Our Interns Lead a Project for the Olathe Pregnancy Center

By Matthew Straub, Marketing Coordinator at Straub Construction

Intern Project for Olathe Pregnancy CenterFor the third year in a row, the Summer Internship Program at Straub Construction has culminated with our interns, Connor Wentz-Hall, Justin Briggs, and Trevor Scheumann planning and managing a volunteer/building project.

At Straub Construction, we take a very comprehensive approach to our summer internships.

Our interns spend time working in the field, in the estimating department, shadowing a project manager, and finally they get to plan and execute their own volunteer project. This year we had the privilege of working with Olathe Pregnancy Center, an organization that provides educational and material support to pregnant mothers from early on in their pregnancy, till years after.

We discovered the need for this project when Straub Construction was selected to renovate their new Olathe location. We were informed from the owner that they were only renovating half of the space because they didn’t have the funds to complete the whole space. When we heard this, we knew that our volunteer project was exactly what they needed. So, our volunteer committee and interns started to plan.

Intern Project for Olathe Pregnancy Center Intern Project for Olathe Pregnancy Center Intern Project for Olathe Pregnancy Center

Each intern took on their own role on the project.

Justin served as the Estimator which included determining how much material that we would need for the project and also reaching out to vendors for material donations. Connor took on the Project Manager Role which included creating the project schedule, determining and planning our project labor, and assembling necessary project tools. Trevor, who was also one of our interns last year, was the superintendent, which included planning the labor schedule for the volunteer days and overseeing those volunteer days.

On a Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, groups of Straub Construction employees and family members assembled at The Olathe Pregnancy Center and got after it! Projects included removing carpet and base, cutting and installing wood paneling, patch and mudding drywall, priming and painting all the walls and cabinets, frosting windows, painting counter tops, and much more. The Straub volunteers were extremely focused on getting their jobs done, only stopping shortly for a quick pizza and drink break. At the end of the two volunteer days, all the workers went home filled with pride from the work they’d done, and maybe a few paint fumes.

Intern Project for Olathe Pregnancy Center Intern Project for Olathe Pregnancy Center

In response to the work that was done on the volunteer project weekend, Mary with The Olathe Pregnancy Center said, “I walked through our clinic-in-the-making today, and I was so blown away by the work the volunteers did in the back area! The paint looks amazing back there and I know that was a ton of work! And the kitchen cabinets too! I’m sure there is more that was done over the weekend, and I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to all of you who worked on that! Really kind and wow, what a difference!”

Following the volunteer weekend, there was still a lot of work to be done.

TPC Interiors volunteered their time and materials to rebuild the ceiling grid. MC Flooring donated all the carpet and base for the space, so our interns came back and installed the flooring. MC Flooring also donated and installed LVT flooring in the kitchen area. Electrical Associates donated their time and materials to relocate a light switch. Also, cabinet hardware donated by Locks and Pulls were installed on the new painted cabinets.

This additional space will serve as a boutique where women can come and pick out essentials (diapers, wipes, clothes, toys, etc.) for their babies, a classroom type room, a kitchen, and storage area.

This was another amazing intern/volunteer project. Thank you to all the vendors and subcontractors who gave of their time and resources to make this project possible (MC Flooring, TPC Interiors, Electrical Associates, Locks and Pulls, and Home Depot).

Straub Construction: Olathe Pregnancy Center Straub Construction: Olathe Pregnancy Center Straub Construction: Olathe Pregnancy Center

Stephen LaGue and the Kansas City Fellows Program

By Stephen LaGue, Project Superintendent for Straub Construction

Kansas City Fellows ProgramFrom September 2017 to May of 2018, I had the privilege and joy of learning, growing, living, and working with a wonderful group of eight other young professionals. We challenged each other as we learned practical steps to stitching faith into all areas of our lives.

The Kansas City Fellows Program is a 9-month leadership, professional, and spiritual development program for recent college graduates. Kansas City Fellows is a branch of The Fellows Initiative, a national organization that pairs with businesses and churches in over 20 cities across the US.

As I approached graduation from the Construction Management Program at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, I was encouraged to look into the Fellowship program in my home town of Kansas City. It seemed like a great fit for where I was at in life, and I soon found that this couldn’t have been more true.

The nine of us fellows were paired with different kinds of employers where we spent four days a week honing our talents and passions while being regularly challenged with the new and unfamiliar. We were also paired up with consistent and meaningful mentorship opportunities from established professionals in our field of study.

