Category: Career Development

MCAA Members Find Success Hiring at GreatFutures Job Fair

Attend this year’s GreatFutures Forum Job Fair to find the best talent. Registration for MCAA members is complimentary! The Job Fair gives member companies the opportunity to interact with a diverse talent pool from our 60 MCAA Student Chapters.  The Job Fair is scheduled Friday, September 20 at 8:30 am – 11:00 am in Washington, DC. Take it from these MCAA members.

Desiree Hack, Recruiting Manager at U.S. Engineering Company, has taken full advantage of the GreatFutures Forum Job Fair. At last year’s Job Fair, she hired mechanical engineering students Ahmad Attallah and Thomas Walsh, both from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Hack said, “We would have never met them if it wasn’t for the GreatFutures Forum!”

Both students are enjoying their internship experience. Thomas Walsh said, “[M]y interaction with a project manager of a mechanical contractor at the job fair helped me decide my current path of employment.”

Kristin Junia, Program Manager at SIEMENS, has also found success. Last year she hired Kylie Nadelka, a mechanical engineering student from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Kylie interns in the Seattle Branch on the company’s Operations and Engineering team.

Kristin shares, “[T]he GreatFutures Job Fair gives me the advantage of meeting a different caliber of students from across the country. I cannot wait to attend again this year!”

Be the next success story. Register today for the GreatFutures Job Fair and find your next hire!

Register Today for MCAA’s GreatFutures Job Fair

Find your next hire when you recruit at the MCAA GreatFutures Forum Job Fair. Registration is complimentary! You will have exclusive access to the members of our 60 MCAA Student Chapters, all seeking full-time, co-op and internship opportunities.

The Job Fair will be held at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park on Friday, September 20 from 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Your decision to attend the Job Fair will be a Capitol investment!

  • There will be hundreds of students seeking full-time, co-op and internship opportunities.
  • September is the best time of the academic year to recruit the best talent.
  • The Mechanical Contracting Education & Research Foundation (MCERF) will award a $1,000 grant for each intern, co-op or full-time employee hired at the Job Fair…no limit to the number!

Register for the Job Fair

Visit the Conference Website

WiMI Has Arrived!

The first annual Women in the Mechanical Industry (WiMI) Conference was held on June 24 – 26 in Chicago, Illinois. The conference was a huge success with over 160 women leaders from member companies in attendance. Mandi Wilkins, the Executive Vice President of MCA of Las Vegas, exclaimed the conference was “akin to two days of TED talks just for women. A lot of important education and reminders for us busy ladies. I can’t wait until next year’s conference, even though I am not sure how you will top this.”

Attendees were welcomed the first night by WiMI Chair Kori Gormley-Huppert and MCAA President Brian Helm. The opening session featured a captivating presentation by Col. Nicole Malachowski (USAF, Ret.), the first female pilot to fly with the Air Force Thunderbird aerial demonstration team. She provided a fascinating narrative of exactly what it took to be a woman vanguard and break tradition. Nicole offered actionable tools and real-world lessons about pursuing her dream and making choices; all while building a family and achieving success in a career where few women had gone before.

Tuesday morning featured Stacey Hanke, author of “Influence Redefined,” who presented a thought-provoking session on her powerful Influence Model, a step-by-step method for improving communication and producing the ideal type of influence—one that moves people to action long after an interaction is over.

Tuesday afternoon, attendees had the choice of various roundtable discussions on topics of particular interest to them. Topics included Work/Life Balance; Working in a Family Owned Business; Technology; Advancing Your Career; Leadership Strategies; Working in a Male Dominated Industry and Benefits of WiMI. The day ended with an enlightening panel discussion on recruiting and retaining women in the mechanical and HVAC industry moderated by Jon Finch, VP of Training at MILWAUKEE TOOL, and a panel of diverse women from the industry.

A special thanks to all our supporters who contributed to the conference, and MCA of Chicago for hosting a special attendee event Tuesday night at Joe’s Live. Attendees took advantage throughout the entire conference networking and making new connections. Marie Patterson, a professor at Chico State University, said WiMI and the conference gives “the opportunity for women to help support each other; and it is important to engage and empower those younger to continue to strive for their goals in the industry.”

Networking expert, J. Kelly Hoey closed out the conference sharing unique opportunities in creating proactive and focused networks, and how to leverage the connections they made during the week after the WiMI Conference.

