We're near the end of National Engineers Week, yet many of us have probably been too focused on our looming deadlines and projects to fully realize the importance of such events and opportunities to support the future of our industry.
What have you done to help promote engineering and technology?
If the answer is nothing, you’re not alone. As we spend more and more time sitting at our desks and staring at our phones, time for ourselves and our families is getting harder to come by. It's easy to see why volunteering and promotion of the construction industry isn’t necessarily at the top of our minds. But maybe it should be.
An Increasing Need for Industry Professionals
The population is growing, infrastructure is failing, and there is a large gap of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professionals in the United States. We need approximately 1 million more professionals to enter the industry over the next decade. This includes skilled trades, such as machinists and technicians in the manufacturing industry, along with degree holding professionals.
Conventions and professional networking events are a couple ways to stay involved, but what about opportunities to inspire future professionals in the architecture, construction and engineering fields?
Do you remember a teacher, project, or even a moment when you decided you wanted to be in the industry? Imagine volunteering and working hands-on with students, teaching them the ins and outs of design and construction and seeing the moment they find a solution to a problem.
The ACE Mentor Program not only gives you the opportunity to help high school students discover a career path they'll love, but it can also help with the larger scale workforce shortage over the next decade.
The Fastest Growing Engineering Organization in America
Started in 1994, the ACE Mentor Program was originally created in New York City due to a workforce shortage. Today, ACE (architecture, construction, engineering) has a national reach with 65 affiliates in 33 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
The program inspires high school students to pursue careers in construction and design through hands-on project experience, mentoring, and immersion.
Guiding the Future Generation
ACE not only gives the chance for students to see real-world engineering opportunities, it gives us mentors and volunteers an opportunity to impact our local communities.
Mentors get the opportunity to tell high school kids their story, share their insights, and show them what being an ACE professional means. You can guide the students on real-world projects, lead business tours, host trips with the students to construction sites, and get to see the excitement of the industry through their eyes.
You also get the chance to network with other professionals through social events and open houses. Enhance your own leadership and management skills while giving back to the community.
More than two-thirds of high school seniors who participate in the ACE program will go on to college to pursue an architecture, construction or engineering degree or enter a trade program. Help encourage these students to do so and help put your company’s name into the minds of the future workforce.
Visit the ACE website to learn more about mentoring through your local chapter, and check out Oldcastle’s bi-weekly business intelligence report for more analysis of the construction market’s data and trends.