300 Members; $600 Non-Members

Project Coordinator: A 6-Day Education Series

Who Should Attend:

  • Project Coordinators
  • Assistant Project Coordinators
  • Administrative Assistants
  • Office Managers

The Project Coordinator is an integral member of the construction team. This person must be organized, detail-oriented, and able to handle project documents, contracts, progress reports, and closeout documents. This program offers project coordinators and office support staff the ability to enhance their skillsets and operational understanding in project life cycles, plans and specifications, organization and team collaboration.

What You Will Learn:

  • Understanding of the construction industry and the Project Coordinator role
  • Explore and work with construction documents to gain an understanding of the requirements for an entire project
  • Discuss communication models and negotiation techniques necessary for project success
  • How to read and interpret plans and specification documents
  • Discuss the concept of breachless contract and introduce contract basics and terminology
  • Learn how to efficiently plan and maintain your projects

Course Session Time: 8:00a.m. – 3:30p.m.
Where: Professional Development Center, ABC of Wisconsin, 5330 Wall St., Madison, WI
Registration Fees: $1,500 for the first person, $1,200 for each additional person from the same company OR $325 for individual classes
Registration deadline is 5 days prior to each course offering.


Instructor: Jenna Milis, Milis Flatwork
Through engaging peer discussions, attendees will discuss the roles and responsibilities of Project Coordinators through the life cycles of Project Delivery as well as the characteristics that help to make a Project Coordinator successful. This session will also provide insights on how to identify and prioritize important tasks to maximize your ROI on time investment and minimize non-productive activities.


Instructor: Gretchen Bockenhauer
Through work and review of documents used within a construction project, participants will gain an understanding of the impact and importance of documents from the building permit to the design build.


Instructor(s): Josh Levy & Rachel Potter
In this session, attendees will learn definitions and terminology used in construction contracts as well as discuss the concept of breachless contract. Attendees will learn communication models that positively impact negotiation practices both in and out of the office.


Instructor: Gary Roerhig
Reading construction documents and plans are a fundamental skill necessary for anyone working within the construction industry. Attendees will work with a set of construction plans and specifications to learn common terminology and symbols used within construction documents.


Instructor: Brandi Davis
Attendees will identify their communication style preferences, learn how to be more effective with the people they interact with daily, and learn how they may be perceived by other styles as well as explore best practice steps of effective conflict resolution. This session will also provide tips and techniques that will keep meetings running smoothly.

Day 6: Creative Problem Solving

(This session is a half-day class followed by a celebration lunch and not available to purchase as a stand-alone session)

Instructor: Brandi Davis
Now more than ever, organizations are needing to find innovative, creative solutions to remain competitive. In this energetic and interactive session attendees will learn strategies for enhancing creative problem-solving to go beyond our current patterns of thinking.

The Essentials to Crew Leadership

Who Should Attend:

  • Crew leaders
  • Foremen
  • Project Supervisors
  • Office managers
  • Executives

The construction team leader is responsible for the work carried out by the team. Team leaders have to ensure work carried out is of the highest quality, making sure each stage of the project runs smoothly and in line with the required deadlines. This requires not only knowledge in the process, but also skill and expertise in leading and motivating team members. This course focuses on the leadership qualities necessary to keep people and projects moving forward.

What You Will Learn:

  • Understanding the role and differences between leader, manager and coach
  • Defining the role of a field leader
  • Exploring the five guidelines for building an effective team
  • Discussing motivation within a team
  • Techniques to enhance employee accountability to lead a team to peak performance
The Building Blocks of Safety Success

Who Should Attend:

  • Safety Managers
  • Superintendents
  • Foreman and/or Supervisors
  • Team members responsible for safety initiatives within the company

Safety professionals are critical to the safety culture of the workplace. Safety leaders are tasked with extremely important initiatives such as creating and implementing health and safety policies, training employees on safety standards, and conducting safety inspections. This program provides ABC Wisconsin Members with the tools and skill sets required to develop safety professionals into safety leaders.

Course Session Time: 7:30a.m. – 3:30p.m.
Where: Consolidated Construction Company, 4300 N. Richmond St., Appleton WI
Registration Fees: $1,400 for the first person, $1,200 for each additional person from the same company


Instructor: ABC of WI Safety Staff
Participants will understand the importance of leadership commitment, cultural transformation, and the safety management processes in achieving a world-class safety culture.


Instructor: Mark Miner
Participants will learn their role, responsibilities, and value as a safety leader, including the key components of a safety program and their relationship to regulatory requirements. 


Instructor: Mark Miner
Participants will learn the elements required to develop a site-specific safety plan to meet specific job conditions. This will include how to manage the flow of post incident information, managing on-site emergencies, and crisis planning.


