Category: Career Development

Beyond the Classroom Video Series: Following Your Interests to First-Hand Experience

Colten Lovejoy’s interest in the mechanical construction industry may have stemmed from watching his father work in the industry for 25 years, but he was quick to create his own experiences. Colten knew he wanted to immediately start working in the field. As a student, he interned with MMC Contractors in Kansas City, MO for two summers as a pre-apprentice alongside journeymen, laborers, and foremen and really enjoyed seeing and understanding how and why complicated systems work the way they do, first-hand. 

Colten graduated from Pittsburgh State University in May and is now a full-time employee at MMC Contractors. He credits not only his dad, but his Pittsburg State University Faculty Advisor, Shannon Nicklaus for helping him continue his education and career in the industry. Through Colten’s involvement in his MCAA student chapter, he has gained a life-long mentor, as well as a network of industry peers. Even if later in life he has a question or is looking to problem solve, he knows he can call anyone he has met through this program to work through it together.

Reminder: MCAA Student Chapter Scholarship & Award Applications Due February 1

Application for MCAA’s Student Chapter Scholarships are due February 1, 2021.

JRGF offers several scholarships as part of its commitment to funding the next generation of mechanical contracting leaders. With these scholarships, MCAA is dedicated to providing students the opportunity to develop professional skills, knowledge and experiences. These scholarships will be presented to worthy students involved with a chartered MCAA student chapter at MCAA’s Virtual Education Conference in March 2021. Apply now or learn more!

Student Chapter of the Year and Educator of the Year applications are also extended, due February 1st

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. Apply now!

The Educator of the Year Award recognizes MCAA student chapter faculty advisors for exceptional accomplishment as advisors, educators, and mentors of students who plan to develop a professional career with the mechanical construction industry. Nominate your faculty advisor today!

Please contact Megan Walsh at mwalsh@mcaa.org if your Student Chapter transitioned at the end of the 2020 semester, Ex: new Faculty Advisor, Student Chapter President, etc.

If you have any questions please contact Megan Walsh at mwalsh@mcaa.org.

Don’t Forget to Keep Your Resume Updated on MCAA’s GreatFutures Job Board

Looking for an internship or full time employment opportunity?

Make sure your resume is up to date on MCAA’s GreatFutures Job Board. Hiring MCAA members are able to browse all resumes and contact you directly if they think you’re the perfect candidate! There are currently two internship opportunities available and two full time opportunities available on the job board.  If you have any questions, please reach out to Megan Walsh.

Congratulations to MCAA’s Emerging Student Chapter & Chapter of Excellence Grant Recipients

On behalf of the John R. Gentille Foundation and MCAA’s Career Development Committee, we are pleased to announce the following Student Chapters received a 2020 Emerging Chapter Grant: Bowling Green State University, Cypress College, Northern Kentucky University, and Virginia Tech, Blacksburg Campus.

The Emerging Chapter Grant was created to assist new chapters in becoming more established or struggling chapters in overcoming a challenge or obstacle. The financial assistance this grant money provides has helped chapters build stronger and better programs that attract and interest more students.

The John R. Gentille Foundation and MCAA’s Career Development Committee are also pleased to share the following Student Chapters received a 2020 Chapter of Excellence Grant: Ball State University, California State University, Chico, California State University, East Bay, Fairleigh-Dickinson University, Ferris State, Kansas State University, Kent State University, Purdue University, the University of Maryland, the University of Missouri- Columbia, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

This Chapter of Excellence award recognizes student chapters for their extraordinary performance and accomplishments during the prior year, as well as encourage their continued growth and development.

Congratulations to all recipients and many thanks for your continued interest and participation in MCAA’s Student Chapter program.

Beyond the Classroom Video Series: The Benefit of Connecting with Industry Professionals

University of Missouri-Columbia mechanical engineering major Kylie Nedelka first learned about the MCAA GreatFutures program after hearing the association president speak to her class a few years ago. It was here Kylie realized the many benefits of being involved with the program.

