Category: Career Development

Beyond the Classroom: Let’s Get Down to Business

In this month’s Beyond the Classroom, meet University of Nebraska senior, Ali Brown. She is an MCAA Student Chapter member and current intern for The Waldinger Corporation. Ali is the 2020 Women in the Mechanical Industry – Ferguson Scholarship recipient. You can read Ali’s profile HERE.

Ali is earning her degree in Business Administration & Human Resources. In this video, Ali shares her perspective on entering the mechanical contracting industry and emphasizes the importance of business and human resources.

Upcoming Beyond the Classroom videos will showcase how MCAA student chapter members and MCAA members alike are benefiting from the program. They will also share the opportunities available to students who choose careers in the mechanical industry.

Please contact Harlee Mooney if you have questions about any of our student activities or the internship grants funded by the John R. Gentille Foundation (JRGF).

Marelich Mechanical Company, Inc. Offers Career Opportunities for Chico State Student Chapter Members

Marelich Mechanical Company, Inc. employs summer interns and new-hire project engineers from Northern California MCA student chapter programs. Chad Johnston, VP of Operations said, “Even with the circumstances we were still able to bring aboard seven summer intern and new-hire project engineers. We provide them a job opportunity, and most importantly give them experience in the plumbing and mechanical sector of the construction industry.”

Chad Johnston shares an overview of Marelich Mechanical’s onboarding process for interns and full-time hires:

New hires get the chance to spend a day in the main office meeting different department staff: Human Resources, IT, Safety, Purchasing, Estimating, Detailing, Design and Operations.  The following days are typically spent riding around with the plumbing, piping, and sheet metal superintendents walking through various projects and fabrication shops to experience all aspects of Marelich operations beyond their specific project assignment.

This summer, due to the impacts of COVID-19, the onboarding process was drastically modified. All new hires were brought into a mostly vacant office, meeting only a few essential individuals allowed in the office, with face masks used and social distancing maintained. No welcome aboard handshakes, no superintendent ride-along, no touring of multiple jobsites, and no group Marelich camping and rafting trip that have been done in past years.  

Chad says, “Yes, things are different this year. For any new hire to any company right now, the empty offices, teams working remotely, and the mandated social distancing makes our organizations feel different than they did just a few months ago. Fortunately, we were able to continue our process of giving students of our Nor Cal MCA Student Chapters schools the opportunity for a career and experience in the industry.”

Below are just a few of the tasks interns and new-hires will be performing this summer:

  • Reading and understanding project plans and specifications
  • Writing, submitting, tracking, and resolving RFI’s 
  • Shop drawing submittals and tracking
  • Processing equipment and material submittals and structural anchorage packages       
  • Managing equipment and material procurement and their releases to meet the project schedule
  • Attending, documenting, and follow up for on-site meetings
  • Developing labor loaded schedules; Tracking installed quantities and labor tracking 
  • Estimating, tracking and managing change orders 
  • Coordinating design changes with subcontractors & vendors 
  • QA/QC process follow-up

Chico State Interns

Marelich currently has three MCAA Student Chapter members of California State University, Chico interning this summer including, mechanical engineering major, Jimmie Whitton and construction management majors, Erich Anderson and Wyatt Hattich.

Wyatt Hattich is the retuning MCAA Student Chapter Vice President at Chico State. This summer, Wyatt is working on the HVAC in a luxury 19-story apartment building, Trinity Phase IV, in San Francisco. The largest Whole Foods in San Francisco is being built in the basement below the lobby of the apartments. Below the Whole Foods are five-floors of parking that will connect to the Trinity Phase III building next door.

Wyatt reflects on his experience so far as an intern, “What I really like about Marelich is that they all have made me feel very welcome in their company. They are all so open to help me succeed and learn new things about the mechanical industry. I am very grateful that Marelich allowed me to intern this summer and have given me such a positive experience.”

Full-time Chico State Hire

Ryan Smith graduated Chico State May 2020 with a Construction Management degree and just started full-time as a Project Manager with Marelich.

He is helping to manage the pipe fitters and sheet metal unions, focusing on HVAC work. During his experiences so far, Ryan has learned, “what truly make a great project manager is how you fix your mistakes when they arise.”

His current project is a San Francisco high end hotel and residential condo project. There are over 500 units between the hotel and condos, each has a fan coil unit which is connected to a VRF, and over five miles of refrigerant line.

“Since it is San Francisco we get to use cool tools like zoom lock which is like pro press. I process the submittals, RFI’s, IOM’s, and fix problems on the daily basis. San Francisco is a high stress environment but has some of the smartest individuals I have ever worked with. I thank MCAA for giving me such a great opportunity and for connecting me with such a great employer, Marelich Mechanical. Thank you for all you have done and for pointing me in the right direction.”

Start Your Search for Top Talent Today

Find student chapter members like Wyatt and Ryan by visiting MCAAGreatFutures.org, where members have access to student profiles and resumes. The profiles are searchable by university, desired location, and even a specific skill set, like BIM or AutoCAD. A keyword filter allows users to zero in on students who fit the bill.

Please contact Harlee Mooney if you have questions about any of our student activities or the internship grants funded by the John R. Gentille Foundation (JRGF).

