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Building the Future: Corey Menning's Journey from Construction to Teaching at Iowa Lakes Community

Corey Menning, a construction instructor at Iowa Lakes Community College, shares his background in the industry and how he ended up teaching on this edition of OffSite Dirt. His parents met at Iowa Lakes when his father was studying carpentry and his mother was studying nursing. Corey grew up around building and always had a passion for it. He worked with his father's construction business throughout high school and went to Iowa Lakes with the plan of eventually taking over the family business. However, during his second year at Iowa Lakes, he became a lab assistant for the program and found that he enjoyed helping students learn about construction more than working on job sites himself. After graduating from college, he worked briefly with his dad's company before getting hired as a full-time lab assistant by Gary Schmidt, one of his former instructors who helped develop a new part of the program focused on energy-efficient construction methods. Corey has been teaching at Iowa Lakes for almost 20 years now.

Currently, Corey is overseeing a duplex project being built by students in partnership with the city housing task force. The task force provides criteria such as square footage and features they want included in each year's project design competition held in Corey's CAD class where students present their designs to members of the task force who then select which design to build next year. This year's duplex is nearing completion with most work being self-performed by students except for plumbing/electrical work which was subcontracted out due to licensing requirements.

Corey Menning, an instructor at Iowa Lakes Community College's Construction Technology program, discusses the program and its focus on high-performance building techniques. The program includes hands-on experience in all aspects of construction, from design to finishing, and incorporates energy-efficient technologies such as insulated concrete forms (ICFs) and structural insulated panels (SIPs). Students also have the opportunity to compete in SkillsUSA competitions and gain real-world experience through summer internships. Menning hopes that by exposing students to a variety of building techniques and providing them with practical skills, they will be better prepared for careers in the industry. He also mentions an upcoming donation from ITW Brands' Paslode division of nail guns and supplies worth around $8-9k for his program.

Construction Tech Faculty at Iowa Lakes College
Corey Menning

Corey Menning - I grew up around construction and have loved it ever since I was a little boy. I attended Iowa Lakes Construction Technology, following in my father’s footsteps who graduated in 1977. This July will mark 20 years for me with the program! I was one of the first group of students to graduate Iowa Lakes with an AAS from the Construction Tech program. Each year we design and build a house from the ground up and do blower door tests and thermal scans on the home as well.


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