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Hoyord gains valuable experience with internship

Iola-Scandinavia High School graduate Isaiah Hoyord, now a student at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, is spending the summer as an intern for Appleton-based Hoffman Planning, Design and Construction Inc. Holly Neumann Photo

I-S graduate spends summer with construction company

By Holly Neumann

Isaiah Hoyord is gaining valuable work experience this summer through an internship with Hoffman Planning, Design and Construction Inc.

Hoyord, a 2022 Iola-Scandinavia High School graduate, is a construction management major at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

“We had a career fair at UW-Stout where I started handing out resumes and that is where I met (Hoffman’s) Matt (McGregor),” he said. “I told him where I was from and he told me they were working on a project in Iola and Amherst.”

Hoyord said he never expected to get an internship as a freshman.

“It was an opportunity that I could not pass up,” he said. “It gave me a chance to work in the school district where I went to school.”

Hoyord is working on the STEAM construction project at the Tomorrow River School District and on creating administrative spaces and renovating the inside for science, math, family and consumer science as well as classroom spaces.

In addition, he will take part in renovating the existing technology education department at Iola-Scandinavia High School, which includes updating the welding/woodshop area; creating updated heating, ventilation and air conditioning; and creating an updated layout for metals, welding and woods.

McGregor, a senior project manager for Hoffman, said the Appleton-based company has offered college students the opportunity to be a part of their intern program for many years, a program that McGregor himself went through.

Seeking self-motivated, prolem solvers

“Each year, we hire one to two students that are self-motivated, problem-solving and have the ability to communicate well,” he said. “Isaiah checked all those boxes for us this summer.”

The hope is to get students involved early in their education to make them aware of what is available in the industry, according to McGregor.

“UW-Stout and UW-Platteville both have an internship program that is required for credits as part of their degree,” he said. “Not only are we pushing it to get involvement in the industry, they are also promoting it, saying you are going to get some real world experience.”

Hoffman’s ultimate goal is to have recurring interns for multiple summers.

“We hope Isaiah will continue this internship throughout this college career,” McGregor said. “We are little over a month in and he has done a phenomenal job working with our staff, consultants, contractors and designers. He has been doing a great job this summer. Amherst is going to be going on over the course of two summers, so Isaiah could be right back on site in the mix of it next year. The same holds true for Thanksgiving, Christmas and spring break.”

McGregor said the internship program helps students get involved in the construction industry.

“We want to find these kids early on and try to hold them,” he said. “We are pretty much locking them right out of college. A lot of students at UW-Stout and Fox Valley Tech have their career locked in pretty much the senior year of their college courses.”

Hoyord wants to gain as much knowledge as he possibly can.

“So far, I have found all of it very interesting,” he said. “Throughout high school, I had done a lot of carpentry work, which was residential, and a little different from the commercial work. There is a lot more steel than wood, which is used in a house.”

Tomorrow River School project

Hoyord is also excited to watch the Tomorrow River School District project from groundbreaking to the finished project.

“It is a big, phased project,” he said. “Knowing how to coordinate those phases so that kids can get back in school in a month is critical.”

Hoffman partners with clients to create innovative designs and build high-quality, functional, attractive, energy-efficient facilities at costs at or below projects delivered using traditional design and construction methods.  It is one of the largest and most diverse architectural firms in northeastern Wisconsin, with construction capabilities that span the smallest, local renovations to major construction projects across the country. Projects range in size from under $100,000 up to more than $100 million.

“We have internships on both the design side and the construction side,” McGregor said. “It offers Hoffman the ability to bring in individuals and helps them get experience in the industry and mold them into young professionals.”

Hoyord, the son of Jay and Kristen Hoyord or Iola, would like to be a project manager with a company, whether that is with Hoffman or someone else.

“I would like to start as a field manager and get a little more experience in the field, then move into the office as a project manager,” he said. “Kids need to know we need them in the trades and that there is a lot of room for growth if they are willing to work hard.”

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