Category: Career Development

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. 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

MCAA’s GreatFutures Forum Job Fair will be Monumental!

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 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 or full-time employee hired at the Job Fair…no limit to the number!

For more information and to register visit the GreatFutures Forum website.

See you in the nation’s capital!

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 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!

Be an Innovator – Attend MCAA’s 2019 Tech Conference

Every year, new innovations help leading contractors get a little more effective, productive and profitable. Missing out will not put you out of business right away, but it will gradually widen the gap between your company and the leaders in the market. It is never too late to catch up. Be an innovator. The MCAA Technology Conference is the best resource for learning how members are using the latest tools, software, and processes to thrive in these changing times. Join us January 29 – February 1 in Tampa Bay, Florida at the MCAA Technology Conference.

MCAA GreatFutures Forum A Huge Win-Win!

MCAA’s 2018 GreatFutures Forum (GFF) was held just blocks from “the happiest place on earth”. As it turned out, Anneheim, CA became a pretty happy place for quite a few MCAA members and MCAA student chapter members, as well! A definite win-win!

In a program that accentuated networking and developing relationships, MCAA kicked things off Thursday evening with a welcome from MCAA President Michael Brandt who urged the students to enjoy and fully participate in the program and all offerings ahead.

Next was an outstanding presentation by Alex Banayan, author of The Third Door.  Banayan has met and interviewed most of the world’s top 100 who’s who celebrities and power brokers in his 20-something years on this planet! Talk about a network!

Then, speaking of the happiest place on earth, MCAA took the students to Disneyland, providing them an unparalleled opportunity to network and get to know each other on a fun level. And, boy, did they ever!

Friday morning began with the 2nd annual bigger, better MCAA Job Fair featuring a great mix of contractors and manufacturer-suppliers reaching out to excited students looking for both internships and full-time employment. The Fair which began at 8:30 AM was still going strong when it wrapped up at 11:30 AM.

Also on Friday morning, MCAA held the inaugural meeting of its brand-new Student Chapter Presidents Advisory Council. This council was created to advise MCAA’s Career Development Committee (CDC) on student issues and concerns. The CDC wants the advisory council to provide direct student representation and input. It will meet in conjunction with MCAA’s annual GreatFutures Forum and convention, and possibly with other MCAA-sponsored venues. The goal is to have students become more exposed to and involved with MCAA opportunities in the mechanical contracting industry.

Students then visited nearby Southland Industries. Besides an hour-long tour of this new mega-facility, Southland provided barbecue and students were afforded a chance to listen to and question a panel of young people recently hired by MCAA members. Some students even said they enjoyed the tour more than the Disney trip…now, that was a good tour!

Then it was back to the Marriott for dinner and yet another amazing speaker, J. Kelly Hoey, author of Build Your Dream NetworkHoey revealed creative and surprisingly simple ways students could harness the power of their networks to accomplish their ambitions.

Saturday morning, Scott Hinton and Jeff Miller of Harrell-Fish, Inc., Bloomington, IN (donor of this year’s project) took students through the details of the MCAA National Student Chapter Competition. The 2018-2019 project is a proposal to be the prime contractor on the mechanical portion of the addition and renovation project of Indiana University’s Memorial Football Stadium. The top four scoring schools on this project will be invited to present and defend their proposals at the 2019 MCAA annual convention in Phoenix.

Closing out the 2018 GreatFutures Forum, James Benham, of JB Knowledge, Bryan, TX , mesmerized the attendees with his insights on technology that is currently impacting industry…and technologies yet to come! Benham shared his thoughts on how this would impact the attendees directly and how coming technologies may dramatically shape their future world of work.

Jon Finch of Milwaukee Tool who is the current Chair of MCAA’s Career Development Committee said, “I am so pleased with the outcome of this year’s GreatFutures Forum…now we start planning for next year!”

For more information about MCAA’s Career Development efforts or the GreatFutures Forum, contact Harlee Gallo, MCAA’s Director of Career Development.



Students Glimpse GreatFutures in the Mechanical Industry

Our industry’s future leaders are getting a closer look at the field of mechanical contracting at MCAA’s 2018 GreatFutures Forum. MCAA President Michael Brandt welcomed everyone, and Career Development Committee Chair Jon Finch reviewed plans for the event, which includes a variety of education, the debut of a new Student Chapter Presidents Advisory Council, a job fair and a tour of Southland Industries.

MCAA GreatFutures Launches New Jobs Board

Is your company searching for great young talent to insure its future competitiveness? Are you looking to fill available internship and job openings? If so, MCAA just made your life a lot easier! Check out the new Jobs Board feature just added to

This new feature was added to attract the best future industry talent. By giving its members direct access to the members of its 50+ Student Chapters, MCAA has found a way to connect the needs of its contractor members with those of its student chapter members. Can you say win-win?

So, how does an MCAA member post an employment opportunity on the Jobs Board? It couldn’t be easier! When employers go to the website the first time, they are asked to supply a company profile and details of any full-time, internship, or co-op opportunities. Student Chapter members have full access to browse the job board, and they can apply easily with their resume and their GreatFutures profile.

You can review already-posted student resumes on the GreatFutures website and reach out to any promising candidates you see there, and help them kick-start their great future…and yours!

For more information, contact Harlee Gallo, MCAA’s Director of Career Development.

Student Chapter Competition Tackles Football Stadium Renovation

MCAA’s Student Chapter Competition project has been released to all participants. Students will be given the chance to prepare for the Student Competition Discussion Session at the GreatFutures Forum scheduled for Saturday, September 29. During the session, the project’s background, scope and submittal details will be discussed. The Career Development committee hopes the project’s early release will give students the opportunity to ask more detailed questions at the forum and help them better navigate and manage this challenging project.

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

Scope of the Project

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

The project includes full BIM coordination to locate and correct any clashes with all other crafts prior to fabrication or installation of any piping or ductwork. The mechanical contractor will be responsible for all cost related to any modification required for rerouting or relocation of any pipe or duct if they fail to participate in the model clash detection exercise.

Challenges will include design and installation of the utility piping for the food services area. It will be the team’s responsibility to design the distribution piping and the branch lines for each piece of equipment for the entire food service area. The drawings included with the bid documents include a layout detailing the required location of each piece of equipment.

Submittal Process

This year MCAA has teamed up with to enhance the bid submittal process and give students a taste of the real world construction industry. All participating students will be given free access to Procore’s Project Management software will retain access after the completion of the student competition. specifically works with universities to educate the future construction workforce and support the advancement of the trades and skilled labor.

All proposals are due for submittal through Procore by Friday, November 30, 2018.

Final Four at MCAA19 Convention

Proposals will be evaluated and scored by members of MCAA’s Career Development Committee. These members will select the top four scoring teams to present their proposals at the MCAA 2019 convention in Phoenix, AZ on March 4, 2019. The winning team will receive $10,000, the second place team will receive $5,000 and the other two finalists will each received $2,500

Have Questions?

For more information, please contact  Harlee Gallo.