Kansas City Fellows Program Kansas City Fellows Program

The Kansas City Fellows organization is headed up by a leadership team that is consistently brilliant, thought provoking, competent, generous, and loving. Twice a week we met for discussions that were as challenging and robust as they were heartfelt and encouraging. For most of our discussions, we had the privilege of a new perspective in the form of guest leaders. We learned about the intersection of faith and work from over 30 different professionals coming from almost as many industries and lines of work.

I believe the Kansas City Fellowship will not stop having an impact on who I am.

Kansas City Fellows ProgramI find myself unable to fully express my gratitude for the opportunity to think so intentionally through what I believe and how that lines up so practically with the way I work, live, and play. In the past year, I’ve learned that the God of the Bible designed us not only for worship and relationship with Him, but also for our work and for our place in the community. Whatever piece you play in the massive jigsaw puzzle that is human existence, it has beautiful and inimitable meaning. Seeing yourself as a designed and thought out part of the big story of life provides so much freedom for flourishing in work and relationships.

If you know someone who is approaching, or in the midst of, that challenging transition from student to professional, encourage them to apply to a Fellowship in whatever city interests them. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

I would like to thank my mentor Mike Barr. I’ve been sharpened and encouraged by my time with you. Thank you to Christ Community Church for being a loving family and discipling me so well. And most of all, I want to offer thanks to Kris, Kevin, Carol and to my eight classmates for an unforgettable and life-changing year.

Learn more about Fellows

Kansas City Fellowship: kansascityfellows.com
The Fellows Initiative: thefellowsinitiative.org

Bishop Sullivan Center: One City Café

By Matthew Straub, Marketing Coordinator at Straub Construction

The Bishop Sullivan Center is a non-profit organization that provides a variety of services to help low-income people throughout the metro.

Bishop Sullivan Center’s Mission

“Inspired by Christian faith, Bishop Sullivan Center shows God’s love to people in financial hardship by providing food, help in finding jobs and other aid. Beyond material assistance, Bishop Sullivan Center strives to build relationships between those who live in poverty and those who do not, promoting mutual understanding and affirming the dignity of all.”

Bishop Sullivan Center: One City CaféStraub Construction has had a longstanding relationship with The Bishop Sullivan Center and has participated in many of their services. One of these services is their Community Kitchen which provides hot meals to an average of 255 people each night. Right now, the Community Kitchen is only able to reheat food and the dining area is a very small so it is elbow-to-elbow during every meal. In an effort to expand the outreach of the Community Kitchen, provide a more comfortable eating experience, and provide more nutritious meals, Straub Construction has been tasked with the honor of renovating their current space into what will be known as One City Café.

Along with expanding the space and providing a more open concept and comfortable dining experience, the new One City Café will have new cooking equipment that will allow the Bishop Sullivan Center to prepare fresh and nutritious meals. Additionally, part of The Bishop Sullivan Center’s mission is to “build relationships between those who live in poverty and those who do not.” Therefore, there will be a strong effort to include the community in both preparing meals and dining at One City Café.

Straub Construction is honored to have the opportunity to renovate the current Community Kitchen into the new One City Café for the Bishop Sullivan Center. The Bishop Sullivan Center has an incredibly positive impact on the less fortunate in our community and we’re thrilled to continue our relationship with this great organization. We will be starting our renovations on the One City Café in the beginning of September and plan to open the doors to the Café by Christmas.

Visit the Bishop Sullivan Center website www.bishopsullivan.org to learn more about this great organization and donate to this wonderful cause.

Employee Spotlight: Jeff Simmons, Project Manager

By Hannah Morrey Brown, Project Manager at Straub Construction

Straub Construction: Jeff SimmonsStraub is excited to welcome Jeff Simmons to the team as our newest project manager!

Jeff recently moved to the Kansas City area from Arlington, Virginia, and was born and raised in Northern Virginia. He attended Virginia Tech and pursued a degree in construction before working for a large firm building K-12 schools in the DC area. He later switched to a much smaller company which enabled him to do a little bit of everything from estimating to project management to closeout.

Straub was an easy choice for Jeff after receiving recommendations from family in the area and finding a company that was a nice medium size between his past two experiences. After visiting for an interview, Jeff really hit it off with our whole team and was excited about the quality workplace atmosphere.

Outside of work, Jeff is married to Anamarie whom he met in the DC area while she was working on Capitol Hill. Anamarie is originally from Lee’s Summit, and they’re both looking forward to being back around family. Jeff’s favorite hobbies including spending time with their two dogs, home brewing craft beers, and performing as a choral singer.

Please join us in welcoming Jeff to Straub and the KC area!