“Networking is by far the best thing you can do in your career,” Kylie said while stressing the importance of building a professional network. Using her networking skills, she has landed two internships with SIEMENS, a member of the MCAA Manufacturer/Supplier Council. Kylie landed her first internship opportunity at the 2018 GreatFutures Forum while riding on a bus to Disneyland, where she shared a seat and struck up a conversation with Kristin Junia, Program Manager at SIEMENS. The following day, Kylie made sure to stop by the SIEMENS booth at the forum’s career fair. This is where she could talk more in-depth with Kristin about her education and internship interests and was offered an internship on the spot.

We hope Kylie’s story inspires other students to put themselves out there and not be afraid to talk to and connect with people within the industry, as you never know where it will lead!

You can read more of Kylie’s story here.

Kori Gormley-Huppert Featured in Maker Month Profile

Kori Gormley-Huppert, president of MCAA member Gormley Plumbing + Mechanical and chair of MCAA’s Women in the Mechanical Industry Steering Committee, is among those profiled as part of Stanley Black & Decker’s Maker Month Campaign. The campaign is designed to empower makers and tradespeople around the world. Stanley Black & Decker is the parent company of DEWALT and LENOX, both MCAA members.

In the interview-style profile, Kori talks about her company, her career and the mechanical industry. She also offers advice to those who are just getting started thanks to perspective gained from her own experience and her work on MCAA’s Career Development Committee.

In addition to profiles spotlighting a diverse range of makers and creators from tradespeople and engineers to philanthropists and innovators throughout the industry, the campaign shines a light on the trade skills gap, which is one of the biggest issues facing the workforce today.

“To help solve for the vast skills gap today, an issue made worse by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, businesses need to showcase and celebrate the wide variety of opportunities people can pursue across the skilled trades,” said Jim Loree, President & CEO of Stanley Black & Decker. He added “Maker Month is our contribution to this effort, helping to highlight the vast potential these careers offer.”

Beyond the Classroom Video Series: The Power of Networking

In this month’s Beyond the Classroom video, hear about the power of networking from former Wentworth Institute of Technology student, Nolan Rochler. 

Nolan is now a Project Engineer at J.C. Higgins and credits his learning and growth in the industry to those he had met at networking events through his student chapter. Upon graduating, he found this network to be quite useful. “You have people who are there to help you. They help you find endless opportunities. By coming to these events, you are able to build such a strong network and basically go anywhere,” Nolan shared. 

Participating in MCAA’s Annual Student Chapter Competition was also an invaluable experience for Nolan. He says really learning, understanding and dissecting a real-life project, is unlike any other learning process. Nolan reminds current students to take these learning and networking opportunities and “make it whatever you want to make it.” People in this industry welcome you in, respect you, and give you the opportunity to learn and grow. Use them to help set you up for success–Nolan certainly has!

Upcoming Beyond the Classroom videos will continue to showcase opportunities available to MCAA student chapter members and MCAA members alike who choose careers in the mechanical industry.

WiMI Mentors and Mentees Share Their Experiences and Advice In Encouraging Panel Discussion–Watch Now!

Yesterday, Women in the Mechanical Industry (WiMI) Chair, Kori Gormley-Huppert led a lively discussion with mentor and mentees who are currently participating in the initiative’s Mentor/Mentee Program. Pattie Krippendorf, Vice President of the Service Division at Helm Group and a mentor in the program, shared her industry and life experiences, as well as offered her best advice to those newly navigating the industry. Mentees, Ali Brown, a student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Madelyn Conway, a project engineer at BMWC Constructors, Inc. and Michelle Mays, a Sales Operations Coordinator at Crockett Facilities Services, spoke to the value of being involved in this program, and how invaluable they have found the assistance from their mentors, women with years of experience in the mechanical industry, in career planning, networking and goal setting.

The WiMI initiative was created to enable women in the mechanical industry to further enrich their careers through networking, educational, mentoring and career development opportunities. Interested and want to get involved?

WiMI Mentee Questionnaire

WiMI Mentor Questionnaire

MCAA’s Annual Student Chapter Competition Projects Due Monday, December 7th!

MCAA has recently made the difficult decision to cancel our 2021 Annual Convention and hold MCAA’s first ever Virtual Education Conference. This conference will feature all traditional, highly anticipated MCAA events including, top notch education seminars, our virtual trade show/exhibit, and of course, the impressive Annual Student Chapter Competition. While this will be a new format, MCAA is committed to setting each of the Final Four teams up for success as they prepare to present their projects. Below is a timeline that provides an overview of how the Annual Student Competition will run for 2021. 

