Category: Career Development

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 will follow-up with each company and intern to ensure the process and overall internship 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 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 Megan Walsh 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.

Ali Brown Receives Ferguson-Women in the Mechanical Industry Scholarship

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.

Academic Experience

Ali has been a member of the MCA of Omaha-sponsored Student Chapter since 2017. She attended the 2019 GreatFutures Forum and the 2019 WiMI Conference. She is earning her degree in Business Administration & Human Resources.

In her scholarship application, Ali discusses why she shifted her focus from the engineering and construction management side of the industry to the business side. “Even though I am now a business major I still see the mechanical construction industry as an exciting industry to be in. I see the opportunities that there are for growth in all areas of the industry.”

Post-graduation, Ali sees herself working for a mechanical contractor in their human resources department. “I want to help with developing standards of practice as well as recruit new talent for my company. My goal in my career is to help people and I believe that I can achieve this goal through working in Human Resources.”

Ali is appreciative of her involvement with her student chapter and the connections she has made with contractors through the MCA of Omaha. “We work with our contractors to plan fundraising events, recruit new student chapter members, and much more. Through our chapter I feel like I have learned more about the industry than I ever thought I would know. I have been able to see how many different companies run jobs and other day-to-day activities between our different contractors.”

Waldinger Internship

Ali has been interning for The Waldinger Corporation, a member of the MCA of Omaha, MCAA and NCPWB, throughout her academic career. She has been involved in the administration, Virtual Design and Construction, and the accounting department. “I enjoy the culture we have at Waldinger. I especially enjoy the internship program we have; it exposes me to all facets of the company.” She is excited to continue her Waldinger internship this summer.

Ali reflects on her internship experiences and seeing the unique challenges and opportunities as a women in the industry. Ali thinks there are many challenges that come with being a woman in the mechanical contracting field. “Since it is so male dominated,” she said, “I feel like gaining the respect of coworkers is the biggest challenge that comes with being a woman in this field. Though it is a challenge I believe that also makes it an opportunity. The best way to grow personally is by taking challenges and turning them into opportunities.”

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

Beyond the Classroom – The Importance of an Internship

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. You can reach Paige’s full story HERE.

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.

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.

Purdue University Student Chapter President Accepts Second Internship with Harrell-Fish

Colin Hindman has accepted a second summer internship with MCA of Indiana member, Harrell-Fish, Inc. (HFI). Colin is a junior studying Construction Management Technology at Purdue University where he is the President of the MCAA Student Chapter.

Harrell-Fish Internship

Colin reflects on what he will be doing during his internship:

I am continuing to work with the Project Management team in their Construction Division. I shadow and assist the PMs with their projects while also getting some projects of my own to manage under supervision. I also help out in estimating on occasion. I found the opportunity to work for them [Harrell-Fish] originally by being introduced to the VP by a family friend.

MCAA Student Chapter Involvement

As the Student Chapter president, Colin has been active with his student chapter:

Being a part of MCAA has both reinforced and built upon concepts I have learned in class, but most importantly on the job. My excellent experience working with HFI gave me a certain advantage when approaching the competition project. Conversely, the MCAA Student Chapter Competition taught me some valuable lessons that I’ve already been able to apply back in my internship.

Find other student chapter members like Colin by visiting mcaagreatfutures.org and previewing students’ resumes.

Cristina Cosma Named Educator of the Year

This year’s MCAA Educator of the Year Award was presented to Cristina Cosma of the Wentworth Institute of Technology. The award, including a check, honors her mentoring ability, industry knowledge and involvement, and her active participation in MCAA’s Student Chapter program activities.

The students of the Wentworth MCAA Student Chapter sponsored by the New England MCA, Inc. (NEMCA) said, “a mentor’s role is to provide guidance, advice, encouragement, support, and resources. Cosma checks off all of these boxes and more.”

MCAA Student Chapter members credit Professor Cosma for the chapter’s fast growth and success, noting that “She puts a lot of time and effort into this chapter to ensure that we get the most out of it.”

Cosma has worked with chapter members to coordinate fundraising and community service events, including working with NEMCA on the annual golf tournament and facilitating an HVAC project for a neighborhood church.

Under Cosma’s guidance, the students have placed in the top ten of the MCAA Student Chapter Competition for the past seven years. Cosma has also helped increase chapter membership. According to chapter members, “Getting new members into our chapter is always something we struggle with. 90% of the students in our chapter hear about it through taking classes with Cosma. She will always advocate for MCAA and all of the opportunities it gives us students. She pushes us to attend all of our schools’ club involvement fairs to try and present our chapter and get new students to join.”

Professor Cosma maintains close relationships with NEMCA members and NEMCA Executive Vice President, Stephen Affanato, which has given the students many opportunities. For example, she has connected students with MCAA members for internship and co-op opportunities that led to full-time positions.

