Learning by LEAPS and Bounds


Where will the next generation of educated and inspired construction professionals come from?

Barton Malow’s long-standing LEAPS internship program is one answer.

Since 1984, LEAPS (LEArning Practicum for Students) has offered college students the opportunity to spend 12 paid weeks learning about the many aspects of the construction business, including different building types, delivery methods, and marketing, and the nuts and bolts of construction management. LEAPS teaches and inspires students through on-the-job, hands-on experience, helping to create future leaders in the construction industry.

LEAPS Class of 2023

Not only is the LEAPS program a great way to recruit future generations, it helps strengthen Barton Malow’s culture throughout its organization and pass it on to new-hires.

Born from a desire to improve existing college internships, aid college-level recruiting, and increase the practical construction knowledge of graduating students, LEAPS provides a diverse cohort of architecture and engineering students an important competitive edge in finding the best jobs upon graduation.

Every summer, Barton Malow welcomes 40-50 students into the LEAPS program. Interns get assigned to a specific Barton Malow jobsite or office to learn, network, and experience the day-to-day tasks that will prepare them for a career in the construction industry.

In its 40 years, Barton Malow’s LEAPS program has recruited participants from 66 schools and universities. Many interns take part in the program for multiple rotations before accepting full-time positions. In 2022, 72 percent of the interns who were offered full-time work launched their careers with Barton Malow. By the time LEAPS interns graduate from the program, they have the experience and exposure to the construction industry that would normally take years to gain.

And that’s great for the students, great for the industry — and great for Barton Malow.

"It’s been the major pipeline for us to bring that talent right out of school and into the organization. We’ve invested in them, and we can bring them on board. So that’s been consistent — and pretty fantastic."

Jeff Baxa

Barton Malow Vice President and one of the program’s early interns.

LEAPS in Opportunities for All

Morgan State University Chairperson and LEAPS advocate Dr. Lewis Waller understands the true impact of LEAPS.

“Our students … get to meet individuals who really care about them personally. Barton Malow is able to give them relevant information and enrich their lives, and give them what is needed in this industry in order to be successful,” he says.


“My project this summer was the UVA Football Operations Center, which I will have the privilege of using in the future,” says University of Virginia student-athlete and returning LEAPS intern Joe Holland. “My goal … was to learn about concrete and how that works. I got a chance to participate in two concrete pours, work in the rakes and the screens and all that. … In my opinion, that's the best way to learn.”

Sage Villeneuve is currently a Project Engineer on the Hudson’s project, and she remembers her 2021-2022 LEAP intern years as a Purdue University student.

“Ever since I did my first interview … they have truly shown me that the company cares about my goals and aspirations,” says Sage. “They really want to get to know you as an individual, and be able to use your specific strengths in an area that benefits both the company and yourself and what you aspire to do in your future.”

Bringing out the best in students and helping them find a path to their future. That’s what makes the LEAPS internship program a great leap forward for both students and Barton Malow.

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