Monday, December 7th, all student chapter competition projects are due in Procore. All student chapters will be provided with their project results on Friday, January 15thMCAA will then work with each of the Final Four teams to prepare for the Final Four presentations, including a technology requirement review and a thorough rehearsal. Final Four presentations will follow the standard time, twelve minutes per presentation, with ten minutes for Q&A. These presentations will be recorded then released to MCAA’s membership on Monday, March 22nd to kick-off MCAA’s Virtual Education Conference. 

We understand this is new, but MCAA’s Career Development Committee will be there every step of the way. Stay tuned for more information and registration details. If you have any questions, please reach out to MCAA’s Director of Career Development, Megan Walsh at mwalsh@mcaa.org.

Week 7 of MCAA’s GreatFutures Virtual Fall Program Will Focus on BIM & Highlight the WiMI Mentor/Mentee Program

The GreatFutures Virtual Fall Program has completed the sixth week with two presentations on safety and project risks. We have also covered a variety of topics including estimating, which highlighted MCAA’s WebLEM+Plus resource; project management, that covered how to properly staff and schedule projects; and fabrication, which emphasized the importance of how and why fabrication is used. All presentations are easily accessible on the GreatFutures Virtual Fall Program website for registered students to watch anytime if they are unable to attend the live presentations.

Next week, we will learn about Building Information Modeling (BIM) and why more and more mechanical contractors are utilizing the process. To understand why, we will look at the difference between Computer Assisted Design (CAD) and Virtual Design Construction (VDC). On Thursday, October 29, we have a special panel presentation highlighting MCAA’s Women in the Mechanical Industry (WiMI) Mentor/Mentee Program. Join us to hear from current mentors and mentees about why and how they got involved with the program and learn how you can get involved too. Mentees will speak to how valuable they have found the assistance from their mentors, women with years of experience in the mechanical industry, in career planning, networking and goal setting. Our mentors will share their experiences and offer their best advice as you navigate through studying and working in the industry!

Register for access to any of these upcoming sessions or to check out any of the previous presentations in the GreatFutures Virtual Fall Program. View the full schedule and register today!

REGISTER NOW

Those who are already registered can visit the GreatFutures Fall Virtual Program website to catch up on any programs they may have missed.

Beyond the Classroom Video Series: Opportunities in the Mechanical Contracting Industry

Meet Marie. California State University, Chico Faculty Advisor and MCAA Career Development Committee member, Marie Patterson, shares how she got her start in the Mechanical Contracting Industry and what excites her about still working in the industry today, in this month’s Beyond the Classroom video.

Marie emphasizes there are endless opportunities for students who hope to work in the Mechanical Contracting industry, highlighting fun, cool, everyday venues and structures such as wineries and breweries, as mechanical construction. Marie likes to put her efforts to working on a pharmaceutical product, or a mechanical contracting project, that she knows at the end of the day will save or improve people’s lives. 

Upcoming Beyond the Classroom videos will continue to showcase opportunities available to MCAA student chapter members and MCAA members alike who choose careers in the mechanical industry.

Week 5 of MCAA’s GreatFutures Virtual Fall Program – Fabrication

The GreatFutures Virtual Fall Program has completed the fourth week with two presentations on project management. This past week, we heard from MCAA’s Director of Project Management Education, John Koontz, on project organization charts, and Project Executive for Holmberg Mechanical, Troy Aichele, on scheduling 101.

Next week, we will focus on fabrication, and hear from Jeff Miller, Director of Virtual Construction at Harrell-Fish, Chris Summers, Senior Project Manager at Harrell-Fish and Sean McGuire, MCAA’s Director of Innovative Technologies. Together we will learn about the importance of how and why fabrication is used and understanding the importance of a fabrication plan as a specialty contractor. Our three speakers will give a glimpse of the technology MCAA members are currently using and how it is evolving the use of fabrication.

The information in these presentations is not only for the competition project, but for you and your future. The real-world insight and advice from some of the industry’s best to meant to help you succeed. If you haven’t been able to watch live weekly, know you have helpful presentations waiting for you. You may access these presentations at anytime on the GreatFutures Fall Virtual Program website under the “Video Library” tab after logging in.

