2017, Build U, Ideal Contracting, Intern, Uncategorized, Volunteer

Week 10 – Volunteer Week- Milkey

Last week has been quite a busy week traveling all over within the state and out of state too! I spent some time away from the office volunteering with different organizations I am affiliated with while also visiting the steel plant with the rest of the interns!  With my lack of pictures in previous posts because of the MPG policy, I tried taking as many as I could while I didn’t have restrictions on my camera. Hope you enjoy!

The first part of the week I spent volunteering at Boy Scout camp as a leader. I earned my Eagle Scout badge in 2013 and continue to help the younger boys in rank advancement and with their experience through the scouting program. My younger brother is also involved as a scout as he is working towards obtaining eagle in the next couple of years.  It has become a family event as my father is also a leader, as he was when I was growing up.  Scouting is something I enjoy participating in and it has given me some very cool and unique opportunities through my time involved.

The Scoutmaster, Don VanSickle is also a project manager for Conti and it based out at the Toyota plant in Ann Arbor. I enjoyed talking to him and discussing the construction field and the different jobs I have been able to witness and engage in, as well as hear his stories and his experiences as he has had many years in the field. It was fun also hearing the brief story of how Nick Luxon used to work underneath Don, now Don is working for Nick!  It was interesting to see how Ideal has grown and the changes the company has gone through as well as how they engage with other sub contractors.

My home for the first part of the week, nice little shelter with a 4 inch air mattress inside!


Our camp all set up. We had 40 boys attend camp from our Troop 442, Dexter Mi.

Representing U of M in Pleasant Lake, Indiana at Camp Chief Little Turtle.


On Wednesday we toured the Vulcraft steel plant. Wow… what an amazing and humbling experience it was visiting the plant. The workers at the plant are a fine tuned American made, working machine, and that is a understatement. the products they produced were amazing and the amount of manual labor put into each steel joist was astonishing. They all worked in unison and received production bonus for how many tons they pumped out per day. I was very proud to see where our steel comes from and watch them work. Also talking to management and finding that they are always looking for innovative ways to increase production and take the “family approach” to their employees. It was a very unique experiencing and it will be something I will remember for a long time. Our tour guide was very hesitant on us taking pictures while on the tour, but the coolest thing about the visit was the giant American flag hanging in the middle of the plant as soon as you walked through the shop doors!

Build-U Interns at the steel decking plant.

The second half of the week I spent with my fire department, Big Rapids Township Fire/Rescue, volunteering my time doing standby’s at the local Mecosta County Fair. I am a certified Firefighter as well as a certified Medical First Responder. Our biggest objective was to keep the public safe, hydrated, and injury free during the fair. We stood on standby for events such as the motocross race, Truck/Tractor pull, and the Demolition Derby on Saturday night!  During my time I spent up there I was able to build a small fire house prop so kids could be a firefighter and spray water on the flames. This was a great way to engage with the community and keep cool with the water on the hot summer days! I also participate in “Pull-a-Truck” where we had a team pull our fire engine 50 ft. raising $250 for the special Olympics team of Mecosta county. we pulled the truck within 19.25 seconds and had a bunch of laughs and smiles with the athletes while doing so.  Overall it was a great way to end the week and give back to the community which I go to school in.

The small fire prop which I built to let kids spray water on. The flames were attached with spring hinges so when they got knocked down they would pop back up.

I sprayed over 1,250 gallons of water on the track before the derby. This would help limit the speed of the cars as well as make it more slippery for more crash’n and smash’n!

The fire department and myself participating in the “pull-a-truck” benefiting the Special Olympic Athletes of Mecosta County.



I look forward to getting back with my MPG team and see the progress they have accomplished this past week.


Until next week!

-Andrew Milkey

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