SAVE THE DATE! The second annual Women in the Mechanical Industry Conference is scheduled for June 15-17, 2020 in Austin, Texas!

Find Your Next Hire at MCAA’s GreatFutures Forum Job Fair

The 2019 MCAA GreatFutures Forum will showcase our nation’s history while focusing on our industry’s future when it lands in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.

The event includes MCAA’s 3rd Annual Job Fair, where the sharpest MCAA Student Chapter members will be seeking full-time and internship opportunities.

The Job Fair will be held at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park on Friday, September 20 from 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Registration to attend and recruit at the Job Fair is complimentary for MCAA/MSCA members.

Your decision to attend the Job Fair will be a Capitol investment!

  • MCAA members will have exclusive access to members of our 60 MCAA Student Chapters throughout the country.
  • This includes hundreds of students seeking full-time, co-op and internship opportunities.
  • September is the best time of the academic year to recruit the best talent.
  • The Mechanical Contracting Education & Research Foundation (MCERF) will award a $1,000 grant for each intern, co-op or full-time employee hired at the Job Fair…no limit to the number!

MCERF Funds Mechanical Training Camp for University Faculty

The Mechanical-Electrical Academic Consortium (MEAC) Faculty Training Boot Camp provided educators from universities across the U.S. with a crash course in the basics of mechanical and electrical systems. By giving educators the tools they need to more effectively teach students about our industry, it is hoped that more students will explore the career opportunities available in specialty contracting. The event took place at the Milwaukee School of Engineering from June 11-13, 2019.

MEAC 2019 Participants

Funded by the Mechanical Contracting Education & Research Foundation (MCERF) and Electri International, the Foundation of the National Electrical Contractors Association, the MEAC Faculty Training Boot Camp educates the faculty who teach our industries’ future professionals. This year’s program was organized by Blake Wentz, an MCERF Trustee and MSOE Department Chair. He was joined on the faculty by Shannon Nicklaus of Pittsburg State University, Tim Wentz, previously from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Lori Brown of California State University, Chico State.

The educators toured MSOE’s facilities, including the construction site of the campus’ artificial intelligence facility, the Dwight and Dian Diercks Computational Science Hall. The facility is slated to open this fall.

MEAC 2019 Participants Tour MSOE's Facilities

Plans have been made to offer the program next summer.

GreatFutures Forum Attendees to Tour DC’s Museum of the Bible

MCAA’s GreatFutures Forum is set for September 19 – 21, 2019. During the event, participants will have the opportunity to tour the mechanical systems of the Museum of the Bible, one of the newer museums in Washington, D.C.

Southland Industries, an MCAA member and the HVAC contractor on the project, will be facilitating the mechanics tour.

The museum opened in November 2017. The $254-million, 430,000-square-foot Museum of the Bible project took five years from concept to the grand opening.

Portions of the museum occupy the Terminal Refrigerating and Warehouse Company Building, built in 1923. Over the course of the project, the team adapted 140,000 square feet of warehouse space, performed 240,000 square feet of infill construction and renovated an additional 50,000 square feet of existing space.

The museum houses five floors of exhibit space, research laboratories, libraries, a lecture hall, a performing arts venue, a 500-seat ballroom and a new rooftop galley with a curvilinear glass-and-metal envelope.

MCAA thanks the MCA of Metro Washington, this year’s host, and Southland Industries for their support.

Visit the GreatFutures Forum website HERE for information and to register your company for the Job Fair.

Hiring Summer Interns? Apply for Your MCAA Internship Grants!

Internships benefit both the employer and the participating student. The employer gets top talent and has a pipeline of future full-time employees. Students gain experience, create connections, develop skills and further their interest in the mechanical contracting industry.

What could be better than trying out students to see if they’re the right fit for your company? Being paid to do so! Thanks to funding provided by the Mechanical Contracting Education & Research Foundation (MCERF), MCAA members receive $1,000 each when they hire up to two students as either interns or full-time employees. By providing this funding, MCERF is addressing the industry’s critical workforce shortage while at the same time giving MCAA members the tools they need to remain productive and profitable in the future.

MCAAGreatFutures.org gives members access to student profiles and resumes. The profiles are searchable by university, desired location, and even a specific skill set an employer is looking for, like BIM or AutoCAD. A keyword filter allows you to zero in on those students who fit the bill.

