ace-logo.jpgCheck out the article, “Pupils learn architecture’s fine points by Melvin Mason” which covers an ACE Mentoring group in Connecticut. A brief excerpt can be found below:

Shawn Lahey can see himself working on great homes some day in the future. If his advisers with the ACE Mentor Program have anything to say, he’ll be doing just that.

Two dozen high school students from Shelton and Trumbull are learning the finer points of architecture, construction and engineering, or ACE, through the program that aims to get high school students interested in architecture and related fields.

ACE mentors are local architects, interior designers, construction managers and other professionals who work with students considering a career in those fields.

Mike DeAngelis, director of the Shelton-area ACE chapter, said architecture and construction-fields need new people. In about 10 years, those fields will have about 10,000 jobs available, he said.

“They might want to be a mason, an electrician, an engineer,” he said. “We’re trying to get these kids involved.”

According to ZweigWhite’s 2007 Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) Industry Outlook, the construction industry could benefit from the recruiting best practices found here. An introduction to the best practices can be found below:

Approximately 82 percent of ZweigWhite’s Hot Firm leaders cite hiring and retaining qualified employees as their top operational challenge in managing their firm’s rapid growth, according to ZweigWhite’s 2007 Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) Industry Outlook. “By making several small mindful recruiting changes, firms can avoid the pitfalls that kept them from being a competitive recruiter in the past,” Jennifer Hu, an associate with ZweigWhite who specializes in human resources advisory services, said.

Hiring, Retaining Employees Is Challenging by Aram Kalousdian

washingtonhusky.JPGUW Extension has recently published links to their construction engineering and construction management programs. Select link here to find out more about these programs. A brief outline of the classes (taken from the website) can be found below:

 

Construction, Engineering and Real Estate
Commercial Real Estate
Construction Engineering (online) – Features certificate programs in Heavy Construction Project Management; Infrastructure Construction; and Quantitative Construction Management
Construction Management
Construction Management (online)
Facility Management(online)

texasamaggies.jpgI came across Texas A&M Strategic Plan for the Department of Construction Science. This plan is for the time frame from 1999 to 2005 and it provides interesting insight into the performance parameters for the large construction college. A portion of the introduction from the strategic plan follows:

Construction Science is an emerging field. Today, construction accounts for 8-9 percent of the nations GDP and employs about seven million workers. Historically, construction managers were trained “on-the-job”. Good engineers and architects became good project managers, good businessmen, and good leaders through trial and error. In the past, formal construction management training was available almost as an afterthought in engineering and architectural schools. Construction Science programs that have sprung up in other universities around the nation in the last ten years are an acknowledgement that formal education is essential to produce excellent construction managers and future leaders in the construction industry, one of the largest industries in the nation.

The Department of Construction Science at Texas A&M University, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1995, has long been known as one of the best programs of its kind in the world. It is THE LARGEST in terms of student population, the number of graduates produced, and the number of faculty. It can become, without question, THE BEST Construction Science program in the world if this Strategic Plan is implemented successfully.

The Department’s Strategic Plan is to provide purpose and direction for all actions of the Department. It sets priorities and provides a common vision that every member of the Department should consider in their day-to-day activities.

boisestate_logo_2003.gifMany construction management programs across the nation are growing and one of the factors restricting the growth of the programs is finding qualified instructors for the coursework. The students of Boise State’s construction program decided to do something about this problem by donating some of the funds from their student Construction Management Association back to the university. Check out the article here and the excerpt below:

Members of the university’s Construction Management Association (CMA) recently presented a check to President Bob Kustra; the funds will go into an account to establish a new, permanent lecturer position in the Department of Construction Management in Boise State’s College of Engineering.

They could have thrown a party, bought club jackets and still had enough cash to charter a plane to the Bahamas. Instead, construction management students decided to give $20,000 in donations their association has received over the years back to the university.

“We recognize the need for new faculty in our growing department. I hope this donation shows that we care about the education of students who come after us,” senior construction management student and outgoing CMA president Joshua Martin said.

Kustra praised the students for establishing the habit of giving back so early in their careers.

“This group is setting a model for what student associations can accomplish,” Kustra said.

