“Ranken helps most students obtain a sense of a scheduled, orderly life with rules you must follow no matter how ridiculous students may think they are,” says Colton Knowles. “The classes were very balanced in ratio of students-to-instructors, which alleviated the challenge of receiving instructive, one-on-one clarity when you simply asked for it.”

Students in the St. Louis campus Construction Division programs use their skills to build houses in the neighborhood through our nonprofit Ranken Community Development Corporation (RCDC). They receive construction training in a “learn by doing” style, supervised by our faculty in every facet of construction. Colton enjoyed plumbing those houses with his class during the winter of 2019. Most of his classmates had never been a part of a “build” before and he enjoyed seeing everybody’s reaction to the physical demands and know-how required when piping a house together. He says, “You learn a lot about the people you thought you knew when you get to work out in the field.”

Dave Munie, Plumbing Department Chair and instructor, explains “Colton is a go-getter and was one of the best in his class. He is very focused on the quality of his work.” Colton graduated Cum Laude with a Certificate in Plumbing Technology in May 2020. “My work at Riesenmy Construction allows me to use all my talents as a technician, craftsman, plumber, and assisting in all aspects of custom home building, particularly historical homes,” says Colton.

Nathen Riesenmy, Owner of Riesenmy Construction Services, describes Colton as well-suited for the many facets hit profession entails. “Colton is a long-time acquaintance; our families have known one another since Colton was young. He worked with me years ago before venturing on to other jobs and enrolling at Ranken. He comes with a wealth of knowledge and a great work ethic. We are an all-trades company that performs custom work primary in renovation. Colton often refers to his Ranken instructors when explaining techniques he picked up while earning his college certification.”

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