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Jason Roh- Director of Instruction

Get to know

jason roh

wmci director of instruction

What was one role that you wanted to pursue when you were in high school?

I always wanted to be a teacher when I was in high school. It set my path for college as I started at Hope College. Growing up with sports, I wanted to focus more on health and athletics but I always knew I wanted to be a teacher.

Who were your career role models when you were younger?

My dad was a major role model for me. When I was growing up, he was always working because he had this drive to take care of me and be the provider. I admired his drive and currently, see that in myself as I work now and raise my family. 

Tell me a bit about your college career path. Did you go in always knowing the plan or did you change course along the way?

I absolutely knew I wanted to go into education and into motor development. It’s so interesting to me to learn the process of a child learning their motor skills and then developing their ability to throw a ball. I added a minor in psychology because I was fascinated with learning why people do what they do.

As I worked on the job sites, I started to have a desire to become a project manager. There was this underlying question about how a building could go from a design on paper to the massive structure in front of you that your hands built.

Jason with his dad & son

What is memorable advice that you were given when you were younger and still think about today?

1. Quarter Inches Matter

What you do matters and can affect the next person

2. Someone is paying top dollar for your work so give them your best effort

If you would expect more for yourself, why give the customer anything less.

What is your “hard hat story?” How did you start in the trades and get to your current role today?

My dad worked at Pioneer Construction for many years, so when I turned 16 I spent my summers working in the yard doing the little things I could. I washed cars, swept floors, and delivered tools until I turned 18 and joined my dad on the job site. It started off as rough carpentry work but I got to work on door and door hardware. I loved getting the chance to come into an almost completed site and see the progress before the final clean.

I returned to the field in 2006 to rely on the steadiness of construction. I asked Pioneer for whatever role they would give me because I was ready to work. I worked in the steel division for 13 years and was truly lucky to grow into a role that allowed me to work on some great projects with some great people. 

With hopes to follow in my father's footsteps, I pursued becoming a superintendent. To get there, I took a safety leader role in partnership with MIOSHA at Grand Valley State University - right next to a building that my dad built! After three years, I really valued the safety role and wanted more of it.

How did you get involved with the west michigan construction institute?

I was lucky to get a chance to work with Architectural Metals Incorporated as their Safety and Education Director. I got to build up their safety program from the ground and work with their apprenticeship students for two and a half years. In this role, I helped bring the program to WMCI and spent a year teaching on the WMCI instructional team. It seemed like a no-brainer to seek this director role when there was an opening

I believe that WMCI has a lot to offer our community and I want to play a role in getting people in the door to show that there is so much value in the skilled trades industry. In the skilled trades, you have this opportunity to be a part of something bigger, work with great people, and build structures that will last longer than ourselves. To me, that’s pretty damn cool.

What advice would you give to your students?

interested in how you can get involved?

3 ways YOU can help build the future of construction in West Michigan:

1. advocate

Perhaps the most important thing you can do is open doors for future construction professionals. Let them know about the opportunities available to launch a successful career in construction.

2. support

WMCI exists because of the generous supporter from those passionate about our mission. Your tax deductible donation helps create new programs, equipment, and tuition assistance

3. Visit

Hopefully the WMCI stories inspire action, but seeing is believing! You and your team, family, or organization are always welcome to visit the institute for a tour.

A Year in Review Looking back at WMCI’s craft trade training progress in 2023 and ahead to the plans for growth in 2024. “As I think about who and what WMCI is, I am proud