Here’s a look at the full Fall schedule! 

REGISTER NOW

MCAA’s GreatFutures Virtual Fall Program Finishes Week 2

MCAA’s GreatFutures Virtual Fall Program has kicked off! Each of the 17 presentations is meant to help students navigate the proposal and bid process for the annual MCAA Student Chapter Competition project.  

Did we mention registration is free and you only have to register once for ALL of the presentations!

Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email with the MCAA’s GreatFutures Virtual Fall Program website login instructions. This website includes:

  • All virtual program details;
  • Presentation descriptions;
  • Speaker overviews; and 
  • A full agenda with links to join the live sessions!

We encourage you to attend as many presentations live to interact with fellow students and engage with the presenters in the presentation Q&A. If you are unable to attend any of the sessions live, don’t you worry, the recorded presentations will be posted on MCAA’s GreatFutures Virtual Fall Program website AFTER the live session.

MCAA is sending a weekly Monday reminder email to registered attendees, highlighting the presentations for that week. Don’t forget to add them to your calendar!

MCAA’s GreatFutures Virtual Fall Program is sponsored by

REGISTER NOW

MCAA’s GreatFutures Virtual Fall Program Registration Opening Next Week!

Registration for MCAA’s GreatFutures Virtual Fall Program will open on Friday, August 21 and it’s free! The program will begin September 15 and continue through November 16. MCAA will be hosting live sessions each week, available to all students, faculty advisors and MCAA members.  

The program is aimed to help give the next generation of mechanical contracting leaders a deeper understanding of the industry and the ins and outs of creating a construction bid. Each session will be taught by MCAA industry leaders and navigate students through the competition project with online instructional sessions focused on components of a real-world contracting bid.

Included in this program will be the annual MCAA Student Chapter Competition, which will be released virtually to student chapters through Procore. The competition gives students the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom by creating a bid for a real-life mechanical construction project.

The fall schedule includes:

  • Tuesday, September 15, 3:00 p.m. Eastern – GreatFutures Virtual Fall Program Introduction
  • Thursday, September 17, 1:00 p.m. Eastern – Student Chapter Competition Overview
  • Tuesday, September 22, 3:00 p.m. Eastern – Procore Overview: Learning About Construction Management Software
  • Thursday, September 24, 1:00 p.m. Eastern – Young Professionals Panel: Kickstarting Your Student Competition Project
  • Tuesday, September 29, 3:00 p.m. Eastern – Intro to WebLEM+Plus
  • Thursday, October 1, 1:00 p.m. Eastern – Basics of Estimating for a Project
  • Tuesday, October 6, 3:00 p.m. Eastern – Project Organizational Chart: Staffing Your Project
  • Thursday, October 8, 1:00 p.m. Eastern – Scheduling 101
  • Tuesday, October 13, 3:00 p.m. Eastern – How Companies Use Fabrication
  • Tuesday, October 20, 3:00 p.m. Eastern – The Business Side of Safety
  • Thursday, October 22, 1:00 p.m. Eastern – Identifying Project Risks
  • Tuesday, October 27, 3:00 p.m. Eastern – Digital Process of BIM
  • Tuesday, November 3, 3:00 p.m. Eastern – Understanding Service
  • Thursday, November 5, 1:00 p.m. Eastern – Services Sales: The Importance of Planned Maintenance
  • Tuesday, November 10, 3:00 p.m. Eastern – Understanding Finances of a Job
  • Thursday, November 12, 1:00 p.m. Eastern – Organizing Your Proposal
  • Tuesday, November 17, 3:00 p.m. Eastern – Competition Panel Wrap-Up

Please contact Megan Walsh if you have questions about the GreatFutures Virtual Fall Program or any of our student activities.

Modern Piping Inc. Intern Receives MCAA Internship Grant

Modern Piping, Inc, an MCA of Iowa member, presented Matt HermsenWhite with an MCAA Internship Grant at the start of his 2020 summer internship. The grant is funded by the John R. Gentille Foundation. Matt says, “I would like to express my gratitude to all of the members at MCAA for the grant. I have felt great reception from the mechanical contracting community, both at Modern Piping Inc and from MCAA. I am definitely considering a career in mechanical contracting and would like to say thank you again to MCAA for supporting engineering students with their education.”