Not finding a match? Try reaching out to our 60 MCAA Student Chapters. The chapter advisors are a great resource to help you find the right person. And, MCAA members have exclusive access to post openings on our job board.

Help build our industry’s GreatFuture – apply for a grant!

MCAA Welcomes 60th Student Chapter, Cal State East Bay

MCAA has signed on its 60th student chapter, Cal State East Bay.

The CSU East Bay MCAA Chapter is sponsored by Northern California MCA.

The university has a well-established Construction Management program. Fadi Castronovo, Assistant Professor of Engineering, serves as the chapter’s faculty advisor. MCAA looks forward to welcoming the new chapter at the upcoming GreatFutures Forum.

Congratulations Cal State and welcome to your GreatFuture!

For more information on all 60 of MCAA’s Student Chapter Programs visit mcaagreatfutures.org.

Watch the MCAA19 Student Competition

The MCAA19 Student Competition showcased future industry leaders’ insightful approaches to a real world contracting bid.

The four finalists presented their plans to the on-stage judges and fielded a series of rigorous questions. Missed the competition or want a second view? Watch the competition video from start to finish here.

Congratulations to our four finalists:

McMaster University
Milwaukee School of Engineering
University of Missouri – Columbia
Wentworth Institute of Technology

This year’s project details were generously provided by Harrell-Fish of Bloomington, Indiana. The project included the completion of all plumbing, piping and HVAC work. As the acting mechanical subcontractor, Students Chapters were tasked with purchasing all equipment and materials and providing all necessary labor and equipment to complete the entire mechanical scope of work.

Congratulations again to all the participants and this year’s winner… Milwaukee School of Engineering!

Milwaukee School of Engineering Wins Student Chapter Competition

The team from Milwaukee School of Engineering won the final round of the Student Chapter Competition at MCAA19, taking home the first prize and $10,000 for their efforts. Their proposal for the renovation of Indiana University’s Memorial Football Stadium beat out proposals from McMaster University, the University of Missouri – Columbia and the Wentworth Institute of Technology.

Second place honors and a $5,000 prize went to the McMaster University team.

The other two finalist teams, from the University of Missouri – Columbia and the Wentworth Institute of Technology, took home checks for $2,500.

Teams from six additional universities received Merit Awards and checks for $1,000. They were:

Carmen Bracho Named Student Chapter Competition MVP

Carmen Bracho of McMaster University was selected as the Student Chapter Competition’s Most Valuable Presenter. The new award recognizes the student who did the best job presenting their proposal, whether or not their team won. The audience voted on the best presenter from each team, and Carmen was selected as the overall winner. She received a $500 gift card.

The Most Valuable Presenters from each individual final four team included:

Trevor Symbal – Milwaukee School of Engineering
Thomas Walsh – University of Missouri – Columbia
Nolan Rochler – Wentworth Institute of Technology

Pittsburg State Wins Student Chapter of the Year at MCAA19

The Career Development Committee chose the Pittsburg State University chapter as its Student Chapter of the Year. The chapter was selected based on how well it promotes an understanding of the mechanical industry and the career opportunities we offer. In addition to a trophy, Student Chapter representatives accepted a $3,000 check.

Blake Wentz Named Educator of the Year at MCAA19

This year’s Educator of the Year award went to Blake Wentz of the Milwaukee School of Engineering. The award, which included a check for $5,000, honored his mentoring ability, industry knowledge and involvement, as well as his active participation in MCAA’s Student Chapter program activities.

Lindsey Stasi and Madelyn Conway Received Ferguson – Women in the Mechanical Industry Scholarships at MCAA19

Lindsey Stasi, a sophomore at the Wentworth Institute of Technology, and Madelyn Conway, a junior at Purdue University, received $5,000 Ferguson – Women in the Mechanical Industry Scholarships. For the first time, Ferguson is underwriting these scholarships, which recognize high-achieving female students working towards a degree relative to the mechanical industry. To mark this new partnership, the scholarships were presented by Todd Young, Vice President, Commercial Business at Ferguson and Kori Gormley Huppert, Chair of Women in the Mechanical Industry.

MCERF Presented Scholarships at MCAA19

MCERF announced the recipients of four MCERF Scholarships created to honor the industry leaders they are named after. The students receiving these scholarships were selected by our Career Development Committee for their academic performance, leadership skills, interest in developing a career in the mechanical industry, work ethic and technical abilities.

