“He doesn't say he can't do anything. He doesn't say no. Angel has ambition.”
Amos Anson, local business owner talking about Angel Velasco
CPI graduate starts his own construction company
The back of Angel Velasco’s shirt says “We build it right the first time.”
But when Velasco looks back on his time as a student at Career Pathways Institute, the building isn’t what sticks out.
“It was the book-side knowledge,” he said. Beyond the hands-on training, learning “blueprint reading, doing estimates, payroll, billing … the paperwork part of construction” was the most valuable part of CPI.
Perhaps the logo and business name above the shirt’s slogan puts this into context: It’s his initials, his name, his phone number, his business. After graduating from Grand Island Senior High in the Class of 2015, he started his own business, AV Construction, and he’s been “pretty busy” since day one.
He listed off a number of projects his business worked on, including the GIX Logistics building and Prairie Pride Brewing Company. He was hired for both those projects by Amos Anson, a local construction contractor, business owner and fellow GISH graduate.
“Amos is probably one of the best guys you can be working with,” Velasco said. “He has been a mentor for me.”
Anson has great things to say about Velasco, as well.
“He doesn't say he can't do anything,” Anson said. “He doesn't say no. Angel has ambition.”
Velasco also credits CPI teacher Brett Forsman for his success and confidence.
“He is the one who pushed me to not be scared of anything,” Velasco said.
Forsman also speaks highly of Angel.
“Angel was a great student, always eager to learn more,” Forsman said. “He was the type of student who would push me to teach more and more content so he would be prepared for the workforce.”
The CPI construction program Forsman is a part of is quite valuable to Anson.
“I can’t say enough good things about Brett Forsman and the work he is doing,” Anson said. “Kids in that program are so lucky to have Brett. His kids are prepared to work right away after high school.”
Forsman said he tries to be as hands-on as possible, but wants to prepare kids for the money side of construction, too.
“I want them to know that material just doesn't magically show up and get paid for,” he said. “We spend time throughout the project filling out expense reports as we finish different aspects of the project. I also spend a week or so completing a full estimate followed by a proposal.”
Velasco's early success shows the community and other students the impact this program can make.
“Absolutely, if the student has the drive we can prepare them for the workforce and hook them up with industry partners to continue the education process when they leave here,” Forsman said.
Velasco has one employee “for now.” The plan is to hire more in the next year. Asked if he would consider hiring CPI grads like himself, he paused before answering.
“As long as they meet my high standards.”