If you follow this blog, you know that I post frequently on the ACE Mentor program – this program matches high school students with architecture, construction, and engineering professionals. I volunteer with the ACE Mentoring Program’s San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. Their are several groups within the SF Chapter and I specifically participate in the Peninsula Group.

I am attempting to post a couple pictures and a brief summary of the student activities each week at the following blog:

ACE Mentor Program – San Francisco Bay Area Chapter – Peninsula Chapter

 Check it out.

Advertisements

The following clips are taken from the article, “Firms get more family friendly” from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Keith Myers of the Young Group was in a jam.

His St. Louis-based company had a $3 million subcontracting job on two 615-megawatt coal-fired power plants that Bechtel Corp. is building in Racine, Wis. — and no one to ramrod it.

—-

Myers had a hard time filling the project manager slot for the Bechtel job. He was offering $75 an hour, with no benefits, and couldn’t find anyone who fit the bill and wanted to move to Wisconsin for several months in the winter.

—-

But with baby boomer managers retiring every day, officials like Mark Schnoebelen, vice president of Kansas City-based Massman Construction Co., which specializes in building bridges and locks and dams, are looking ahead to see how they can attract more young people.

“We can buy new equipment,” Schnoebelen said. “People are the issue. You have to have people you can trust.”

To that end, Massman, recruits at more than double the number of colleges and universities offering civil engineering degrees than it did a few years ago.

Moreover, Schnoebelen said, Massman, like many other construction companies, recruits college interns in hopes of grooming them for a permanent job.

“This summer, we’ll have two sophomores and two juniors,” he said. “We pay them $3,000 a month.”

Massman also has an employee incentive program that pays a bonus in the “low thousands” for anyone who recommends a permanent hire who works out for at least six months.

“This is great work,” Schnoebelen said. “There’s so much variety to it. One day, you’re in a coat and tie and meeting with the owner. The next day, you’re knee-deep in mud.”

The average starting salary for a graduate of University of Central Missouri’s program, one of 60 accredited programs in the United States, is $48,000 a year, with the range from $38,000 to $56,000, Schache said.

“Firms get more family friendly” from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Check out this article entitled, “Building Trades to Engage ACE Mentor Program”. Article can found below:

The Building & Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO has partnered with the ACE Mentor Program in an effort to encourage high school students to consider a career in the construction industry.

The ACE Mentor Program serves high school youth who are exploring careers in Architecture, Construction, or Engineering. The mentors are professionals from leading design and construction firms who volunteer their time and energy. The program is designed to engage, inform, and challenge youth.

Currently, there are over 5,400 students participating with over 1,700 mentors in 77 cities nationwide. In 2007, the program will expand into 46 states, with 73 additional locations, The program expects to have 7,500 students participating in 2007 with 2,400 mentoring firms and 4,000 individual mentors.

ace-logo.jpgCheck out the video below from “A Student Project for ACE Mentor Cumberland Chapter New Jersey 2006”.

The following summary from CMAA Newsbriefs highlights a Wall Street Journal article which points out an important fact – many skills that are difficult to measure, so-called “soft skills”, such as listening, leadership, communication, and teamwork, are critical to ones career growth.

Many college-level construction programs do a great job teaching technical skills such as construction scheduling, estimating, and contracting. Students should seek opportunities to develop their interpersonal skills as well.

“M.B.A. Programs Hone ‘Soft Skills'”
Wall Street Journal (02/12/07) P. B3; Dvorak, Phred

Increasingly, business schools are dedicating more of their curriculum to “soft” management training. Interest in soft skills such as listening and teamwork has increased in the wake of the growing number of managers whose responsibilities now entail attracting and retaining skilled laborers. Warren Bennis, an author and professor at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, says more companies are seeking managers skilled in the art of listening, negotiating compromises, and communicating. “It isn’t just nice–these interpersonal skills,” Bennis says. “It’s about stuff that’s necessary to lead a complex organization.” To meet this demand, some business schools like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management have included classes and workshops in their curriculum on developing relationships and leading meetings. First-year students are now required to work with second-year “coaches” on leadership style and communication. The Stanford Graduate School of Business is revising its leadership-training program this fall to mandate that all first-year students take part in teamwork and management-simulation exercises, take personality tests, and assess their interpersonal skills. Executive coaches will be invited to sit in and provide advice.

fiugoldenpanthers.JPGAccording to this the article below, Florida International University has been selected to provide its vision of the house of the future. A brief excerpt from the article follows:

“Miami, FL (February 27, 2007) – Florida International University announced today its distinct honor of representing the United States as part of the Future House Community project in Beijing, China, to be located near the site of the 2008 Olympic Summer Games. It is the only university in the U.S. to be invited to participate. Not only is FIU at the forefront of technology by building an energy efficient and sustainable “Future House USA,” but the state-of-the-art house will be visited by millions of people during the Games and for years to come. The official construction opening ceremony will be held on March 16, 2007.”

FIU at the Forefront of Technology: Representing the United States
To Build Energy Efficient, Sustainable “Future House” in China

The main readers of the C-School Blog are construction management students and construction industry professionals that are looking for construction management opportunities in academia – both of these groups can benefit from the the following post on resume writing. This post is from “Rands in Repose” and is geared towards the tech field; but, many of the observations hold true for the construction industry. The introduction to the posting can be found below:

You’ve got 30 seconds – A Glimpse and a Hook

The terrifying reality regarding your resume is that for all the many hours you put into fine-tuning, you’ve got 30 seconds to make an impression on me. Maybe less.

It’s unfair, it’s imprecise, and there’s a good chance that I make horrible mistakes, but there’s a lot more of you than me, and while hiring phenomenal teams is the most important thing I do, I’m balancing that task with the fact that I need to build product and manage the endless stream of people walking into my office.

A Glimpse and Hook – Full Post