Cosma has “created an amazing opportunity when it comes to the students making lasting relationships with industry leaders. At any event Cosma urges us to step out of our comfort zones and talk to as many contractors as possible.”

MCAA and the John R. Gentille Foundation congratulate Cosma on her accomplishments, her chapter, and her contributions to the industry.

The Wentworth students say, “we can’t begin to thank Professor Cosma enough for all the help she has given this chapter, we seriously owe all of our success to her guidance.”

Hailey Brennan Receives First Josam Endowed Scholarship

Congratulations to Hailey Brennan, the first recipient of the annual Josam Endowed Scholarship. Josam Company has established an annual scholarship to a sophomore in a MCAA Student Chapter, pursuing a degree in construction management, mechanical engineering or a similar field. Provided that all qualifications are met each year, the yearly recipient will continue to receive the scholarship in their sophomore, junior and senior year.

Hailey is a sophomore, studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park. Hailey joined her MCAA student chapter last fall and has since attended the 2019 GreatFutures Forum and helped lead her chapter to the final four of this year’s MCAA Student Chapter Competition.

Hailey has had an interest in the industry since middle school and began taking engineering courses in high school. “It was my choice to pursue HVAC as well, which is what really drew me toward a career in the mechanical contracting industry.”

While in high school Hailey was active in SkillsUSA, a career and technical student organization. The organization helped Hailey grow confidence in HVAC courses, and led to her interning with a mechanical contractor her senior year in high school.

She continued to pursue her industry interests while at the University of Maryland, and wants to continue to pursue a career in mechanical contracting throughout her educational and internship choices as an undergraduate.

She recently accepted a summer internship with MCAA member, Poole & Kent Corporation, in Baltimore, Maryland, where she will be working alongside Project Engineers on a hospital jobsite. Hailey found the internship through her student chapter connection with sponsoring local affiliate, MCA of Metro Washington.  “The local MCAMW events have provided me connections for internships and I have been happy to volunteer at MCAMW events to meet more of the local MCAA community.”

Hailey says she has given thought to completing an HVAC apprenticeship after graduation. “With my experience in mechanical engineering and business, completing an HVAC apprenticeship would put me on my way to becoming a business owner in the mechanical contracting industry.”

The John R. Gentille Foundation congratulates Hailey Brennan on this prestigious scholarship and would like to thank Josam Company’s CEO, Scott Holloway Sr., for the commitment to supporting younger students to keep them invested in the mechanical contracting industry. 

Cypress College Becomes MCAA’s Newest Student Chapter

MCAA GreatFutures welcomes its 61st Student Chapter, Cypress College! This is the first student chapter sponsored by ARCA/MCA, and the first two-year technical school to be chartered as part of the MCAA GreatFutures student chapter program.

Professor Richard Hock serves as the faculty advisor for the ARCA/MCA Student Chapter Cypress College. Richard worked with Cheryl James and Dick Sawhill of ARCA/MCA and ARCA/MCA members to start the chapter and get students active and engaged.

The Air Conditioning & Refrigeration program at Cypress College offers both certificate and degree paths into the industry. You can learn more about the program by visiting the Cypress College page on MCAAGreatFutures.org.

Congratulations to Cypress College and welcome to the MCAA family!

Celebrating the Successes of Young Women in Our Industry

In honor of International Women’s Day, MCAA GreatFutures & WiMI celebrate all of the young women actively pursuing a career in the mechanical contracting industry. Read these success stories of female MCAA Student Chapter members and how they are leaving an imprint on the industry:

Madelyn Conway, Purdue University

Madelyn Conway, a senior at Purdue University, has accepted a full-time position with BMWC Constructors, Inc. She will be working as a project engineer in their Indianapolis office following graduation this spring. Madelyn said, “because of MCAA, MCA of Indiana, and the Purdue MCA Student Chapter, I have found my career!”

Madelyn was the 2019 recipient of the Ferguson – WiMI Scholarship.

Read the full story HERE.

Kathy Deng, University of Southern California 

Kathy Deng, a Mechanical Engineering graduate from the University of Southern California, a past MCAA student chapter member and a current Design Engineer at Murray Company. Kathy says at the MCAA19 convention, “Women in the Mechanical Industry enlightened me about the value of mechanical engineers in construction.”

Read the full story HERE.

Paige Theby, University of Missouri-Columbia

Paige Theby, a member of the MCAA Student Chapter at the University of Missouri-Columbia, is graduating with a B.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and accepting a full-time position with Murphy Company.

Read the full story HERE.

Molly Sizemore, Pennsylvania State University

Molly Sizemore has accepted her second summer internship at Southland Industries, a member of the MCA of Metropolitan Washington. She is a member of the MCA of Central Pennsylvania-sponsored student chapter at Pennsylvania State University, where she studies Architectural Engineering specializing in mechanical systems. She said, “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.”

