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Detroit Public School Students Attend 3rd Annual Construction Science Expo

Friday, May 24, 2013   (0 Comments)
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                
CONTACT: Douglas E. Needham, P.E., MITA, 517-347-8336
Carol Weaver, Detroit Public Schools, 313-409-3449


Detroit, Mich. –  As a construction industry worker shortage continues to be apparent now and in the future, exposing young people to this career path has become a priority for the Michigan Design & Construction Science Coalition (MDCSC).  If the enthusiasm generated by the 3rd Annual Construction Science Expo this week in Detroit is any indication, the future does not appear so bleak.

Over 1,000 students from the Detroit Public Schools saw first hand what it means to work in the construction and engineering field.  The event was held at the Michigan Science Center, and was organized by the MDCSC, The Black Caucus Foundation of Michigan, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), and Detroit Public Schools (DPS).

“The coalition was proud to host this event for students, grade 7-9, who have signed a drug-free pledge, and had a change to get their hands dirty in masonry, carpentry, electrical work, and operate heavy construction equipment,” said Douglas E. Needham, P.E., chairman of the MDCSC and vice president of industry relations for the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association. “Exposing students to these experiences outside the regular classroom is the key to getting them interested in pursuing construction and engineering careers after high school.”

In addition to engaging in hands-on construction and engineering experiences, students viewed displays and demonstrations of engineering excellence, and performed skits that highlighted a drug-free theme.  Speakers during a press conference included Kirk Steudle, P.E., the director of MDOT.

“We are looking for young people with an interest in solving problems and figuring out how things work,” Steudle said. “This is a key component in workforce development in Detroit, which is a priority at MDOT and for Governor Snyder.  We greatly appreciate all the hard work of our partners in the road building industry to reach out to these youngsters and to encourage them to consider being a part of the future of the transportation industry.”

Other speakers included: Harvey Hollins, director of the Michigan Office of Urban and Metropolitan Initiatives; and Janet Howard, Deputy Director of the Michigan Workforce Development Agency.

Demonstrations at the event were provided by the Operating Engineers Local 324 JATF, Michigan Laborers Training and Apprenticeship Institute, Operative Plasters and Cement Masons International Association Apprenticeship & Training Fund, Detroit Carpenters Apprenticeship School, Sheet Metal Local 80 Training Center, International Masonry Institute Detroit Metropolitan Masonry Joint Apprentice Training Center, Spalding De Decker Surveyor, Detroit JATF-Electrical Industry Training Center, Iron Workers Local 25, and Energy Group. Students also had the opportunity to explore the Roads, Bridges and Tunnels Exhibit in the Science Center as well as exhibits by the Walbridge Joint Venture for Detroit Public Schools, the MDOT TRAC Program and the Black Caucus Foundation of Michigan.

“The entire event was a testament to the positive partnerships and relationships that exist between the construction industry, The Black Caucus Foundation of Detroit, MDOT and DPS,” Needham said. “We hope to have this event for many years to come.”

Construction Science Expo Coalition Members

• American Council of Engineering Companies of Michigan
• American Society of Civil Engineers Michigan Chapter
• Asphalt Pavement Association of Michigan
• Michigan Concrete Association
• Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association
• Michigan Laborers-Employers Cooperation & Education Trust Funds
• International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324

Construction Science Expo Sponsors

• Michigan Department of Transportation
• The Black Caucus Foundation of Michigan
• Michigan Laborers-Employers Cooperation & Education Trust Funds
• International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324
• Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association
• Michigan Society of Professional Engineers
• Asphalt Pavement Association of Michigan
• Michigan Concrete Association
• American Council of Engineering Companies of Michigan
• American Society of Civil Engineers Michigan Chapter

Construction Science Expo Student Sponsors

• Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick, Inc.
• Cadillac Asphalt
• Devon Industrial Group
• Hart & Associates Construction, LLC.
• HNTB Michigan, Inc.
• Operating Engineers Local 324 LMEC
• Utility Services of America

Special Gift Sponsors

• The Black Caucus Foundation of Michigan
• Walbridge

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