Matt is currently studying Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University with plans to graduate in December of 2020. This is Matt’s second year with Modern Piping as Project Manager Intern. He previously worked on piping in the summer of 2018 and this year’s focus was in HVAC work.

“I am very grateful to be with Modern Piping for a second summer. They have given me ample opportunities to participate in team meetings, bidding, productivity tracking, and project manager tasks. All of the people at Modern Piping have been friendly, welcoming, and willing to teach me practical and technical skills.”

Due to the impacts of COVID-19, Matt’s internship experience was completely virtual. Throughout his work, Matt has been supervised by Bob Brown, the President of Modern Sheet Metal.   

Matt’s main summer projects consist of the following:

  • Project bidding for commercial and medical buildings
  • Duct fabrication productivity tracking
  • Creating weekly report system to help Project Managers better understand costs hitting projects on a weekly basis
  • Project administrative tasks: startup, permits, close out documents, etc.

Matt says “although the virtual format came with challenges, it was an opportunity to learn how to collaborate with coworkers and accomplish tasks in an online setting which will be a valuable skill for a 21st century workplace.”

About the MCAA Internship Grants

Having MCAA interns working at member companies is a win-win for both the students and the mechanical contracting industry. Employers get fresh talent and build a pipeline of future employees, while 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 post-graduation.

How the Grant Application Process Works

Prospective interns must be 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 they can present it to the student at the start of their internship.

MCAA will follow-up with each company and intern to ensure the process and overall internship experience was successful.

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 61 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!

GreatFutures Virtual Education Program Coming this September!

MCAA plans are underway to host the GreatFutures Virtual Education Fall Program! The program is aimed to help give the next generation of mechanical contracting leaders a deeper understanding of the industry and the ins and outs of creating a construction bid. The program will start September 15 and continue through November 16, 2020.

Included in this program will be the annual MCAA Student Chapter Competition, which will be released virtually to student chapters through Procore. The competition gives students the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom by creating a bid for a real-life mechanical construction project.

The GreatFutures education program will navigate students through the competition project with online instructional sessions focused on components of a real-world contracting bid. MCAA will be launching live sessions each week, available to all students, faculty advisors and MCAA members.  The topics of the sessions will be taught by current MCAA industry leaders. Topics that will be covered include:

  • Student Chapter Competition Overview
  • Procore Overview: Learning about Construction Management Software
  • Young Professionals Panel: Kickstarting Your Student Competition Project
  • Basics of Estimating
  • Fundamentals of Scheduling
  • Project Organization: Staffing Your Project
  • Identifying Risks in a Construction Project
  • Digital Process of BIM
  • Understanding the HVAC/R Industry
  • The Importance of Planned Maintenance
  • How Companies Use Fabrication
  • The Business Side of Safety
  • Identifying Project Risks
  • Understanding the Finances of a Job
  • Organizing Your Proposal

Stay tuned for additional schedule and registration information!

Please contact Megan Walsh if you have questions about the GreatFutures Virtual Education program or any of our student activities.

GreatFutures Virtual Education Fall Program Coming Soon

In light of COVID-19-related restrictions and with the safety of our members and students in mind, MCAA has made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s in-person GreatFutures Forum, scheduled for October 1–3 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

To continue providing the top-of-the-line education that MCAA is known for, our Career Development Committee has come together to develop the GreatFutures Virtual Education Fall Program! The program is aimed to help give the next generation of mechanical contracting leaders a deeper understanding of the industry and the ins and outs of creating a construction bid. The program will start September 15 and continue through November 16, 2020.

Included in this program will be the annual MCAA Student Chapter Competition, which will be released virtually to student chapters this September. The competition gives students the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom by creating a bid for a real-life mechanical construction project.

The GreatFutures education program will navigate students through the competition project with online instructional sessions focused on components of a real-world contracting bid. MCAA will be launching live sessions each week, available to all students, faculty advisors and MCAA members.  The topics of the sessions include estimating, scheduling, construction technology, safety and service, all taught by industry leaders.

Stay tuned for schedule and registration information in the coming weeks!

Please contact Megan Walsh if you have questions about the GreatFutures Virtual Education program or any of our student activities.