Madison Beauchain from the Wentworth Institute of Technology, took home the Foster J. McCarl, Jr. Memorial Scholarship. Shawn McCarl of S.P. McCarl & Company, the scholarship sponsor, presented the check for $2,500.

Caleb Kowalski from the University of Nebraska took home The William A. Bianco, Jr. Memorial Scholarship sponsored by Kinetics. Kinetics Executive Vice President Global Operations Michael Cables, an MCAA past president, was on hand to present the $5,000 check.

Thomas Walsh from the University of Missouri-Columbia, received The Reilly Family Memorial Scholarship. Robert Beck and John Stamar of John W. Danforth Company, the scholarship’s sponsor, presented the check for $5,000.

Brooke Scott from the Milwaukee School of Engineering and Jarrod Blaser from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln took home The Alan O’Shea Memorial Scholarship. Kevin Armistead and Marty Drobny, representing MCA of New Jersey, the scholarship’s sponsor, were on hand to present the $2,500 checks.

Student Chapter Exhibit Connected Members to Their Companies’ Future

During the Student Chapter Exhibit at MCAA19, students from top schools showcased their chapters’ successes and discussed internship and job opportunities with member companies. The connections don’t end there. Members can visit www.MCAAGreatFutures.org for year-round access to student resumes and chapter profiles. Be sure to take advantage of the website’s new job board feature to post job openings, with exclusive access to student chapter members!

Final Four Selected for MCAA’s Student Chapter Competition

Congratulations to our four finalists for this year’s MCAA Student Chapter Competition:

This year MCAA’s Student Chapter Competition drew 27 team submissions. MCAA Student Chapters were tasked with a proposal to be the prime contractor on the mechanical portion of the addition and renovation project at Indiana University’s Memorial Football Stadium. This year’s project details were generously provided by Harrell-Fish of Bloomington, Indiana.

The project included the completion of all plumbing, piping and HVAC work. As the acting mechanical subcontractor, Students Chapters were tasked with purchasing all equipment and materials and providing all necessary labor and equipment to complete the entire mechanical scope of work.

The proposals were judged by Michael F. Russo of Fresh Meadow Mechanical Corporation; Matthew Miller of Binsky & Snyder, LLC; Joe Kilijanski of Mollenberg-Betz, Inc.; and John Ziemann of Mollenberg-Betz, Inc.

The top competition prize is $10,000. The second place team receives $5,000 and the other two finalists will each receive $2,500. The additional six teams in the top ten will receive Certificates of Merit and a check for $1,000 for their proposals. They are:

You can see the final four teams compete at MCAA19 on Monday, March 4, 2019 from 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. in the Grand Canyon Ballroom.

The winners will be announced at the Awards of Excellence Breakfast on Wednesday, March 6, 2019 at 7:00 a.m.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see these students’ insightful approaches to a real-world contracting bid!

Construction Technology Report Shows Emerging Trends on R&D and Product Usage

The latest Construction Technology Report, released this week by JBKnowledge and sponsored by MCAA, revealed new trends for the industry. The survey goes in depth on spending, software use and processes that contractors are taking advantage of.

One notable trend identified involves R&D and having dedicated staff and direction to research new technology. The survey quotes one participant, “We’ve established a Chief Innovation Officer role who oversees R&D and quality.  We R&D new products, materials and technology using existing staff (vs. full-time), but we do have a process for identifying and assessing materials & tech.”

MCAA has also seen a rise in the R&D focused staff among its members with a new role emerging called a Construction Technologist, or ConTech for short. Sessions are planned to discuss this at both the upcoming Construction Technology Conference in January and the MCAA Annual Convention in March.

Alfred State College Becomes MCAA’s Newest Student Chapter

MCAA would like to welcome their 59th student chapter, Alfred State College.

The Alfred State College MCAA Student Chapter is sponsored by the MCA of Rochester, New York. Erin Vitale, Chair of Civil Engineering Technology at the college, serves as the chapter’s faculty advisor. She helped lead the effort to get the chapter established and create student interest.

The chapter consists of Construction Management, Mechanical Engineering majors, and HVAC Associate Degree candidates. Their HVAC program involves the students in project-based learning and participation in real-world constructions projects, including installation of water, drain, heating and air conditioning systems.

The chapter will receive their charter at MCAA 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona during the Awards of Excellence Breakfast on Wednesday, March 6, 2019.

Congratulations and welcome!