ORC represented at three career fairs in a week to promote Junior Agent and Junior Appraiser programs nationwide

O. R. Colan Associates is taking the “graying” of the right-of-way industry seriously, and the company is rolling out an innovative approach to cultivating new talent. To promote its Junior Agent/Appraiser training program at college career fairs, ORC sent delegates to three universities – two in Ohio and one in Virginia - just last week, and the company is more and more represented at similar fairs nationwide.

“We sent representatives to events sponsored by Ohio Dominican University in Gahanna, OH (Columbus), John Carroll University in University Heights, OH (Cleveland), and Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA,” said Marketing Director and Proposal Manager Kevin C. Robison. “Late last year, we were represented at Stony Brook University in New York (Stony Brook), and, later this year, we will attend fairs in the Carolinas, Texas, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Florida, Arkansas, and elsewhere – really everywhere we have a presence.”

ORC Career Fair Junior Agent Junior Appraiser

ORC’s Kevin Robison (center) and Ben Zera (right) speak with an interested candidate at John Carroll University.

The company has maintained a “trainee program” for several years, and many of ORC’s top project managers are graduates of it, but it is only recently that the company began attending college career fairs on such a coordinated and broadly-scoped scale. As CEO Catherine Colan Muth explains, “Our industry is very specialized. We’ve long known that the key to sustainable growth – at least in respect to our staff – is a continued infusion of young talent into our ranks. For years, we relied on hiring long-time professionals or retirees from the public sector. More recent economic and industry changes have made that strategy more challenging.”

ORC’s Junior Agent/Appraisal program is a fully-structured three-year training regimen combining various academic/classroom resources with practical “on-the-job” mentorship. As junior agents and appraisers learn more and develop more skills, they earn more responsibility and independence. “Really, though, the learning never stops,” says Project Manager Ben Zera. “I’ve been with the company for 10 years – I came on as a Junior Agent in 2006 – and I’m still learning new techniques, laws, and general rules to follow. It comes with working in a technically specialized field for a variety of clients.”

O. R. Colan Associates, LLC, headquartered in Charlotte, NC, has operated nationally since 1969 (47 years) and is recognized as a leader in the field of real estate and right-of-way (ROW) acquisition and related services for public agencies and private clients.

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