Arden Engineering Constructors, LLC Internships Pave the Way to Full-time Careers

Arden Engineering Constructors, LLC, internships prepare students for careers in the construction industry. That guidance has paid off for both the company and three recent graduates who accepted full-time positions within the Arden Building Companies family of businesses. Congratulations to Natalie Mansson, Andrew Basile and Alex Appolonia on finding their great futures with Arden.

About Natalie

Natalie Mansson was hired in May 2020 as Arden Engineering Constructors, LLC’s newest Project Engineer. She interned for the company last winter.

She has had an interest in construction from an early age. “I knew construction would be a great career path for me when my family bought an old Cape house that needed a major renovation,” she said. “I would always ask the contractor, plumber, and electrician questions about their work and the different systems used.”

A recent graduate of Roger Williams University, Natalie studied Construction Management (CM). She grew to love the construction industry more during her time in school, so she decided to take another year to receive her master’s degree in CM.

“My experience at Arden so far has been incredible. I have been working in the estimating department, learning the different software the estimators use and completing various takeoffs. I have also worked with project managers, attended an on-site meeting, and did a site walk-through to see the incredible work Arden is doing.”

About Andrew

Andrew Basile was hired this May as a Controls Engineer with Earthwise Energy Technologies. Andrew is a graduate of Western New England University where he studied Mechanical Engineering.

“I chose mechanical engineering as my field of study because of my love to learn about the inner workings of everyday objects and systems and to be able to use that information, along with some creativity, to create a useful end product,” he said. “For my future in this field, I hope to find a specific application that I am passionate about so I can be invested in my projects and produce results I am proud of.”

Andrew, who interned for Arden during the past two summers recalls his internship experience fondly:

“My experience at Arden has been very informative, with the possibilities for work with a mechanical engineering degree, and the amount of information I can still learn. Working with Paul Carter, General Manager of Earthwise Energy Technologies has shown me the more technical, controls side of HVAC, while working with Tim Elliott, Director of Design & Engineering at Arden Engineering Constructors gave me a more physical understanding of the systems. With the combination of both experiences, I have obtained a more complete understanding of HVAC systems and every step taken to create a functioning system.”

About Alex

Alex Appolonia was recently hired as a Project Engineer on the Unique Metal Works, LLC team.

A University of Rhode Island (URI) graduate, Alex was a Civil Engineering major when he interned with Arden last winter. He worked under Arden Engineering Constructors, LLC Project Manager Rob Cote, and enjoyed on-site visits to the new URI College of Engineering building.

Alex Appolonia determines what size fan cover is needed for an exhaust fan at the Infinity Meat Solutions project.

He says, “I have been able to experience the precise detail and coordination it takes to complete a project of substantial caliber. My time here at Arden has given me hands-on experience in the field and shown me that to be a successful project manager or engineer one must be punctual, concise and transparent when coordinating with all the other trades from start to finish of every project.”

Alex is currently working on the Infinity Meat Solutions project, a new $100M, 200,000 sq. ft. meat-packaging facility in North Kingstown, RI. This is a joint project for Unique Metal Works, LLC, Arden Engineering Constructors, LLC, and Earthwise Energy Technologies.

Please contact Harlee Mooney if you have questions about any of MCAA’s student activities or the new 2020 internship grants funded by the John R. Gentille Foundation.

William E. Walter Summer Intern Receives MCAA Internship Grant

William E. Walter Inc. Mechanical Contractors (William E. Walter) presented Alex Vernon-Venzuela Peter with an MCAA Internship Grant at the start of his internship. The grant, which is funded by the John R. Gentille Foundation, will help subsidize his expenses while he gains valuable work experience this summer.

Alex is a junior at Ferris State University, where he studies HVAC/R Engineering Technology and Energy Management.

William E. Walter chose to honor their commitment to Alex’s 4-month, 40 hours a week internship in spite of COVID-19. “Even in these challenging times it is important that we continue to support the growth and knowledge of future employees entering into the industry,” said Bruce Wenzlick, the company’s Director of Construction Services.

This is Alex’s first year as an intern with William E. Walter. His duties are focused on estimating and project management. He is assisting with things like quoting new jobs and submittals, change orders, schedules and material tracking.

About the MCAA Internship Grants

Having MCAA interns working at member companies is a win-win for the mechanical contracting industry. Employers get top talent and build a pipeline of future employees. Students gain experience, create connections, develop skills and further their interest in mechanical contracting. In paying the student instead of the employer, MCAA’s goal is to increase the overall number of interns and drive the overall number of talented employees accepting full-time positions with MCAA members after graduation.

How the Grant Application Process Works

The MCAA member company will first ensure a prospective intern is in good standing at an accredited two- or four-year college, university or technical school. While MCAA encourages its members to give priority to students from the MCAA Student Chapter Program, this is not a requirement to receive a grant.

Each MCAA member company can submit up to two internship grant applications per year. Once an application is reviewed and accepted, MCAA will send a $500 gift card to the member company so it can present the Gift Card to the student at the start of their internship.

MCAA’s Director of Career Development, Harlee Mooney, will follow-up with each company and intern to ensure the process and overall internship was successful.

Contact Harlee any time with questions about the MCAA internship grants or the MCAA Student Chapter Program.

