Created to serve the growing need for training in the construction industry, Small Giants has announced the launching of an ambitious educational program called the Academy for Construction Excellence. Developed with the guidance of an advisory council that has more than 200 years of combined construction education experience in all facets of the construction industry, this is designed to help construction professionals reach their full potential through tailored training programs and expert guidance.

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“There are several forces impacting the industry’s increased need for training—the current retirement rate of key people in companies in the field and in ownership/leadership; hiring workforce who are new to the construction industry; and the current rate of construction activity in Arizona,” explained Danielle Feroleto, Owner and President of Small Giants.

According to the Registrar of Contractors data, there are 41,871 commercial contractors registered in the State of Arizona and more than 240,000 skilled trades professionals working in the industry. The Academy for Construction Excellence was created to offer these professionals educational program options, ranging from leadership and technical training and marketing to interview preparation and strategic planning for every role in the industry. 

Feroleto, who has been offering training for construction professionals, as well as teaching at Arizona State University’s Del E. Webb School of Construction for more than 20 years, developed this dedicated program after multiple client requests and sharing their challenges with obtaining quality education. 

“The demand on companies to keep up with training as they grow and scale is increasing and even the resources available in-house and externally are not enough to train for the future. The Academy offers a variety of topics already, but we are shaping the curriculum around the requests we get from companies.”

Initial class offerings include Holistic Succession Planning, Crafting Employee-Centric Education and Training Programs, Introduction to Planning & Scheduling, Cyber Liability and AI for Construction. The Academy will offer Leadership, Marketing and Business Development and Superintendent and Project Manager training.

Each course at the Academy for Construction Excellence is facilitated by an industry expert relative to the class subject, with offerings meant to serve every contractor size or existing company trainings. Customized in-house training as well as scheduled open classes are offered. 

The advisory council for the Academy is comprised of:

  • Andrew Atkinson, Managing Partner and Certified Work Comp Advisor at INSURICA Southwest
  • Danielle Feroleto, Owner and President of Small Giants and an adjunct professor in the Del E. Webb School of Construction at Arizona State University
  • Michael J. Holden, Founding Member at Holden Willits PLC
  • Anthony Jeffers, Director of Project Development at Hensel Phelps
  • Erica Lange, Training and Career Development Director at GCON, Inc.
  • Carol McMullen, retired industry educator and a member of the Arizona State University Construction Advisory Committee
  • John Murdough, partner emeritus at Baker Tilly US
  • Jennifer Swanson, Executive Administrator/Special Projects at Small Giants.

Classes and seminars take place in the Small Giants Learning Lab, which is centrally located at 5555 E. Van Buren St. in Phoenix. The classes offer a hands-on setting where everyone is encouraged to be a part of the conversation. All attendees are welcome for the classes, seminars and programs, regardless of client status, size, or specialty.

For more information about the advisory council and the Academy for Construction Excellence, visit