Western New York's Source for Construction Learning

The Construction Exchange provides educational programs for members that are tailored for the construction industry. Offerings range from eight-week workshops to hour-long seminars.

Please visit the Calendar of Events for upcoming courses.


Workshops and Seminars

Change Orders and Claims Avoidance

Presenter: Earl Cantwell of Hurwitz & Fine, P.C.
October 12, 2016 – 8:00am to 9:00am
$10 members/$30 nonmembers

Construction Technology

Presenter: Melinda Hoffman, Manager, Virtual Design and Construction, LPCiminelli
December 15, 2016 – 8:00am to 10:00am
$10 members/$30 nonmembers
Registration Flyer

Legal and Financial Planning

Presenters: Joe Peresan of The Bonadio Group and Drew Miller of Webster Szanyi
February 1, 2017 – 8:30am to 10:30am
$5 members/$25 nonmembers
Registration Flyer

Business Communication and Presentation Skills

Facilitator: Byron Nakagawa of Bison Scaffold & Masons Supply
Begins February 10, 2017 – 8:30am to 9:30am (runs for seven consecutive Fridays)
$15 members/$35 nonmembers
Registration Flyer

NY Sales Tax and Use Taxation for the Construction Industry

Presenter: Scott Sliker of The Sales Tax Professionals
February 16, 2017 – 8:00am to 3:30pm
$80 members/$120 nonmembers
Registration Flyer

Mechanic’s Liens

Presenter: Dan Sarzynski of Rupp, Baase, Pfalzgraf, Cunningham & Coppola
March 3, 2017 – 8:30am to 9:30am
$10 members/$30 nonmembers
Registration Flyer

Frame Scaffold Competent Person

March 6, 2017 – 8:00am to 4:30pm
$300 members/$350 nonmembers
Registration Flyer

Residential Construction: Contracts and Legal Requirements

Presenter: Earl Cantwell of Hurwitz Fine and Drew Miller of Webster Szanyi
March 23, 2017 – 8:00am to 9:30am
$10 members/$30 nonmembers
Registration Flyer

Common Legal Issues in Construction

Presenter: Liz Kraengel of Duke Holzman Photiadis & Gresens
April 19, 2017 – 8:30am to 9:30am
$10 members/$30 nonmembers
Registration Flyer

Lean Construction Basics

May 10, 2017 – 7:30am to 8:30am
$10 members/$30 nonmembers

Full Courses

Choose a course below for full details and to register.

Project Management Development Program (PMDP)

The Associated General Contractors (AGC) Project Manager Development Program (PMDP) for early-career project managers or those looking to move into such a role is a five-unit program that covers the essentials of project management and provides a solid foundation for long-term career development.

PMDP participants are likely to have various titles depending on the kind of work they perform, the geographical location of their projects, and the size of their company. They may have titles such as assistant project manager, project manager, field engineer, project engineer, project administrator, etc. They may have experience as estimators, field personnel, project assistants, or office managers, and they may work in the heavy and highway sector, the commercial building sector, or in residential construction. They will most likely be early in their careers, have some post-high-school education, and less than two years of project-related experience.

Each of the five courses consists of 15 hours of classroom training held one evening a week for five weeks. All of the course instructors are active or retired contractors. The cost for the entire five-unit program is $1,150. Courses can also be taken individually.

Unit 1: Estimating and Job Costing (October 2016)

Unit 2: Contract Administration (December 2016)

Unit 3: Project Administration (January 2017)

Unit 4: Risk Management – (March 2017)

Unit 5: Leadership – (April 2017)

Introduction to Blueprint Reading

The Introduction to Blueprint Reading course is geared for those with limited or no blueprint reading experience. Both field and office personnel are invited to participate. Upon completion of the six-week course, participants will:

  • be able to interpret line conventions, abbreviations and symbols
  • understand the different scales used on drawings and be able to tell the difference between architect’s scale and engineer’s scale drawings
  • be able to recognize the various types of drawings included in a “released for construction” set of drawings
  • be able to read basic construction drawings including plan views, elevations, sections and details
  • perform coordination exercises using several drawings, for example, architectural and structure coordination
  • be able to interpret the notes and schedules located on drawing

This course consists of 15 hours of classroom training held over six weeks, with class one night a week. There is a fall course starting October 3, 2016 and a spring course starting April 10, 2017. The course instructor, Cheryl McBride, has 35 years of experience in the construction industry and 14 years of experience teaching construction courses. The cost for the program is $200 and includes a textbook.