Start Your Search for Top Talent Today

MCAAGreatFutures.org gives members access to student profiles and resumes. The profiles are searchable by university, desired location, and even a specific skill set, like BIM or AutoCAD. A keyword filter allows users to zero in on 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 find the right person. And, MCAA members have exclusive access to post job openings on our job board.

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

Murphy Company Interns Get Project Experience on Their College Campus

Murphy Company interns Jacob Reed and Morgan Hanley have been onsite project engineering interns for the University of Missouri-Columbia’s NextGen Precision Health Institute. The opportunity has given them a first-hand look at what it takes to build a job on their college campus. 

About the Project

The company continues its work on the facility which supports a systemwide precision health initiative aimed at harnessing and supporting the research activities of its four universities and health system. The building will include lab space for current and new faculty, graduate students, clinicians and have collaborative spaces for work with industry partners.

The facility is the largest single project that the University of Missouri has ever undertaken. The project consists of a new 265,000 sq. ft. six story facility.

The Murphy Company team, in collaboration with their general contractor and trade partners, was hired on in a design-assist capacity completed the following extensive BIM and fabrication on this past year:

  • Identified and corrected 1,134 BIM clashes prior to installation
  • Fabricated 121,000 lbs. of ductwork and 65,000 lbs. of mechanical piping and racks
  • Installed the following:
    • 7,600 Linear Feet (LF) of underground piping
    • 22,500 MEP Trimble points based on BIM
    • 41,700 LF of above ground plumbing and piping
    • 3,4000 of LF of reverse osmosis (RO) piping
    • 21,640 LF of copper process piping

Construction on the institute is expected to be completed in October 2021.

Both Jacob Reed and Morgan Hanley began their internships in Murphy Company’s St. Louis office this past spring semester.  

About Jacob

Jacob is entering his senior year at the University of Missouri-Columbia, studying Mechanical Engineering. In the spring working 20-hour week, Jacob was able to see the project manager role in action by attending coordination meetings, daily site walks and reviewing construction drawings making him more familiar with the project layout. Since the spring Jacob has transition to a full-time intern this summer.

“Since I have transitioned to full-time for the summer, I feel that I am gaining valuable real-world experience without too much of an internship feel. My responsibilities now include reviewing submittals, tracking productivity, and the commissioning process of equipment. I have been able to soak in as much information as possible, ask plenty of questions about topics I did not fully understand, and have real responsibilities that add value to the work being completed here. I believe it is the perfect balance that is allowing me to apply my skills and develop new ones.”

Jacob looks forward to the rest of his summer internship and continue to learn from Murphy employees the importance of coordination, communication, and critical problem solving.

“I have now seen multiple times how project managers are able to take a problem in stride, communicate with co-workers to create a solution, and implement that solution in a timely manner. I am also looking forward to watching further completion of the NextGen Precision Health Institute. I find it very exciting that I get to see firsthand the construction of a multi-million-dollar research institute at my college.”

About Morgan

Morgan Hanley is a Junior at the University of Missouri-Columbia studying chemical engineering. In the spring Morgan was on-site at the NextGen facility and this summer is currently working in Murphy Company’s engineering department.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time so far with Murphy as it has allowed me to apply what I have learned in my coursework to practical, real-world scenarios. I have enjoyed being able to see two pieces of a bigger puzzle at work. Being on site of NextGen and then coming to the Engineering department has been really interesting because it has closed the loop between the drawings and plans I worked with at Mizzou to how those intricate details, sizings, and selections are determined during the design phase. It has been fascinating to observe the complementary aspects of both locations, and I am excited to learn even more during the rest of the summer.”

Start Your Search for Top Talent Today

Find student chapter members like Derrick by visiting MCAAGreatFutures.org, where members have access to student profiles and resumes. The profiles are searchable by university, desired location, and even a specific skill set, like BIM or AutoCAD. A keyword filter allows users to zero in on students who fit the bill.

Please contact Harlee Mooney if you have questions about any of our student activities or the internship grants funded by the John R. Gentille Foundation (JRGF).

Help MCAA Tailor Career Programming to Support Your Hiring Needs

MCAA connects students with MCAA members through networking and employment opportunities that help to cultivate the next generation of industry leaders.

The MCAA Career Development Committee is exploring new ways to make these connections with virtual networking and resources in light of the cancellation of the MCAA GreatFutures Forum due to COVID-19.

Please help to ensure that this programming supports your company’s needs by letting us know your company’s hiring plans for the coming year.

Please contact Harlee Mooney if you have questions about the GreatFutures program or our student activities and resources.

Titan Mechanical Intern Receives MCAA Internship Grant

Titan Mechanical presented Colton Battin with an MCAA Internship Grant at the start of his summer internship. The grant, which is funded by the John R. Gentille Foundation, will help subsidize his expenses while he gains valuable work experience this summer.

Colton is a senior at Bowling Green State University, where he is studying Construction Management. He will be graduating in December 2020. Colton is a member of the new student chapter at Bowling Green State University, sponsored by the MCA of Northwestern, Ohio, Inc.

This is Colton’s second year interning with Titan Mechanical. He has been successful in the office setting since the impacts of COVID-19, simultaneously social distancing while effectively fulfilling responsibilities as an intern. His work involves estimating, assisting project managers. Some of his duties will be reaching out to sub-contractors, vendors and assisting in implementing Titan Mechanical Inc.’s new estimating software. 

