LeChase meets with students in Alfred and Albany

Always looking for future construction talent, LeChase employees were again at two fall events that have been “don’t miss” opportunities for the company to meet with students.

Alfred State Career Fair

On October 24, Paul Cody, project manager from Corning, staffed the LeChase booth with two Alfred State alumni – Project Engineers Larry Johnson and Frank Tortora.

Larry, of the Corning office, has been on campus a number of times since graduating as LeChase has had several projects underway at the school. Still, he enjoyed the opportunity to meet students and see his old professors. “They are happy to see their graduates come back, and like to hear how the teachings they offered helped us to gain and maintain employment in the construction industry. LeChase is held in high regard at Alfred State,” he said. Looking back, Larry can appreciate the value of the career fair for students. “I always had a summer job lined up, so I never really attended a career day until the last semester of my senior year,” he explained. “I wish I had attended them sooner and maybe landed an internship, because I think it would have prepared me a little more for the day I graduated and started looking for a job in my field.”

As a student, Frank – who works in the Rochester office – had a much different experience. “I went to both fall and spring career fairs my sophomore, junior and senior years and spoke to Paul each and almost every time,” he recalled. “Seeing a familiar face at the booth allowed me to feel more confident and comfortable going to the table and sparking up another conversation about internships and eventually job opportunities.”

At the recent fair, all of the LeChase staff talked to a variety of attendees – some who knew exactly what they wanted to do and others who were just seeing what opportunities might exist. “I have a sense that those who participated in an internship program had a better feel for what they wanted to pursue after graduation,” said Larry. He added that other than a few architects, most students were from the school’s construction management program.

Some were even in transition. “I was surprised at how many people were looking for their next career,” observed Frank. “They were ready and willing to start the next day if they could.”

Although it’s not always easy to take a day out of a busy work schedule, Paul, Larry and Frank are likely to be back for future Alfred State events. “It was pretty cool to see all the students excited to be there and get their careers started,” said Frank. “It was a very positive experience and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.”

Top photos at right show Larry (orange vest), Frank (red shirt) and Paul (with tie) at the event.

Associated Schools of Construction

About two weeks later, on November 10 in Albany, several representatives from the Rochester office attended the annual Associate Schools of

Construction Student Competition and Career Fair. LeChase was well represented not only at booth but also within the competition. The company sponsors a team from the Rochester Institute of Technology that competes in the Design-Build category. For several months in advance, LeChase volunteers help the students prepare. Former LeChase intern Greg Delahoy was the RIT team co-captain. In addition, several former and current LeChase interns participated on other teams.

  • Zach Rowe represented another RIT team in the Heavy Civil category,
  • RJ Sturtz, was the captain of the Alfred State Commercial Building team,
  • Nicole Donnelly competed on the Alfred State Heavy Highway team, and
  • Joshua Johnson competed on the SUNY Delhi Preconstruction team.

LeChase representatives staffing the Albany event (left-to-right in the bottom photo) were:

  • Jack Susman, project manager, CLC (an RIT alum who participated in this competition during his college years)
  • Courtney Lafferty, project engineer, Rochester
  • Lee Sommerman, regional operations manager, Rochester, and also an RIT alum
  • Cheryl Schmidt, director of organizational development