In the News

Posted on March 28, 2024

This article was originally published by Jodi Schwan of SiouxFalls.Business

In a matter of weeks, Ashton Helseth will be a new college graduate with a new job waiting and no student debt.

He’s one of the most recent Southeast Technical College construction management graduates to be sponsored by Journey Group, where he has worked during school since 2022.

“They’ve been good to me,” Helseth said. “I started as a laborer like anyone in construction, and I’ve then ventured off to work with different superintendents and work in different places.”

While still in school, he has expanded his skills to metal door framing and cabinetry, supporting everything from a bank remodel to improvements at the Avera Heart Hospital and Avera Behavioral Health as part of Journey Group’s special projects team.

“It’s a very friendly atmosphere,” he said. “Everyone is welcoming, and I’m glad I went this route.”

Ashton Helseth and Mason Nielsen

Also glad are fellow Build Dakota graduates Adam Joachim and Mason Nielsen, who both graduated from Southeast Tech in construction management and now are working at Journey’s SFC Civil Constructors.

“It was a really good program,” said Joachim, who graduated last year and now is an assistant superintendent.

Adam Joachim

“The things you learn in class you can apply on the job site.”

Nielsen, who graduated in 2021, began as an intern at Journey Group after high school.

“I thought I’d try it out, and I really got to love it and then had the opportunity to go to college for it,” he said.

“It was a really, really good experience. You learn a lot in the classroom as well as in the field, where they teach you to read blueprints and operate equipment. Journey Group was very flexible with my schedule and would send me to different job sites so I could help a lot of different crews out.”

Both Joachim and Nielsen have worked on bridge projects statewide, including key bridges in downtown Sioux Falls and along the interstates.

“You build a brotherhood with the team you work with – you trust them, and they trust you,” Nielsen said. “I’ve gotten to experience a lot of different things in different towns, expand my knowledge in concrete, operate equipment, and now they’re giving me even more challenges to operate large equipment.”

Journey Group is stepping up its investment in early career professionals even more, said Sarah Vicuña, human resources director.

“We’ve sponsored Build Dakota construction management students in the past, which we will continue to do, but now we’re also sponsoring students in welding and diesel automotive technical programs,” she said.

“We’re focused on connecting with potential employees earlier in the pipeline, whether it’s in high school or through technical schools and Build Dakota.”

Journey Group is seeking to sponsor two students in welding to support both SFC Civil and Journey Structural, a self-perform division of Journey Construction, while the student in diesel automotive will work at Journey’s shop, which performs a wide variety of in-house repair and maintenance.

“These are key roles for our teams, so we’re excited to expand our reach through Build Dakota and help advance careers once students come on board full time,” Vicuña said.

“We’ve found the students to be very reliable and committed, so it’s a worthwhile investment in young people who want to pursue technical trades that lead to great career opportunities with Journey Group.”

The season ahead also brings plenty of immediate full-time opportunities. While Journey was able to keep many employees working all year, there still are openings for everything from entry-level laborers to skilled positions in carpentry, bridge welding, truck driving and equipment operation.

“So far, we’ve had some great candidates coming in the door, and we’re making offers, which is awesome to see, but we have room for more,” Vicuña said.

For employees like Journey Group’s Build Dakota alumni, it’s a role they easily recommend to others.

“Journey is a great company to work for,” Nielsen said. “They treat you like family. Everyone is friendly to each other, no matter which area of the company you work in. Everybody is friends with everybody. It’s a great opportunity.”

At Journey Group, “the people are great,” Joachim agreed. “There’s a sense of pride in what you do. I love what I do. If you want to be successful working for us, apply yourself, and be willing to learn every day.”

To learn more about opportunities at Journey Group, click here to begin your search online and learn more about upcoming hiring events.

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