James B. Pepper Rutland | MMR University Spotlighted in Greater Baton Rouge Business Report for Innovative Solution to Rising Workforce Demands

Pepper Rutland
2 min readJul 25, 2023

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BATON ROUGE, LA –The Baton Rouge Business Report spotlighted MMR’s newly-launched internal learning and development program, MMR University (MMR-U), in its July 2023 ‘Top 100 Private Companies’ issue. In the feature, MMR Vice President Jeramiah Blum discusses the circumstances that warranted a drastic change in MMR’s approach to attracting and recruiting talent.

With shifting candidate preferences and pandemic-induced labor shortages, Blum examined the need for an education program designed to draw and retain talent. The launch of MMR-U strives to transform traditional industry roles by providing instruction tailored to augment higher education and professional skillsets.

“The new generation is different,” said Blum. “Money is down the list for them. They want to know that there’s a career path, a work-life balance and an ability to upskill.”

As a result, Blum and MMR University Director Matt Jean worked with consultants Phillip LaFargue and Sarah Broome of LaFargue LLC to conceptualize a stand-alone program that fused in-person instruction with hands-on lessons, virtual learning opportunities, field experience and personal mentorship from MMR professionals. In January 2023, MMR-U welcomed fourteen students who were selected to join the pilot program.

Hayley Macaluso, a construction management senior at LSU, also discussed her experience as an MMR-U intern with Business Report. Macaluso joined MMR in January, and she is currently stationed at the Rio Tinto Kennecott Copper Mine in South Jordan, UT to complete her summer field placement.

“Now that I’m out in the field, the drawings have come to life, and it has just been eye opening,” said Macaluso.

As the program progresses, MMR-U will scale up to provide lifelong skills and leadership development for all employees, leading to long-term growth opportunities for staff, world-class talent across the company and a dynamic culture that primes MMR for future sustained growth.

MMR University offers a competitive construction internship program to post-secondary students majoring in construction management, electrical engineering or equivalent in the Capital Region. For more information about internship and career opportunities at MMR, visit https://mmrgrp.com/workforce-development/careers.

This article was originally posted on MMR’s website.

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Pepper Rutland

Pepper Rutland is the founder and CEO at MMR Group , headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. To read more about Pepper, visit PepperRutland.com!