Introduction to Quantity Takeoff and Estimating

Introduction to Quantity Takeoff and Estimating is the follow up course to the Introduction to Blueprint Reading course.  The curriculum for this course focuses on three topics: 1) the role of the estimator in the construction process; 2) calculating material quantities (quantity takeoff) using blueprints from real projects; and 3) calculating costs (estimating) using various generally accepted methods.  Participants are expected to have a working knowledge of blueprint reading and construction math, meaning they can read and interpret drawings and calculate dimensions, areas, volumes, etc.

This course consists of 20 hours of classroom training, meeting one evening a week for eight weeks. There is a fall course starting September 28, 2016 and a spring course starting April 5, 2017. The course instructor, Cheryl McBride, has 35 years of experience in the construction industry and 14 years of experience teaching construction courses. The cost for the program is $315 and includes a textbook.

Complete Concrete: Design to Batch Plant to Jobsite

This is a two-session course that blends a little science, some basic engineering, and a lot of practical information into a concise format. The target participant is anyone in the construction industry who interacts with concrete along its journey from design to batch plant to the jobsite: tradespeople, inspectors, technicians, estimators, superintendents, project managers, projects engineers, project administrators, batch plant personnel, ready-mix truck drivers, etc. This is a great course for those new to the concrete side of the construction industry and is a thorough refresher for experienced personnel.

  • Session 1 will cover standards (ASTM, ACI, etc.) that apply to concrete construction; basic concrete mix design; cement; water/cement ratio; concrete strength; forces that act on concrete structures; reinforced concrete, placement of reinforcement; chemical admixtures; concrete testing; common problems (segregation, bleeding, cracking); review of a concrete MSDS sheet.
  • Session 2 the instructor and participants will review several sets of concrete specifications in detail, pointing out common and special requirements that must be addressed during the bidding process and in field operations.

The course instructor, Cheryl McBride, has 35 years of experience in the construction industry and 14 years of experience teaching construction courses. The course will be run on October 20 and 27, 2016 in the evening and November 4 and 11, 2016 during the day. The cost for the program is $50 per participant for the evening class and $65 for the day class (includes lunch).

Business Basics for Construction Companies

Business Basics for Construction Companies will give business leaders the basic tools necessary to take their company to the next level.  Whether you are starting a new business, transitioning into commercial construction or looking to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your operations, this 6-week course will help you build a foundation of knowledge you can use to continue growing and improving. Class is held one night a week from 5:00pm to 8:00pm.

Week 1: Course Introduction and Legal/Risk Management by Matt Sikora (Turner Construction) and Andrew Miller (Webster Szanyi)

Week 2: Estimating & Bidding and Procurement by Matt Sikora (Turner Construction) and Steve McGlone (Turner Construction)

Week 3: Bonding & Insurance and Accounting & Cost Projecting by Tim Toole (Lawley Construction Solutions) and Karen Antonelli (Chiampou Travis Besaw & Kershner)

Week 4: Scheduling and Project Management/Field by Fran Slaven (Turner Construction) and Charlie Spencer (LeChase Construction)

Week 5: Project Management/Office and Sales & Marketing by Matt Famigletti (R & P Oak Hill) and Gail Ettaro (LPCiminelli)

Week 6: Human Resources and Open Forum Discussion & Closing by Lisa Stefanie (TripleTrack HR Partners)

This course features 15 hours of classroom training and costs $40 per person (member) and $140 per person (non-member) and will be run from February 16 to March 23, 2017.


Education Committee

The Construction Exchange Education Committee meets periodically to discuss the educational needs of the membership. The committee decides which courses to offer and helps to choose instructors. If you are interested in joining the committee, please contact Joe Benedict at (716) 874-3435.

Education Committee Members:

Karen Antonelli, Chiampou Travis Besaw & Kershner

Gary Bichler (Chair), R&P Oak Hill Building Company

Earl Cantwell, Hurwitz & Fine

Dave Guido, Encompass Management

Don Hahn, Hahn Training

Brendan Kelly, M&T Bank

Joe Marchitte,  MKS Plumbing

Andrew McLellan,  UNYSE

Drew Miller, Webster Szanyi

Byron Nakagawa, Bison Scaffold & Mason’s Supply

Greg Schober, Huber Construction

Shannon Seipel, Lafarge

Tim Toole, Lawley Insurance