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  • Ashlyn Cavins

Building More than Roads: Milestone Fort Wayne + Hearten House Project

At Milestone, we believe in the power of relationships and doing the right thing – always. Every project is devoted to enriching lives. Our work is an avenue to enact positive change and build lasting relationships in the communities we serve.

Milestone recently partnered with Garrett High School and The Hearten House of Auburn, IN. This fulfilling project gave Milestone the opportunity to build relationships with the new generation, teach them real world experience and build new infrastructure for a local organization in need. The Hearten House is a woman’s shelter in our Fort Wayne area who like us, is devoted to impacting its community. Since 2018, Hearten House has provided a home for the women in need in DeKalb County.

The Garrett High School Civil Construction program started five years ago to address the workforce needs of our industry. It gives students the opportunity to learn about construction job opportunities for post-graduation. All grades at Garrett High School can sign up for the Intro to Construction classes and learn what construction is and what types of projects take place. Juniors and seniors can sign up for more advanced classes upon completion of the intro class. These classes give students the opportunity to graduate high school with skid loader, mini excavator and flagging certifications. Our Milestone team members have been fortunate to visit their classroom and meet many eager students to teach them about the heavy-highway industry and the projects we have worked on in their communities.

So, when community partners at the Hearten House approached Fort Wayne Area Manager Joe Thomas about needing a new driveway for their homeless shelter Joe thought this would be a perfect project to involve some of the Garrett students in to get out of the classroom and gain hands on experience.

Garrett High School Director of Career Development Corey Schoon was thrilled to team up on a project that not only got his students hands-on experience in concrete but also helped a facility in need.

Our Milestone team started from the bottom up. We went back to Garrett to go over the job description, maintenance of traffic plans and the blueprint of the proposed concrete parking lot.

When the students’ spring break came it was time for all hands-on deck. Once out on the job, students started applying classroom skills to real world projects. It was amazing to see young talent have the chance to shine.

“We can tell them that they are talented all the time," says Corey. “But some students don’t realize how talented they are until they get out there.”

Students from Garett worked a day in the life of a Milestone employee. They got hands on training operating our skid steers, surveying systems and smoothed out the freshly poured concrete.


In the end, we could not be more grateful to have shared our knowledge with the students to encourage our future workforce and even future Milestone employees!

Community is built off collaboration. We look forward to partnering with more workforce development programs in the future. Together we can empower and educate the next generation about the benefits in the construction industry.

A special thank you our Fort Wayne crews, who helped the students along the way especially Superintendent Chad Baker and Project Manager Ben Rodkey for his photo and drone footage. Thank you to our company Speedway Construction Products for providing us with the concrete for the Hearten House driveway!

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