NMU’s Construction Management Program Provides Career Path for Transitioning Veterans

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Many veterans may have a great deal of experience in the building trades but can no longer be “hands on” due to disability, or they wish to advance to the management side of the field.

A new program at Northern Michigan University may be the answer for these veterans.

I am a senior in the Construction Management Program at Northern Michigan University, and along the way I have completed my Associates Degree in Building Technology. As a veteran and non-traditional student, I was very intimidated by the thought of attending school full time, especially in a field that I had never studied before.

I would consider my situation to be the perfect example of what taking that first step outside of the military looks like, and I would like to reach out to my fellow veterans and let them know how life changing this program has been. I want other veterans to reap the benefits of this program as well.

The faculty of the Construction Management and Building Technology department at NMU are second to none in helping transitioning veterans. They are hoping to bring veterans into this field because we have the leadership skills and attention to detail this field requires.

The current initiative is to recognize veterans who may already possess certain skills and allow them to test out of some classes, present a portfolio of work for evaluation and possible credit, and provide the opportunity to take some of the other required classes online.

Many veterans can use their GI Bill or Veterans Readiness and Employment benefits to work in a rewarding degree program while continuing to work and attend “class” online from home. A hybrid learning option and a traditional in-class option are also available.

The faculty will evaluate each veteran on a case-by-case basis and develop a program that works best for the veteran and the school. Attending Northern Michigan University has been life changing for me, and my hope is that it can be for other veterans.

My journey into the Construction Management program at Northern Michigan University was one that I did not initially set out on, but it is a journey that I am very thankful for having taken.

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Matt Goss

Matt Goss has been a student at NMU since January of 2018. He completed an associates degree in building technology and will soon complete his bachelor’s degree in construction management. Matt is an army veteran, having served in Iraq, and upon leaving the service, he returned to Iraq as a contractor providing security for VIPs in-country. Matt has also been a candidate for the Michigan House, for the 109th district.


  1. Randy L Cornejo on September 23, 2021 at 3:56 pm

    To whom it may concern,

    Pardon my asking but is it safe to assume this program is geared primarily towards “freshly transitioning” veterans rather than those of us veterans of a more “seasoned” variety? I ask so as not to unnecessarily encroach upon someone’s time valuable assisting m in my query if I don’t meet eligibility requirements for participation from the outset.

    A little about me. I am a mid-career U.S.A.F. Veteran primarily trained in electronics service. However through an unforeseen happenstance a few ago I found myself working as an Assistant Site Superintendent for the general contractor (America First Contracting – Elk Grove Village, IL) leading the renovation project at the Alina E. Lutz VA Medical Center in Saginaw, MI. This required obtaining an OHSHA 30 card which I now hold and resulted in an immersion into the building industry on the fly with little to no experience in the building trades other than homeowner type projects, So imagine my surprise when I saw this subject posting. Granted after working in the Medical and Industrial Electronics industries for 20+ years I’m no stranger to hand and power tools, having done countless start to finish full X-ray room and cabinet X-ray system installations through the U.S.in multiple industry settings from new construction to national art institutes. In my capacity as an X-ray field service engineer these installations often began with site visits, room planning via CAD software and ensuring design and materials were in accordance with local, state and federal authorities. With an extensive array of experience with both high (<450kV) and low (<24v) that should somehow prove useful in the building trades it just so happens that I have recently committed to relocating from Grand Rapids to….? Northern Michigan maybe? And hence a new opportunity, or “next chapter” if you will.

    Please advise if there are any dots to be connected here.


    Randy Cornejo

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