Accelerate Magazine January 2022

VJS Construction Services (VJS) has been one of Wisconsin’s largest general contractors, construction managers, and design builders building communities throughout Wisconsin for nearly 75 years. Our commitment to devoting talent and creativity to building places that transform both lives and work requires developing the next generation of leaders. This approach has played a vital role in the longevity of our organization. In recent years, VJS has been able to retain talent despite the shortage of a skilled workforce in the construction industry through the implementation of our mentoring program. What makes our program unique is that each employee is paired with a mentor who is in a leadership role. Mentors include company owners and partners; however, the mentor is not the direct manager or supervisor of the employee. This strategy provides the mentee with a buffer and sounding board for day-to-day challenges as well as the opportunity to receive advice and guidance from someone who has the knowledge and expertise they are looking to gain. In other words, someone who has been in their “shoes” and succeeded. Each employee is required to complete a career development form before being assigned a mentor. This form allows the employee to have an active role in his or her professional growth as well as ensures that the employee’s mentoring experience is tailored to his or her specific needs and objectives. Ben Bergles began his career at VJS in 2008 as a project engineer. At that time, Ben was a recent University of Wisconsin – Madison graduate with a bachelor's degree in Construction Management. “When you have leadership invest in your professional growth, you have confidence in your ability to successfully complete and meet project goals. In addition, you earn credibility in the construction industry amongst other leaders as well as your peers. You feel comfortable taking the next steps toward leadership roles due to the preparation LEADERS BUILDING THE NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS PAM LYONS Communications Manager, VJS Construction Services, Inc. 12 WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG