Companies are always on the lookout for employees who will stay long-term and are committed to growing and improving. Likewise, employees want to work for companies that will provide them with opportunities to develop their skills.

Mentorships are a great way to help employees, both new and experienced, expand their knowledge and personal development. They focus on positive workplace behavior and performance, providing employees with the training needed to be successful.

Traditionally, mentoring relationships have involved senior employees guiding their younger colleagues, but hierarchy and age aren’t necessarily important in modern workforces. As long as mentors have experience that can help others learn, this is all that matters. For instance, younger employees can teach older employees about ever-changing technology in the workplace.

Successful mentoring relationships can also naturally create a rich multigeneration office culture by combining the top qualities of each participant. Senior employees traditionally have a great work ethic, loyalty and dedication. Whereas, younger employees may come to work with new ideas and passion. Together, they can make for a positive and effective team.

Research has shown that workers who have a mentor enjoy greater job satisfaction, and mentors learn from those they are guiding. But, mentoring in the workplace not only benefits the mentors and mentored, it also benefits companies with increased employee retention and knowledge sharing. On top of that, mentoring programs have shown to increase company diversity, with participation expanding minority representation in management-level positions.

Top Benefits of Mentorship in the Workplace

  • Better Job Satisfaction
  • Better Job Satisfaction
  • Better Employee Satisfaction
  • Increased Pride
  • Increased Self-confidence
  • Higher Employee Retention
  • Improved Communication Skills
  • Desire to Achieve Goals
  • Diversity of Leadership
  • Improved Knowledge Sharing
  • Skill Development
  • Increased Knowledge Sharing
  • Experience for Leadership Roles
  • Greater Probability of Promotion
  • Improved Company Culture

Something important to note is that mentoring relationships should never be forced. This can cause employees to resent the idea as an obligatory task. Instead, sharing the positive benefits with employees and offering to help connect them with a mentor, when and if they are ready, is most effective. To be prepared, companies should gather information about employee skills, communication styles and career goals. A major key to successful mentorship relationships is connecting employees who communicate well together, can connect on a personal level and are working toward attaining similar goals.

In the end, mentors need to feel that their time is valued in order to achieve a successful mentorship relationship. Those who are mentored must think of the experience as an investment in their growth, rather than a sure path to promotion.

Apprenticeships prepare workers for highly skilled construction jobs. Employers invest time and money in hands-on training, often along with regular classes. The model provides valuable real-world experience and educational instruction for workers who would like to break into an industry that is new to them. The end goal of an apprenticeship is attaining national skills standards and becoming licensed in a particular skilled trade.

There are many benefits to apprenticeship. However, many people often overlook apprenticeships, instead opting to attend college or beginning their career with an entry-level position.

Here are the top three reasons to consider an apprenticeship:

  1. Learning While Earning
    Going off to college or a trade school can be a great educational experience, but it can cost a lot of money that many simply do not have. On top of that, it can be challenging to hold a full-time job in order to pay for expenses while in school.

    Apprentices are paid a basic living wage (the national average is $15/hour) to start while also learning and gaining experience every day. As an apprentice’s skills grow, wage increases and promotions often follow.
  1. Access to Ongoing Mentoring
    Apprentices are usually assigned a mentor who is an experienced construction professional. The mentor’s role is to help plan and guide an apprentice’s learning along the way. They provide valuable feedback and support to improve an apprentice’s skills and are always available to answer questions.
  2. Increased Future Opportunities
    Being involved with the day-to-day operations of a business during an apprenticeship, which usually takes two to four years to complete, allows apprentices to make connections with many important people within the industry.

    Future employers will also see the hard work that was required to complete the apprenticeship and will surely value that education and work ethic when considering hiring an individual.

    In addition, apprentices have the potential to earn college credit toward a degree through their apprenticeship program, should they decide to work towards gaining an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree at a later date.

The apprenticeship model prepares workers to compete in today’s economy. The hands-on training keeps apprentices current with innovations and technology. Moreover, the majority of apprentices stay on as full-time employees upon completion of an apprenticeship, allowing for a successful long-term career with a competitive salary without college debt.

The RK Apprenticeship Program helps provide skills for a much needed construction workforce. If you are interested in starting an apprenticeship in construction, click here to learn more about what our program offers.


By: RK Foundation

The RK Foundation recently donated $20,000 as part of a community consortium to assist Denver Public Schools (DPS) with their Youth CareerConnect grant. In partnership with the Department of Labor and Education, the consortium of 31 organizations, along with the DPS Foundation, gave $2.3 million to boost the $7 million STEM grant to $9.3 million.

The grant is among the largest given by the program, and the STEM grant focuses on dramatically improving career and technical education, with a special focus on science, technology, engineering and math. DPS was one of six agencies nationwide to receive the $7 million grant.

Eight DPS high schools will benefit from the Youth CareerConnect grant, expanding career and technical education programs focused on the following industries: engineering/energy and engineering technology, biomedical science and healthcare, information technology and digital media, finance and advanced manufacturing. The program will provide opportunities for students to participate in a job shadow or paid internship and complete a capstone project that demonstrates how they applied the skills and knowledge learned in the classroom to their workplace-based experience.