John E. Gray, President of Titan Mechanical, had this to say, “Colton will be an asset to any organization moving forward, he really has a thirst for knowledge and wants to be apart of the industry moving forward.” 

About the MCAA Internship Grants

Having MCAA interns working at member companies is a win-win for the mechanical contracting industry. Employers get top talent and build a pipeline of future employees. Students gain experience, create connections, develop skills and further their interest in mechanical contracting. In paying the student instead of the employer, MCAA’s goal is to increase the overall number of interns and drive the overall number of talented employees accepting full-time positions after graduation.

How the Grant Application Process Works

The MCAA member company will first ensure a prospective intern is in good standing at an accredited two- or four-year college, university or technical school. While MCAA encourages its members to give priority to students from the MCAA Student Chapter Program, this is not a requirement to receive a grant.

Each MCAA member company can submit up to two internship grant applications per year. Once an application is reviewed and accepted, MCAA will send a $500 gift card to the member company so it can present the Gift Card to the student at the start of their internship.

MCAA’s Director of Career Development, Harlee Mooney, will follow-up with each company and intern to ensure the process and overall internship was successful.

Contact Harlee any time with questions about the MCAA internship grants or MCAA Student Chapter Program.

Start Your Search for Top Talent Today

MCAAGreatFutures.org gives members access to student profiles and resumes. The profiles are searchable by university, desired location, and even a specific skill set, like BIM or AutoCAD. A keyword filter allows users to zero in on 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 find the right person. And, MCAA members have exclusive access to post job openings on our job board.

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

Beyond the Classroom Video Series: A Pathway to the Industry

In this Beyond the Classroom video, you will meet Harry Bederian, a Senior Project Engineer at ARB, Inc. The past MCAA Student Chapter President talks about how his involvement with both CPMCA and MCAA helped open the door to his career.

He also discusses how MCAA GreatFutures can be a pathway for other students’ careers and helps showcase the vast opportunities available in the mechanical contracting industry.

Recruit the Best Talent – Apply for MCAA Internship Grants!

This year, $500 MCAA Internship Grants are being offered to students who accept internships or full-time positions thanks to funding from the John R. Gentille Foundation (JRGF). MCAA members can use these grants to help them attract much-needed talent, and interns will appreciate the investment in their success. This small gesture may be the beginning of a great future with your company.

Internship Success

MCAA members are leveraging the internship grants for their interns this summer.

Enginuty LLC presented Matthew Lawrence and Andrew Clancy with MCAA student internship grants at the start of their internships this summer. Matthew is working as a service department sales assistant and Andrew is a project assistant.

Read the full Story HERE.

Bryce Danielson, this year’s Alan O’Shea Memorial Scholarship recipient is continuing his internship for MCA of Omaha member Ray Martin Company. “I have been challenged with many tasks which include estimating and preparing bids, writing purchase orders and subcontracts, and helping with project management duties. They gave me opportunities that no other company would give a first-year intern.”

Read the full Story HERE.

How the Grant Application Process Works

The MCAA member company will first ensure a prospective intern is in good standing at an accredited two- or four-year college, university or technical school. While MCAA encourages its members to give priority to students from the MCAA Student Chapter Program, this is not a requirement to receive a grant.

Each MCAA member company can submit up to two internship grant applications per year. Once an application is reviewed and accepted, MCAA will send a $500 gift card to the member company so it can present the gift card to the student at the start of their internship.

MCAA’s Director of Career Development, Harlee Mooney, will follow-up with each company and intern to ensure the process and overall internship was successful.

Contact Harlee any time with questions about the MCAA internship grants or MCAA Student Chapter Program.

Start Your Search for Top Talent Today

MCAAGreatFutures.org gives members access to student profiles and resumes. The profiles are searchable by university, desired location, and even a specific skill set, like BIM or AutoCAD. A keyword filter allows users to zero in on 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 find the right person. And, MCAA members have exclusive access to post job openings on our job board.

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

Purdue University Advisor Receives Faculty Continuing Education Grant

Ryan Manual, Assistant Professor of Practice for Purdue University, has received a Faculty Continuing Education Grant funded by the John R. Gentille Foundation. Ryan is the current faculty advisor of the MCAA Student Chapter at Purdue.

The Faculty Continuing Education Grant encourages MCAA members to employ college or university faculty on a part-time basis by subsidizing the faculty member’s salary. By working for a MCAA member, faculty gains a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities that students may face and are thus better prepared to advise them.

Working with D.A. Dodd

This summer, Ryan will be working as a Temporary Project Advisor with MCA of Indiana member company D.A. Dodd. After meeting with each other, Ryan and D.A. Dodd found the opportunity to be mutually beneficial, the company will grow closer to academia, assisting in helping attract young talent to their organization.

Ryan discussed what he hopes to get out of the two-month position. “I am responsible for teaching all of the mechanical content in our undergraduate curriculum at Purdue. I believe my experience at D.A. Dodd, will improve my lessons and generate ideas to create more engaging learning experiences for my students. I will use this opportunity to strengthen my knowledge in the mechanical contracting industry while staying current with industry practices and trends that I will take directly to the classroom.”