BSU student CMA donates $20,000 back to university

sm_student_comp_logo.JPG

I came across the following list of the winning schools at the AGC / ASC National Student Construction competition (website here)

Ninth Annual National Student Competition Winners

Commercial Division – Sponsored by Turner Construction Company

  1. Clemson University
  2. Arizona State University
  3. University of Washington

Design Build Division – Sponsored by Hensel Phelps Construction Company

  1. Clemson University
  2. Milwaukee School of Engineering
  3. Iowa State University

Heavy Civil Division – Sponsored by Granite Construction Inc

  1. University of Cincinnati
  2. Oregon State University
  3. University of Arkansas, Little Rock

Congratulations to all the regional winners that participated in this national competition.

A few months ago, I took a stab at answering the question above in my post entitled, “What are students looking for in a construction internship?” This post was based on my experience in working with several construction interns over the years. I found another source of information (a much more structured and detailed source of information) on this same topic at Dr. Bradford Sims’ website at www.constructioneducation.com. Dr. Sims’ methodology and survey results can be found at this link and below:

The below survey was given to graduating seniors (SII) and graduate students (G). They were asked to rate each statement on how important it was in maintaining continued employment with the same construction company. 1= not important and 5 = very important. The first column is the average of all responses, the second column is only graduating seniors (SII), and the third column is only for graduate students (G).

TOPIC

G & SII

AVG

N=95

SII

AVG

N=66

G

AVG

N=29

Upward movement in job positions

4.54

4.52

4.45

Company’s reputation within the industry

4.49

4.57

4.31

Stability of Company’s management

4.42

4.50

4.24

Company’s commitment to professionalism

4.39

4.42

4.31

Training

4.28

4.34

4.14

Company’s financial strength

4.28

4.30

4.24

Company’s safety performance/record

4.24

4.30

4.10

Challenging Vs. Mundane Tasks

4.22

4.21

4.24

Turnover rate of Company’s key management personnel

4.20

4.18

4.24

Area of the country you will mostly live

4.19

4.38

3.76

Company culture / Company philosophies

4.17

4.23

4.03

Major Medical Plan

4.17

4.18

4.14

Company’s attitude toward management training

4.17

4.21

4.07

Company’s commitment to integrating technology in the field

4.16

4.12

4.24

Company matching 401K retirement package

4.13

4.17

4.03

Company paid health care benefits

4.12

4.08

4.21

Ability to change positions when you wish to try something new

4.07

4.20

3.93

Depth of Company’s management skills

4.07

4.15

3.90

Company profit sharing

4.01

4.08

3.86

Flexible work environment – attire, work hours

3.98

3.97

4.00

Salary

3.96

3.88

4.14

Dental Plan

3.95

4.03

3.76

Recognition of work performed

3.94

3.92

3.97

Company’s attitude towards continuing education

3.93

3.94

3.90

Turnover rate of others in your position

3.92

3.85

4.07

Vacation/Sick time policy

3.82

3.85

3.76

Company mentoring program

3.79

3.76

3.86

Company’s attitude toward craft training

3.72

3.59

4.00

Work Schedule (number of hours per week)

3.71

3.73

3.66

Ability to focus on the type of construction in which you plan to specialize

3.63

3.67

3.55

Tuition Reimbursement for continuing education

3.58

3.61

3.52

Type of Work (High Tech, Pharmaceutical, office, etc…)

3.58

3.50

3.76

Variety of project types – diverse or specialized?

3.57

3.54

3.66

Company’s client base

3.54

3.59

3.41

Employee recognition program

3.44

3.43

3.45

Overtime work required for a salaried position

3.39

3.29

3.62

Toys- computers, PDA’s, etc…

3.38

3.43

3.28

Allow you to take a leave of absence to pursue a Masters’ degree

3.27

3.32

3.17

Size of company – number of employees

3.22

3.24

3.17

Size of projects – large, medium, small volume?

3.20

3.17

3.28

Size of the organization

3.18

3.17

3.21

Perks company offers (sport tickets, etc…)

3.13

3.20

2.97

Company vehicle

3.12

3.18

2.97

The need to relocate for projects

2.94

2.91

3.00

Travel for your job

2.84

2.71

3.14

Job title

2.80

2.86

2.66

Contact Dr. Sims at 352-392-7288 or via brad@constructioneducation.com for info. If you use or reproduce the survey, please give credit to ConstructionEducation.com and Bradford Sims.

If you find these results interesting and would like to participate as either a graduating Construction Management student or in an upcoming survey for those working in the industry, the American Institute of Constructors (AIC) will be providing an opportunity to fill out one of these surveys.