- Gilbane Building Co. has turned one of its projects, the first new academic building at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston in 45 years, into a hands-on construction and design learning experience for some students there.
- During construction of the Wentworth building, students have so far amassed 4,500 learning hours through site tours, evening lectures about construction and design topics and guest lectures. Some subjects Gilbane has presented, in association with construction industry partners, include the LEAN construction method, construction risk management and environmental engineering. Gilbane, according to Wentworth officials, has also made available its staff to discuss real-world applications for topics students are learning at the technical institute.
- When complete, the academic building will house a construction innovation center, which will promote collaboration between students, alumni, the community and the industry. The new facility will also be home to Wentworth’s new biological engineering program, the existing civil engineering program, labs and other programs.
Construction education, whether part of career and technical training or a traditional four-year degree program, usually includes some involvement from the local construction, engineering and design community.
For example, the advisory board at Autry Technology Center in Enid, Oklahoma, is comprised of members of the local construction community who help direct training programs for high school and adult students to prepare them for employment in the trades and to chip away at the labor shortage. Business partners also assist the center in its annual house-building project in which students build a house that they then auction off.
And like many traditional four-year college construction education programs, University of Florida's College of Design, Construction and Planning relies heavily on industry partners for internship programs and career placement once students have graduated. According to the statistics regarding the UF's M.E. Rinker Sr. School of Construction Management's 2017 graduates, industry relationships pay off for students.
Within one month of graduation, all UF construction students who responded to the university's graduation survey were employed. More than 73% found their job through a university job fair and 75% started working full time at the same company where they had done a summer internship. The entry-level position for the majority of the graduates was project engineer, and the annual average starting salary was a little more than $60,000.