As a temporary project advisor, Ryan will work alongside local and corporate project managers to gain an understanding of their roles, observe the day-to-day functions of a mechanical contractor, and provide insight regarding internship and entry level hiring programs.

Essential responsibilities will include:

• Review challenges and inefficiencies regarding Project Manager procedures, precedence, design clarifications, adequate labor and equipment, schedules, and any other applicable issues

• Assist as needed in managing day-to-day field operations of mechanical, HVAC, or plumbing projects

• Read, analyze, and interpret plans, specifications, controls, drawings, service bulletins, technical procedure manuals, equipment specifications, and government regulations

• Work with Human Resources to restructure and promote D.A. Dodd’s part-time and full-time internship programs

Please contact Harlee Mooney for more information about student chapter activities and the Faculty Continuing Education Grant funded by the John R. Gentille Foundation.

MCAA Iowa State Student Chapter Graduate Continues to Strengthen Her Career

Paige Taylor, a 2018 Construction Engineering graduate from Iowa State University, is building her career as a project manager at MMC Contractors, an MCA of Iowa, Inc. member. She initially connected with MMC at a career fair hosted by her MCAA Student Chapter in 2017.

“Over the summer, I interned with the company in Des Moines and learned the service side of the business,” she says. “I returned to ISU for my senior year, then after graduation, I joined the construction department full-time.”

As a part of the construction team in Des Moines, Paige has worn many hats, facing a different challenge every week. Her responsibilities have included:

  • Estimating
  • Writing RFP responses
  • HVAC design
  • Developing jobs through pre-construction
  • Aiding in company software transitions
  • Managing projects on her own

“Overall, it has been a blast to get to be a contributor to the growth of the company in the Des Moines market,” she explains.

In June, Paige will be relocating to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue a new opportunity in her career with MMC Contractors.

MCAA and WiMI Involvement

“In an industry that is all about relationships, MCAA and the Iowa State University student chapter gave me opportunities to start building them even before my first day full-time on the job.”

Paige served as the event coordinator for the chapter, organizing job site tours and helping coordinate their industry networking event hosted each semester. She attended the 2018 MCAA Annual Convention, where she was part of the Women in the Mechanical Industry (WiMI) kickoff event.

She is still actively involved at Iowa State, where she serves as an industry mentor for the construction engineering learning community, working with a group of four to five new students each semester. Paige has also hosted job tours for the Iowa State Student Chapter members and attends the chapter’s “Industry Social” every year.

Paige had the opportunity to attend the 2019 Women in the Mechanical Industry Conference in Chicago. She joined the WiMI Mentor Program in January 2020. She says of the experience, “I was paired with an accomplished mentor who acts as a sounding board and provides advice backed by knowledge from her time in the industry. A great resource from WiMI!”

As she continues her career in mechanical contracting, Paige offers advice to current students. “Network as much as you study. Do not be afraid to ask for what you want in your career and reach a little. Interviews are a two-way street, it’s a chance for you to get to know the company and people who drive its success.”

Please contact Harlee Mooney if you have questions about any of our student activities or the new 2020 internship grants funded by the John R. Gentille Foundation.

MCA of Omaha, Inc. and UA Local 464 Partner to Distribute Hand Sanitizer

The MCA of Omaha, Inc. and UA Local 464 have partnered to distribute hand sanitizer to their members in the field. Together, Brad Bird, the Business Manager of UA Local 464, and Kelsey Johnson, the Executive Vice President of the MCA of Omaha, developed a distribution plan for 225 gallons of hand sanitizer donated through the Nebraska Ethanol Board.

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The hand sanitizer was manufactured by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in a collaborative project between several partners on the campus, including the College of Engineering, the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Food Processing Center, and the Nebraska Innovation Campus.

On Tuesday, April 28, each of the contractors that requested hand sanitizer sent one representative to pick up the sanitizer from the union hall. 

Kelsey Johnson and the MCA of Omaha feel fortunate to be able support their members in a safe way. “This was an incredible effort by us and Local 464. Now more than ever, we all need to work together with our labor partners to keep our members safe and informed.”

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The Labor Management Cooperation Committee (LMCC) has made a $5,000 donation to the University of Nebraska Foundation to help keep the hand sanitizer project going. 

“We are lucky to have the hand sanitizer donated to us, and to have a great relationship with our [UA] local. As more [hand sanitizer] comes in, we will continue to distribute it out to our contractors and their essential workers, who are having a really hard time finding any hand sanitizer.”

Enginuity LLC Leverages MCAA Internship Grants to Attract Top Talent

Enginuity, LLC presented Matthew Lawrence and Andrew Clancy with MCAA student internship grants at the start of their internships. The grants, which are funded by the John R. Gentille Foundation, will help subsidize the interns’ expenses while they gain valuable work experience this summer.

Meet the Interns

Andrew Clancy with his MCAA internship grant.

Matthew Lawrence is a sophomore at ACE Tech School, where he is studying Marketing. This is his second year as an Enginuity, LLC intern. He is working as a service department sales assistant, writing proposals and coordinating service for clients as well as coordinating with vendors and subcontractors. He also visits job sites to collect information for estimating, processing submittals and approving invoices.