Instructor: Mark Miner
This session will prepare safety professionals on how to develop and deliver effective training as well as facilitate efficient and value driven safety meetings. Participants will learn how to assess needs, develop objectives, prepare content, and analyze end-of-message results, including daily pre-task analysis. Participants will learn techniques to coach personnel to address safety problems and will receive an overview of the OSHA, MSHA and DOT training requirements.


Instructor: Mark Miner
This session will cover response to incidents. Learners will review methods commonly used for conducting incident reviews, record-keeping, and documentation for regulations and insurance needs as well as higher level incident data examination for systematic analysis.

Project Supervision - New & Improved!

Who Should Attend:

  • Crew Leaders / Foreman transitioning to a new role
  • Project Managers
  • Project Supervisors

The Project Supervisor is responsible for the overall success of the project delivery including the planning phase, safety components, employee relations, and overall details of the construction project. Advance your career and excel in project supervision principles. The interactive program consists of multiple sessions taught by industry leaders, covering construction-specific topics every supervisor needs to know. 

The Project Supervision program gives both seasoned and newer field managers an opportunity to develop their skills, share experiences and best practices and enhance their role as Project Supervisors.

PREREQUISITE: Valid OSHA 30 completion certificate required. Certificate will be requested on first day of the course.  

Course Session Time: 8:00a.m. – 3:30p.m.
Where: Professional Development Center, ABC of Wisconsin, 5330 Wall St., Madison, WI
Registration Fees: $2,400 for the first person, $2,200 for each additional person from the same company
Registration deadline is 5 days prior to each course offering.


Instructor: Jim Bunkelman, Royal Construction, Inc.
This session discusses the transitional skills required to move into a leadership position, the format to deliver a profitable project, and examine a project from the initial estimate to closeout. Attendees will discover why projects go wrong, examine common reasons for cost overruns, and learn how to efficiently plan and maintain your projects.


Instructor: Adam Ardnt
The success of any project requires effective control of construction costs on the jobsite. This session specifically focuses on construction cost and applies principles and practices associated with cost awareness and production control to different elements of a project. Attendees will solve common construction problems using case studies and discussion of common cost control issues.


Program attendees will select from a variety of safety, personal development, leadership, and business management sessions taught by industry experts that will best meet their needs. This two-day also offers the opportunity to network with peers.


Instructor: Gary Roerhig
Reviewing the plans and specifications for a project prior to construction is important to become familiar with the project and to understand what to keep an eye on during construction. Over the course of two-days, attendees will work with a set of plans and specifications and will learn common terminology and symbols and will be able to understand project plans and apply this to the construction process.


Instructor: Josh Levy
Project supervisors are often on the front line of disputes or potential disagreements between contractors and subcontractors. This session will discuss the concept of breachless execution. Attendees will learn common terminology, issues and resolutions, progress billing and the payment process, performance issues, default, and termination. Through interactive discussions, attendees will practice dispute resolution and how to avoid disputes through best practice standards.


Instructor: Dan Paulson
Effective communication is essential to every construction project. This session will explore communication channels used on the jobsites and the need for each. Attendees will understand the importance of their role in the flow of communication and learn how to overcome the barriers necessary for productive workflow within the team, and on the job.


Instructor: Dan Paulson
Strategic planning provides both a process and a set of outcomes that help you find the answers to core questions about projects and direction. Attendees will learn the role strategic planning plays in enabling long-term success by understanding the strategic planning process and its essential components and how it applies to complex problem solving. 

Business Transitions

Whether you are toying with the idea of exiting the business in the next few years or are 10 years away, it is never too early to start planning; it certainly can be too late! This course was designed for business owners to evaluate their leadership team, current operations and financial position and build strategic exit plans to help maximize their reward for years of hard work and effort.

Who Should Attend:

  • Owners and leaders wanting to strengthen and increase the value of the business
  • Current owners considering exiting the business in the next 10 years
  • Business leaders looking to buy into their firm or looking to acquire a firm

What You Will Learn:

  • Discover how the entire process of selling or transitioning your business works
  • Learn how strategies you deploy now will increase selling price even ten years from now
  • Learn how to maximize the legacy you spent decades building by readying your leadership team to run your company when you’re gone

April 11-12, 2024, ABC of Wisconsin, 5330 Wall St., Madison, WI
Course Session Time:  8:00a.m. – 3:00p.m.
Registration Fee: 
 $499 Members

Become an ABC Education Partner!

To learn more about this opportunity to gain brand awareness and exposure at Construction U education events contact the Director of Education, Brandi Davis.


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