It’s nice to see interns back at P1! Team leaders across the company are excited about the crop of talent working with us this summer.
Corporate Trainer Sarah Garcia explained the implementation of new additions to the program this year.
“Our goal is to ‘wow’ the interns this summer,” Sarah said. “We want to show them how P1 is different from other companies, while fostering experiences that help them learn about our industry. Ultimately, we hope they want to work at P1.”
Sarah says Vice President Glenn Shain and some of the company’s new team leaders were instrumental in adding some valuable hands-on experiences for the interns.
“The interns are going to be busy this summer,” Sarah noted. “We have scheduled multiple structured activities most weeks they are here, to give them a solid sampling of various aspects of our industry and the different opportunities for career paths.”
Vice President Rusty Roderick says his goal is to provide real-world experience for interns working with the Performance Solutions team.
“My goal for our team intern is to provide an environmental experience, so he can see what it’s like to work at P1 as an engineer,” Rusty said. “Our past interns have been able to experience every aspect of being an engineering contractor, including calculations, design drawing creation, site visits, project development, and proposals.”
This year’s program kicks off with the MCAKC (Mechanical Contractors Association) Industry Orientation, which gives attendees both a broad and detailed look at Mechanical Construction.
New to the learning modules this year are jobsite safety audits. Since “Safety First” is the cornerstone of everything P1 does, some interns will travel to jobsites and learn from P1 Safety staff how audits are conducted. In addition, interns will learn about OSHA, Experience Modification Rates (EMRs), incident rates, and more.
Another new facet of the program includes lunch-and-learns and shop tours with key P1 vendors.
Glenn Shain explains how this year’s structure ensures an active learning experience.
“We are assigning each intern a mentor tasked with ensuring the intern is provided learning experiences working alongside foremen and project managers,” Glenn said.
“This year, we have invited four key vendors to partner with us in providing educational presentations. McQueeny Group will lead us off with a program on wet side HVAC. Jorban Riscoe will follow with a program on dry side HVAC. Then Midwest Machine will close the loop with a program on heat rejection with a tour of the Marley Cooling Tower manufacturing plant. Our partners at Ferguson will open their warehouse to us and show us the many parts and pieces it takes to install the systems in the field.”
Of course, P1 interns will tour the P1 fabrication shops as well, which always makes for an interesting day.
Since a project can’t get off the ground without an estimate, interns will have several opportunities to shadow Mechanical Estimating Manager Dan Tylski.
Two interns are returning this year, including Hayley Leonard, who is studying mechanical engineering at K-State, and Gage Hendrix, who is studying Construction Science and Management, also at K-State.
From left: Returning intern Gage Hendrix with Millwright Senior Project Manager Jim Nisely; Jesus Corral in P1 Group's Lawrence fabrication shops.
And it’s not just interns benefiting from the program.
“Over the past few years, we have hired past interns as project engineers,” Sarah said. “Many of our best project engineers and project managers started off as P1 interns.”
Senior Project Manager Clinton Gechter is a great example of someone who sees the program’s value from both sides.
“As a previous intern at P1 Group, my hope coming in was to learn more about the construction/service industry and determine if this was the field for me,” Clinton said.
“As an employee now at P1 Group, I hope to not only help our interns learn these things, but also look for those individuals who would be a good long-term fit for P1.”
“We have added these structured activities so the weeks are full of meaningful experiences,” Sarah said. “The interns will not be spending hours reading spec books to fill the time. They will be out meeting with vendors, learning about the systems we install, and visiting jobsites with the safety department.”
Team Leader Cary Minihan also emphasizes the two-way benefits of the program.
“We set up a schedule that will allow our interns to get exposure to many aspects of the mechanical contracting industry. Estimating, fabrication, vendors, jobsites, etc.,” he said. “By doing so, I hope they also get a feel for the excellent career opportunities available in mechanical construction and P1 Group.”
Three internal lunches at P1 throughout the summer bring all the interns together to get to know each other and share their insights about the program. Executives and members from various operating divisions will be present, with networking time at the end.
Shadow opportunities are also available, and interns can sign up for those that best match their interests.
But Sarah and Glenn say it won’t all be work – fun outings to places like ball games and escape rooms are also being planned so the interns and mentors can kick back and enjoy more informal conversations.
Ultimately, we hope our interns get the most out of the experience, and have fun doing it!
Hayley Leonard (pictured, above) has been drafting since high school. “I really just enjoy it that much,” she said.
P1 discovered her during a career fair in 2019, and it didn’t take long for her to get an interview with Architectural Metal Team Leader and Vice President Allen Supplee.
She took the internship with the Arch Metal Shop in 2019. “When I got to P1, I worked on 3D drafting, as well as various projects,” Haley said.
Hayley also got an opportunity to go out to California to be on-site during a project for Disney which included panels for a parking garage bridge.
"I learned how to apply the new 360 scanning to our drawings – it was a great experience,” Hayley recalls.
After not being able to physically return in 2020, Hayley says she’s glad to be back in person. “It’s great to be back in the shop again. I really like it here – everyone is so fun to work with.”
GAGE HENDRIX – RETURNING
Kansas State University, Construction Science and Management
Millwright Project Intern/Lenexa, working with Senior Project Manager Jim Nisely
HAYLEY LEONARD – RETURNING
Kansas State University, Mechanical Engineering
Architectural Metals Intern, working with Allen Supplee
Kansas State University, Mechanical Engineering
Building Technologies Intern, working with Operations Manager Danny Farnan
Pittsburg State University, Mechanical Engineering
Project Intern/Lawrence, working with Operations Manager Chris Champagne
Kansas State University, Architectural Engineering + Mathematics
Project Intern/Lenexa, working with Senior Project Manager Carey Minihan
University of Kansas, Mechanical Engineering (graduated 2021)
Project Intern/Lenexa, working with Senior Project Manager Clinton Gechter
University of Kansas, Business Administration + Spanish
Service Sales Intern/Lenexa, working with Proactive Solutions Sales Manager Tom Argubright
University of Kansas, Mechanical Engineering
Project Intern/Lenexa, working with Senior Project Manager Jason Quattlebaum
Fort Hays State University, Physics + Mechanical Engineering
Project Intern/Lenexa, working with Vice President Rusty Roderick
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