Andrew Clancy is a freshman at Messiah College studying Mechanical Engineering. He will be working as a project assistant, focusing on submittal processing, coordinating with subcontractors and vendors, productivity tracking and material take-off.

About the MCAA Internship Grants

Having MCAA interns working at member companies is a win-win for the mechanical contracting industry. Employers get top talent and build a pipeline of future employees. Students gain experience, create connections, develop skills and further their interest in mechanical contracting. In paying the student instead of the employer, MCAA’s goal is to increase the overall number of interns and drive the overall number of talented employees accepting full-time positions after graduation.

How the Grant Application Process Works

The MCAA member company will first ensure a prospective intern is in good standing at an accredited two- or four-year college, university or technical school. While MCAA encourages its members to give priority to students from the MCAA Student Chapter Program, this is not a requirement to receive a grant.

Each MCAA member company can submit up to two internship grant applications per year. Once an application is reviewed and accepted, MCAA will send a $500 gift card to the member company so it can present the Gift Card to the student at the start of their internship.

MCAA’s Director of Career Development, Harlee Mooney, will follow-up with each company and intern to ensure the process and overall internship was successful.

Contact Harlee any time with questions about the MCAA internship grants or MCAA Student Chapter Program.

Start Your Search for Top Talent Today

MCAAGreatFutures.org gives members access to student profiles and resumes. The profiles are searchable by university, desired location, and even a specific skill set, like BIM or AutoCAD. A keyword filter allows users to zero in on 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 find the right person. And, MCAA members have exclusive access to post job openings on our job board.

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

Beyond the Classroom Video Series: Shaping a Career

In this month’s Beyond the Classroom, you will meet Andrew Palcan, a Project Engineer at Mechanical Inc. Palcan is a past MCAA Student Chapter member and an Architectural Engineering graduate from Milwaukee School of Engineering. Palcan talks about the career opportunities that arose from his involvement with MCAA GreatFutures. He discusses some of his experiences from past MCAA events and the MCAA Student Chapter Competition.

Palcan is currently a member of the MCAA Career Development Committee, which is made up of member contractors, whose aim is to provide education and resources to student chapter members. The committee’s goal is to connect students with members by creating networking and employment opportunities while ultimately cultivating the next generation of industry leaders in mechanical contracting.

Kimberly Sikkema Receives Alan O’Shea Memorial Scholarship

Congratulations to Kimberly Sikkema, one of the two recipients of the Alan O’Shea Memorial Scholarship.  The Mechanical Contractors Association of New Jersey established the scholarships to honor the memory of Alan O’Shea, its former Executive Director, and memorialize his many contributions to the mechanical contracting industry.

Kimberly is a sophomore from Ferris State University earning her degree in HVAC/R. Kimberly explains why she was drawn towards a career in the mechanical contracting industry: “I see the growth and demand that is needed in the industry, both now and in the future. I am also looking forward to every day being a different learning experience that will expand my knowledge within the industry.”

Kimberly is the President of her student chapter, which she joined in 2018. She had the opportunity to attend the 2019 GreatFutures Forum.

She says, “MCAA has given me the opportunity to go on trips and be able to network with mechanical contractors within the industry, as well as receive a better understanding of the opportunities that are available working for a mechanical contractor.”

For example, Kimberly was able to gain experience in the Johnson Controls PCT software, as well as connecting PCG controllers to HVAC units and commissioning them as part of an internship.

“Once I graduate, I look forward to pursuing my career that I worked so hard for in college. I look forward to seeing the wide variety of opportunities that are out there in the world for me as a woman in the HVAC/R industry. Most of all, I look forward to expanding my knowledge by facing new obstacles every day, receiving more hands-on learning out in the field, as well as learning more from experienced, skilled individuals.”

MCAA and the John R. Gentille Foundation congratulate Kimberly on this distinguished scholarship and thank the MCA of New Jersey for funding this scholarship to support younger students and keep them invested in the mechanical contracting industry.

Bryce Danielson Receives Alan O’Shea Memorial Scholarship

Congratulations to Bryce Danielson, one of the two recipients of the Alan O’Shea Memorial Scholarship.  The Mechanical Contractors Association of New Jersey established the scholarships to honor the memory of Alan O’Shea, its former Executive Director, and memorialize his many contributions to the mechanical contracting industry.

Bryce is a sophomore from the University of Nebraska studying Construction Management. He joined the student chapter in his freshman year and has attended both the MCAA Annual Convention and the GreatFutures Forum.

“The amount of support that the mechanical contracting industry has for students like me is what has drawn me towards a future career in this industry,” Bryce said. “Whether it is through the local contractors, my local student chapter, or the national association, I feel as if there is always someone to help and support my future career.”

His local contractor mentor showed him a job site and explained how the process works, answering his questions along the way. The student chapter has provided internship and networking opportunities, along with the chance to learn new things through its monthly meetings. MCAA events have also provided networking opportunities, along with real-world experience through the Student Chapter Competition, and a chance to learn from world-class speakers and industry professionals.

Ray Martin Company Internship Experience

Bryce has been interning for Ray Martin Company, an MCAA member, since May 2019. “I have been challenged with many tasks which include estimating and preparing bids, writing purchase orders and subcontracts, and helping with project management duties. They gave me opportunities that no other company would give a first-year intern.”