The eight high schools that will benefit from the expanded programs include:

* Abraham Lincoln High School

* CEC Middle College

* East High School

* Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College

* George Washington High School

* West Generation Academy

* High Tech Early College

* John F. Kennedy High School

For RK’s personal contribution to the program, in addition to monetary support, the company is developing a pre-apprenticeship program. Senior personnel have committed to serve on the Manufacturing Curriculum Advisory Board to ensure that industry professionals can participate in the design of this vital workforce development pathway.

RK will maintain an active presence in the DPS manufacturing pathway by going in to the high schools and talking about career preparation and requirements. Additionally, senior personnel will develop mentorship relationships with selected DPS students.

RK is currently developing a job shadow program with DPS that will debut in February or March. This in situ  program will include an overview of RK and its five business units, a Merit shop overview and explanation, as well as rotating stations that will allow student to observe various job activities at the RK Xanthia shop.

[GC1]What is that?

By: RK Foundation

The RK Foundation was founded in 2011 in order to building better lives by strengthening communities and providing opportunities for those most in need.

The Foundation was initially started (and continues to function) by selling scrap metal from the RK shops and job sites to a metals recycler each month. This way, the Foundation’s financial base grows on an ongoing basis and has a continuous income source. “The busier that RK gets, the more scrap is created and recycled, allowing the RK Foundation to ultimately support more worthy organizations and groups,” said Katie Dell, Executive Assistant at RK.

The Kinning family provided the initial funding to start the foundation.

The RK Foundation supports a variety of local causes and non-profit organizations, with a specific focus on Child Advocacy, Community, Education, Health, Trades and Veterans. All applications are reviewed on a quarterly basis.

In December, RK is sponsored its annual Food + Toy Drive this year and hopes to exceed previous year’s numbers of donations. The drive will benefit the Colfax Community Network (CCN), which is a non-profit organization that supports families living in temporary housing and also the transient population living on Colfax Avenue.

RK is helping to restock their food pantry and also provide a merrier Christmas for those who are less fortunate. Gifts will be donated to CCN for their holiday party that is organized every year for families who wouldn’t otherwise have a holiday celebration. Each year, 300 kids and 100 parents come to CCN to “shop” for presents, enjoy a delicious meal, listen to live music, and visit with Santa.

Each parent gets to shop for one present for each of their children, wrap it, and take it home for Christmas. The children work as a team to find presents for their parents(s) and work with volunteers to wrap them and take them home to give out.

Items that are donated each year by RK employees include: non-perishable food, new, unwrapped toys, money (to assist with the holiday party), holiday decorations, books, cards, dolls, games, pajamas (children and adult), socks, underwear, journals, art supplies, balls, backpacks, hygiene products, picture frames, robes, and slippers.

Originally formed to reach the transient motel population along Colorado’s roughest stretch of avenue, CCN seeks to not only provide goods and services, but also help to provide a deep sense of community. They strive to recognize an individual’s value and offer tangible resources in order to encourage stability in people’s lives.

Clothes to Kids Denver, Inc. helps to provide new and quality used clothing to school-age students from low-income or in-crisis families. The RK Foundation (RKF) has gotten on board in supporting their efforts by fabricating 12 clothing collection bins through the RK sheet metal shop. The bins were placed in Denver Public Schools (DPS) in October for donated clothing. RKF has committed to expand the program further over the next four years. Bin sites include DPS Headquarters, Bill Roberts, Emily Griffith, Hamilton Middle School, Hill Middle School, Holm Elementary, McAuliffe International School, Steck Elementary, and Swigert International School.

After the items are donated, they are picked up, sorted and washed by volunteers, who then help students “shop” for clothes. Founded in 2002, Clothes to Kids seeks to fill the gap that inadequate clothing makes. Research has shown that students who come to school without proper clothing experience low self-esteem, poor social skills, and lack of concentration in class. There are roughly 55,000 students in the DPS system who are in need of better clothing.

Clothes to Kids has a store they run and a family must make an appointment to “shop” at it. Students select a week’s worth of clothing, including five shirts, four pants, one dress (optional), one coat, one pair of shoes, and five pairs of new underwear and socks. Parents are welcome to shop with or without their children. Qualifying students must live in the Denver Metro Area, they must be in preschool-12 grade (or working towards earning their GED), the family must be considered in need of assistance (the student must be receiving free or reduced lunch at school), and they must also be receiving services from a social service agency, school or counseling center.

The partnership between RKF and DPS came about through Hamilton Middle Schooler, Marko Babiak, who “envisioned a program that would create an opportunity for DPS students to help other students in their community”. While in 5th grade, Babiak set up a bin at his school to collect clothing and shoes. The effort was a big success and he helped expand the program and approached RKF to be a sponsor. The collaboration will help to provide school clothing to thousands of students currently in need. Since 2008, Clothes to Kids Denver has provided more than 19,000 wardrobes to students.