Students from seven local high schools recently worked with construction and engineering professionals to learn what it takes to be successful in this challenging and growing industry.
UTC’s Construction Management Program hosts the ACE Program in Chattanooga, a member of a national network dedicated to career direction for students in architecture, construction, and engineering.
“We are really proud of being a part of this organization,” said Dr. Nesli Alp, professor of engineering and coordinator of the construction management program at UTC. “This is the first year of ACE Chattanooga, and it’s a great way to inform high school students about architecture, construction, and engineering majors by showing them real world applications.”
More than $10,000 in scholarships was awarded at the 2010 ACE Chattanooga Awards Banquet, held recently at UTC.
“ACE Chattanooga is a great demonstration of University-Community-Business collaboration, and it really helps the College and UTC to be more visible in our community,” said Dr. Alp.
ACE was founded in 1995 in New York City with one team of 30 students. By 2008, the program had launched in 82 cities with more than 10,000 students. The program works to increase awareness among high school students of career opportunities in architecture, construction, and engineering and relies heavily on mentors from the professional ranks of the disciplines. ACE also provides scholarships for students participating in the program.
“UTC’s involvement in the ACE Program is another example of how we achieve our mission as a metropolitan university,” said UTC Chancellor Roger Brown. “Construction is the second largest industry in the United States and by the year 2015, the industry expects to have one million job openings for qualified candidates. And yet, for every five people leaving the construction industry, only one person is entering. We hope that through participating in ACE, we can encourage more bright young people to prepare for careers in this critical industry.”
ACE Chattanooga participating school partners and the respective coordinators are: Chattanooga Christian School, Greg Davick; Chattanooga School for Arts and Sciences, Cindy Dees; East Ridge, Bill Wiencke; Girls’ Prepartory School, Jessica Good; Howard, Michael Prater; Ooltewah, Linda Pickett; and Red Bank, Richard Brown.
Members of the ACE Chattanooga Board include: Linda Allen, president; Roger Tuder, vice president; Cary Davis, treasurer; Phillip Pickett, secretary; Brittany Scott, secretary; Neslihan Alp, Jeff Durham, and Briggs Smith, directors.
Sponsors for ACE Chattanooga and the recognition dinner include: Adman Electric; AEED, Inc.; AGC; Unum; Brock Insurance; Cornerstone Commissioning; Crow Friedman Group; DBS Corporation; DPM; East Tennessee Grading; Gary Hilbert; Helton Construction; Herman Miller; Jake Marshall Service; J&J Contractors; Johnson Hickey Murchison CPA; Luken Holdings; March Adams Engineering; Procoat Painting; Reed Walter; Rick McKenney; RPM, Inc.; The Strauss Company, Inc.; and Vega Corporation of Tennessee.