“I look forward to putting everything I have learned in college to work,” Bryce said, adding that “It’s one thing to learn about managing a large-scale project and another to actually do it. This is what I enjoy the most about mechanical contracting because almost every day is different. There is always a new problem that needs to be solved or a new project that is different than the last. I enjoy these because you always have to be quick on your feet and think of innovative ways to solve these problems to ensure the overall success of your project.

“Without my MCAA student chapter and the MCA of Omaha, I would have never been able to make the connection with Ray Martin Co. and obtain an internship that I am still doing today. Finally, MCA-Omaha has also supported me financially through different scholarships. This is a big deal to me because it allows me to stay focused on school and reassures me that the local mechanical contractors support me and all the members of our chapter.”

MCAA and the John R. Gentille Foundation congratulate Bryce on this distinguished scholarship and thank the MCA of Omaha, Inc. for its commitment to supporting younger students keeping them invested in the mechanical contracting industry.

MCAA Congratulates Student Chapter Competition Finalists

This year’s Student Chapter Competition project was demanding, allowing students to showcase their knowledge of mechanical contracting in a written proposal for a a real-world construction bid.

MCAA congratulates the four finalists: Ball State University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, and the University of Missouri-Columbia.

The finalists were selected from among 33 submissions. Their insight into the project and the overall quality of their proposals impressed the judges, all members of MCAA’s Career Development Committee.

Thank you to Fresh Meadow Mechanical Corporation of Fresh Meadows, New York for providing this year’s project details. The project tasked students with developing a proposal to be the prime contractor on a chiller and cooling tower replacement project in the Penn South building in New York City. The project included the completion of all plumbing, piping and HVAC, electrical, controls and any other work required to complete the project as described in the bid documents.

Meet the Final Four Teams

Ball State University

Ball State received their charter at the 2016 MCAA Convention. They received a Chapter of Excellence Grant in 2019, recognizing their extraordinary performance and accomplishments in maintaining interest in the mechanical contracting industry. Sherif Attallah, Associate Professor of Construction Management, is the chapter’s faculty advisor.

This was Ball State’s first year placing in the final four of the competition.

The competition team consisted of all Construction Management majors:

  • Nick Brandon, Class of 2021
  • Gareth Brouwer, Class of 2021
  • Ross Debonis, Class of 2021
  • Michale Delong, Class of 2020
  • Austin Fest, Class of 2021
  • Cory Huffman, Class of 2021
  • Cassie Dorony, Class of 2020

Milwaukee School of Engineering

MSOE won last year’s Student Chapter Competition at MCAA19. The chapter previously won in 2011 and 2013.

They placed in the Final Four of the Competition in 2006, 2008, 2012, 2014 and 2017. MSOE was a recipient of a 2019 Chapter of Excellence Grant. Blake Wentz, Department Chair of Civil & Architectural Engineering & Construction Management, is the chapter’s faculty advisor.

MSOE’s Competition Team:

  • Nathan Bevers, Class of 2020, Architectural Engineering
  • Luke Grohmann, Class of 2021, Construction Management
  • Lucas Haas, Class of 2020, Construction Management
  • Brooke Scott, Class of 2020, Architectural Engineering & Construction Management
  • Logan Stone, Class of 2021, Architectural Engineering
  • John Cunningham, Class of 2022, Architectural Engineering

Logan Stone is the 2020 recipient of the William A. Bianco, Jr Memorial Scholarship. Brooke Scott received the Alan P. O’Shea Memorial Scholarship in 2019.

University of Maryland, College Park

This is Maryland’s first time back in the final four since 2014. After working on rebuilding the chapter that time, they won an Emerging Chapter Grant in 2019. Fitzgerald Walker, Academic Advisor for the Mechanical Engineering department, is in his first year as the chapter’s faculty advisor.

Meet Maryland’s competition team, all Mechanical Engineering majors:

  • Hailey Brennan, Class of 2022
  • Talha Dasti, Class of 2020
  • Samuel Gigioli, Class of 2021
  • Zachary Hood, Class of 2020
  • Ahmed Seck, Class of 2021 

Hailey Brennan is the 2020 Recipient of the Josam Endowed Scholarship.

University of Missouri-Columbia

Mizzou won the the Student Chapter Competition at MCAA17, and competed in the final four last year at MCAA19. The chapter’s current advisor is Lawrence Shilke, Manager Engineer of the University of Missouri-Columbia.

The competition team consists of all Mechanical Engineering majors:

  • Mohammed Al-Ramis, Class of 2021
  • Ellie Henshaw, Class of 2020
  • Austin Mathews, Class of 2020
  • Adam Moore, Class of 2020
  • Kylie Nedelka, Class of 2020
  • Evan Taylor, Class of 2021
  • Derrick Jenkins, Class of 2021

Kylie Nedelka recently accepted a second summer internship with SIEMENS. Read the full story HERE.

MCAA and the John R. Gentille Foundation congratulates all of the finalists and recognizes their commitment and dedication to this year’s project. A signification amount of time and effort has been put into the competition, and thank you all the student chapters for their commitment to the MCAA GreatFutures program

Please contact Harlee Mooney if you have questions about any of our student activities or the internship grants funded by the John R. Gentille Foundation (JRGF).

