- Nashville’s Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) has announced the formation of The School of Concrete and Construction Management, combining the university’s concrete and construction programs into a single school focused on academic and professional development for students interested in the construction industry, according to the Tennessean.
- MTSU data analysis has pinpointed an average of 8.4 jobs available to each graduating concrete major at the university, with high job placement rates for construction major graduates as well.
- The merger of the two curriculums is intended to forge a new standard for concrete and construction education and research as well as attract a new demographic of skilled talent to applied science careers in the AEC industries.
In an industry desperate for more workers, reaching the younger generation is crucial to drawing in new talent. MTSU has recognized the major labor shortage in construction, backing it up with career-related analytics, and tailoring a baccalaureate program to help fill the void. Notable also is the promotion of concrete sciences to a broad, diploma qualifying curriculum as concrete R&D surges among researchers and smart construction material manufacturers.
As of Q2 2016, 69% of contractors were having a tough go at filling hourly craft labor vacancies, a talent shortage further exacerbated by the need to meet hiring and diversity mandates as well as prequalify subcontractors on budget and scheduling performance. Collegiate education is just one aspect of mentoring a new demographic of talent and leadership into the construction industry. Associated Builders and Contractors Young Professional of the Year for 2015 Shon Smith, for example, said it is crucial to establish apprenticeship and mentor programs at the high school level to attract more millennials to construction.