Career Development Initiative

The MCAA Student Chapter Program brings together well-educated, talented young students as they prepare for careers in the mechanical construction and service industries. MCAA’s Career Development Initiative helps MCAA members connect with these students for internships or full-time employment. One way it does this is through MCAA's GreatFutures website.


Another way MCAA does this is through MCAA’s annual GreatFutures Forum, where students from our 60+ student chapters and MCAA members come together for some fun, education, and most importantly, a chance to meet, network, and cement internship and employment opportunities. The annual Student Chapter Competition takes place at the annual MCAA Convention–take a look!

MCAAGreatFutures Connecting Our Members with the Best and Brightest Students–the Industry’s Future Workforce

MCAA’s career-related website is committed to connecting our members with the best and brightest student who will comprise the industry’s future workforce. Students have uploaded profiles and resumes that are only accessibly by MCAA members. 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.

The website’s newest feature is the job board. MCAA Members have exclusive access to post full-time, co-op or internship openings, and have exclusive access to student chapter members


Adding a Real-World Dimension to Education

MCAA Convention
This annual event is the place to meet prospective interns or employees and see them in action. Stop by the Student Chapter Exhibit to meet potential interns and employees who are ready to interview. Get to know students as you participate in convention programs and activities. Plus, you won’t want to miss our annual Student Chapter Competition!


GreatFutures Forum

Education and networking are on the agenda for this annual event where you can get to know students and assess their abilities. MCAA Members are invited to the annual Job Fair, where the sharpest students will network with prospective employers and discuss internship and full-time employment opportunities. Additional highlights include a tour of a mechanical systems or member facility, networking dinners and a first class featured speaker.


Student Internship Grants

Has your company hired a student intern? You’re encouraged to apply for a $500 grant funded by the John R. Gentille Foundation (JRGF). MCAA will send a $500 Visa Gift Card directly to the member company, who will, in turn, issue the $500 Visa Gift Card directly to the intern at the start of their internship. By working for member companies, students enhance their education, their professional experience and their interest in the mechanical contracting industry.


Emerging Chapter Grant
New MCAA student chapters, and those that are rebuilding, are encouraged to apply for this $3,000 grant for up to three consecutive years. The funds help the winners with travel expenses, special projects, student scholarships or other costs.


Chapter of Excellence Grant
Well-established, thriving MCAA student chapters are invited to apply for this $7,500 grant, which provides $5,000 for student scholarships, plus $2,500 for operating expenses. The chapter’s faculty advisor selects the scholarship recipients based on a set of established criteria. Winning chapters use the operating funds toward special projects, travel to MCAA events and other program costs.
Faculty Continuing Education Grant

MCAA student chapter faculty advisors who obtain a part-time position or internship with an MCAA member company are encouraged to apply for this grant. By acquiring practical experience in the industry, faculty advisors enhance their classroom instruction and their students’ interest in pursuing a career in our industry.


MCAA Student Chapter Competition

Students put their classroom learning to the test as they create a bid for a real-life mechanical construction project. These projects might incorporate BIM, green requirements, mechanical service or new technologies, to name a few. We provide the drawings, background information, specs and other details; the rest is up to them.Initial judging of the written bid packages yields the “final four” teams, who are invited to present their packages to a panel of judges and an audience of contractors at the MCAA Convention. Want to see a potential intern or new hire at work? This is a great way to see how they perform under pressure!

The winner and other finalists are recognized during a special awards breakfast at the Convention.

Six additional teams receive Certificates of Merit for their work.

Student Chapter Resources

MCAA’s Career Development Committee has created new resources to help student chapter members manage the overall operations, recruitment and successes of a chapter. Click on the links below to download MCAA Student Chapter documents:

Student Chapter Best Practices and Guidelines

Student Chapter Workbook

Student Chapter Recruiting Presentation

Student Scholarships
MCAA offers a variety of scholarships to help offset expenses for the contractors who hire student interns, students and the faculty who teach them. These scholarships are made possible thanks to the generous support of the  John R. Gentille Foundation.

Caleb Kowalski, a junior at University of Nebraska - Lincoln, and Brooke Scott, a junior at Milwaukee School of Engineering took home The Alan O'Shea Memorial Scholarships sponsored by MCANJ.

MCAA student chapter faculty advisors are invited to nominate students for these scholarships honoring the memory of renowned leaders for their contributions to our industry:

  • $2,500 Foster McCarl, Jr. Memorial Scholarships, funded by JRGF
  • $5,000 Reilly Family Memorial Scholarship, funded by the John W. Danforth Company
  • $5,000 William A. Bianco, Jr. Memorial Scholarship, funded by Kinetics
  • $5,000 (2) Ferguson – Women in the Mechanical Industry Scholarships, funded by Ferguson
  • $2,500 Josam Endowed Scholarship (each student to receive the scholarship will be eligible to receive $2,500 for three years), funded by Josam
  • $2,500 (2) Alan P. O’ Shea Memorial Scholarships, funded by the MCA of New Jersey


Of Interest

Molly Sizemore, a junior at Pennsylvania State University, has been awarded one of the two Ferguson – Women in the Mechanical Industry Scholarships. Ferguson underwrites these scholarships, which recognize high-achieving female students working towards a degree relative to the mechanical industry. Molly is the President of the MCA of Central Pennsylvania-sponsored student chapter at Pennsylvania State University, where she studies Architectural Engineering specializing in mechanical systems. She will be interning for the second summer with MCA of Metro Washington member, Southland Industries.

The Student Chapter of the Year Award recognizes an MCAA student chapter for outstanding achievement as an organization of students who are planning careers in the mechanical construction industry. The award recognizes exceptional achievement in governance and leadership, membership recruiting, fundraising, community involvement, and career development. University of Nebraska Student Chapter is sponsored by the MCA of Omaha. The chapter’s faculty advisor is, Vishnu Reddi, Assistant Professor of Practice with the Durham School College of Engineering. The student chapter takes a unique approach to fundraising, community service and networking opportunities with local MCA members.

Ali Brown, a junior at the University of Nebraska has been awarded one of the two Ferguson-Women in the Mechanical Industry Scholarships. Ferguson underwrites these scholarships, which recognize high-achieving female students working towards a degree relative to the mechanical industry. Ali has been a member of the MCA Omaha Student Chapter since 2017. She is earning her degree in Business Administration & Human Resources. She sees the opportunities for growth in all areas of the industry. Ali has been interning for MCA member, Waldinger Corporation focusing in administration, virtual design construction and accounting. Ali will continue her internship through this summer.

In this month’s Beyond the Classroom, meet University of Missouri-Columbia graduate, Paige Theby. She has recently started as an Engineer at MCAA member, Murphy Company. As a past MCAA Student Chapter member and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering major, Paige talks about the importance of her internship and the opportunities she sees for people starting out in the industry. She shares how MCAA GreatFutures can help kickstart a career through networking and internship opportunities.