Molly Sizemore Receives Ferguson-Women in the Mechanical Industry Scholarship

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.

Academic Experience

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.

Molly talks about how, “to my surprise, mechanical contracting fell into my lap after I was searching for a challenge in my academic career. When I first entered Penn State, I was generally just an architectural engineering student teetering between the structural and lighting design options. As I progressed in my academic career, I found myself really fascinated by HVAC and fire protection. HVAC really presented itself as an intricate puzzle which really drew me in.”

Molly acknowledges that, “MCAA has definitely created a springboard for me into the mechanical contracting industry, and I’m very excited to continue this journey and get others involved.”

She was able to grow her industry network by attending the 2019 Great Futures Forum, which has led her to ignite a passion for mechanical contracting in other students who have chosen to get involved with her student chapter.

Southland Industries Internship

Molly has accepted her second summer internship with MCA of Metro Washington member, Southland Industries. She reflects on her experiences:

“I liked the specialization of Southland and the responsibilities they gave me. I also really liked the mentor dynamic where I could sit down for an hour a week and ask any questions I had. My internship put me in a position where I can see all stages of the mechanical contracting process and have an opportunity to contribute at any stage. In my experience with Southland, I really love the dynamic of the firm in that everything is very mechanical-focused and specialized. I like the ability to have a detailed conversation about what is happening at every part of a mechanical system.”

You can read more about Molly’s internship experience here.

Women in the Mechanical Industry Perspective

Molly gives her thoughts about the challenges and opportunities that come along with being a woman in the industry:

“As a woman in the mechanical industry, I’ve experienced first-hand with being the only woman on a project team. Though I initially faced this as a challenge on my path, I turned it around and viewed it as an opportunity to build my own self-confidence and create a voice for myself in an industry dominated by men.

Beyond my own personal experience, I have been able to mentor young women in the Penn State College of Engineering to ignore the stereotypes and be more than a statistic. As a greater challenge, I think it will be getting everyone on the same page with accepting diversity in the industry. Diversity in a team brings new and innovative ideas because people come with different backgrounds and experience.”

Women in the Mechanical Industry and the John R. Gentille Foundation congratulated Molly Sizemore on this prestigious scholarship and thank Ferguson for their commitment to encouraging young women to be engaged in the industry.

University of Nebraska Awarded Student Chapter of the Year

The University of Nebraska Student Chapter has been awarded the 2019 MCAA Student Chapter of the Year.

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 honors exceptional achievement in governance and leadership, membership recruiting, fundraising, community involvement, and career development.

The University of Nebraska Student Chapter is sponsored by the MCA of Omaha. Vishnu Reddi, Assistant Professor of Practice with the Durham School, College of Engineering, is the chapter’s faculty advisor.

The Student Chapter was one of MCAA’s first. Chartered in 1998, it has since remained one of the most active in the MCAA student chapter network.

The chapter takes a unique approach to fundraising, community service and networking opportunities with local MCA members.

Fundraising 

In 2019, the chapter hosted four events to raise funds and provide opportunities for students to network with the MCA of Omaha’s 30 mechanical contractor members. The events included a beer tasting, a wine tasting and two golf tournaments. The most profitable of these was a beer tasting that raised a record-breaking amount.

Community Service

In 2019, the student chapter participated in three community services events.

One of the highlights was the annual Heat’s On event, during which HVAC service technicians and students provide free inspections of senior citizens’ furnaces to ensure that they are working safely for the winter months. Students worked with their service member partners to run through a checklist that included inspecting the filter, flames, flame sensor, flue gas, changing fire alarm batteries, and more.

MCAA Member Networking

Each student is offered the opportunity to be mentored by a professional from an MCA of Omaha member company, an internship with a member company, and the chance to serve on a committee with several contractors. By the time a student graduates, the goal is for them to have personal relationships at almost every MCA of Omaha member company that they can carry into their future careers.

In April 2019, Student Chapter members visited MCA of Omaha members to hand out mugs with candy in them for Administrative Professionals Day. This introduced students to all of the member companies.

In the fall, students took a behind-the-scenes tour of the mechanical and plumbing systems at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. The students also travelled to a virtual design and construction conference hosted by Victaulic.

Mentorship Program 

During the year, the MCA of Omaha matches every student with a mechanical contractor mentor from a local MCA of Omaha company. This match between student and mentor is based on the student’s specific interests. Mentors engage with the students a minimum of four times throughout the year. Mentors show students what they do on a daily basis at job sites and give a tour of their offices, walking students through the daily routine to help them get a feel for everyday life in the industry. Through this experience, students gain first-hand knowledge of the industry to help them make more educated career decisions.

Industry Internships 

Students had the opportunity to attend Internship Day in the fall, where they had a chance to interview with multiple MCAA companies that are looking for interns. Six of the nine students were offered and accepted  internships with an MCAA member company.

You can read about chapter member Caleb Kowalski’s internship experiences with MCAA members here.

MCAA and the John R. Gentille Foundation congratulate the University of Nebraska students on their active involvement with MCAA and their commitment to the mechanical contracting industry.

Please contact Harlee Mooney if you have questions about any of our student activities or the internship grants funded by the John R. Gentille Foundation (JRGF).