Molly is a recipient of the 2020 Ferguson – WiMI Scholarship.

Read the full story HERE.

Alex Berman, Kent State University

Alex Berman, a 2019 Construction Management graduate from Kent State University and a past MCAA Student chapter member, has found success in the industry as an Estimator and Project Assistant at MCA of Cleveland member Geauga Mechanical in Northeast Ohio.

Read the full story HERE.

Kylie Nedelka, University of Missouri-Columbia

Kylie Nedelka, a mechanical engineering major from the University of Missouri-Columbia, has accepted a second summer internship with SIEMENS, a member of MCAA’s Manufacturer/Supplier Council. Kylie found the opportunity at the 2018 GreatFutures Forum, where she met Kristin Junia, Program Manager at SIEMENS. Kylie said, “My experience was so great, that I have accepted a position as an engineering intern for this upcoming summer! I look forward to the new experiences to come!”

Read the full story HERE.

Attending MCAA2020? Do Not Miss the Student Chapter Competition!

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from the next industry leader’s insightful approaches to a real-world contracting bid!

You can see the final four teams compete at MCAA2020 on Monday, March 16 from 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Thanks 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 includes 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. This will be their first time competing in the final four of the MCAA Student Chapter Competition.

Ball State was a recipient of a 2019 Chapter of Excellence Grant, recognizing student chapters for their extraordinary performance and accomplishments in maintaining interest in the mechanical contracting industry.

The competition team consists 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 also previously won in 2011 and 2013.

They have 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.

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

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

University of Maryland, College Park

This is Maryland’s first time back in the final four since 2014. After working on rebuilding the chapter since, they won the 2019 Emerging Chapter Grant.

The competition team consists of 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 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.

Awards of Excellence Breakfast

The winners will be announced at the Awards of Excellence Breakfast featuring Joe Montana on Wednesday, March 18 at 6:30 a.m. The top competition prize is $10,000. The second-place team will receive $5,000 and the other two finalists will each receive $2,500.

Networking & Recruiting 360

Meet these competition team members and other student chapter members like him at MCAA2020’s Networking & Recruiting 360 event Wednesday, March 18, 9:00 am – 11:00 am. MCAA thanks Viega for sponsoring the event.

To preview students’ resumes and to see who will be in Maui, visit mcaagreatfutures.org.

Please contact Harlee Mooney if you have questions about any of our student activities or the internship grants funded by the Mechanical Contracting Education & Research Foundation (MCERF).

 

Hiring a Summer Intern? Apply for the NEW Internship Grant Funded by MCERF

MCAA’s student internship grant process has changed! For 2020, the focus is on the intern to give them the best opportunities possible with MCAA member companies. Five-hundred-dollar grants will now be offered directly to students who accept internships or full-time positions, with funding from the Mechanical Contracting Education & Research Foundation (MCERF).

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 member companies after graduation.

Be the Next Internship Success Story

In 2019, MCA of Indiana member Freitag-Weinhardt, Inc. used an internship grant for Indiana State University student Jonathan Dang. He will join the company full-time following his December 2020 graduation.

Jonathan noted that, “one of the things that made a career in the mechanical industry so appealing is the investment in students and their futures.” The new 2020 internship grants help further show a company’s investment in young talent like Jonathan.

Read more about Jonathan’s experience as an intern with Freitag-Weinhardt here.

How does the new grant application process work?

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 Visa Gift Card to the member company so it can present the Gift Card 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 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 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!

Be the Next Success Story – Apply for the NEW Internship Grant Funded by MCERF

For 2020, MCAA has updated its student internship grant process to focus on the intern and give them the best opportunities possible with MCAA member companies. Five-hundred-dollar grants will now be offered directly to students who accept internships or full-time positions, with funding from MCERF.

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.

Here are a few success stories

MCA of Metropolitan Washington (MCAMW) member The Bowers Group, also known as W.E. Bowers, hired Andrew Nguyen, a junior at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, for a summer internship. Read the story here.

In 2019, BMWC Constructors, Inc. used an internship grant to for Purdue University Senior Madelyn Conway’s summer internship. She will join the company full-time following graduation. Read the success story here.

How does the new grant application process work?

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 Visa Gift Card to the member company so it can present the Gift Card 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 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 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!

Apply for the NEW MCAA Internship Grants Funded by MCERF!

For 2020, MCAA has updated its student internship grant process to focus on the intern and give them the best opportunities possible with MCAA member companies. Five-hundred-dollar grants will now be offered directly to students who accept internships or full-time positions, with funding from MCERF.

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 does the new grant application process work?

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 Visa Gift Card to the member company so it can present the Gift Card 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 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 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!