ROCK Week Program Gave Students Early Start on Their Dual Degree

One of the hallmarks of Baker Concrete is a focus on helping co-workers and those interested in construction earn their “dual degree” through hands-on experience and formal development. Over the past six years, more than 50 co-workers in Baker’s Great West Region have dedicated nearly 8,000 manhours to helping students at Warren Tech in Lakewood, Colorado, earn their dual degree.

The program, known as ROCK Week (for Reinforcing Our Concrete Knowledge), started as a one-time project to promote workforce development. The effort was so successful that it expanded into a five-year masterplan to help build out “The Farm,” Warren Tech’s Agriculture Center. The week-long program touched on everything from The Baker Way to estimating and surveying, project layouts, safety protocols, pre-job planning, and sequencing tasks. Students also got to try their hand at formwork and placing, consolidating, and finishing concrete.

“I think the greatest comment I heard was that it’s amazing to see concrete spilled out of a truck and the Baker finishers jump right in and mold the concrete into a beautiful sidewalk and how satisfying this must make them feel,” said Moses Berrelez, Baker’s Safety, Schedule, Quality, and Productivity Manager.

“It was great working with these students, as it easily reminded me of myself when I started doing concrete over 40 years ago.”

This past spring marked the final year of ROCK Week. What began as an uneven dirt lot has been transformed into a vibrant outdoor learning center featuring a small outdoor amphitheater, sidewalks, ramps, and greenhouse structures. In the process, 250 students gained valuable hands-on skills while building a legacy on their campus.