Michigan’s Design & Construction Coalition Provide Hands On Experience To Michigan Students

Thursday, November 8, 2007, the Michigan’s Design & Construction Coalition (MDCC) offered an estimated 20,000 middle and high school students the opportunity to “test drive” various construction and engineering-related careers during the Michigan Youth Engineering & Science (YES!) Expo held at Detroit’s Ford Field. The goal of the Expo, which is in its fourth year, is to inspire middle and high school students to pursue education and careers in science and engineering.

The Coalition is composed of leading engineering and construction groups including:

• Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association (MITA)

• Michigan CAT

• International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 324 (IUOE)

• Michigan Laborers-Employees Cooperation & Education Trust (LECET)

• American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Michigan

• American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)-Michigan Chapter

• Michigan Society of Professional Engineers (MSPE)

MDCC’s booth included a host of exhibits designed to give students a “hands-on” experience.

The Coalition also paid tribute to the 50th anniversary of the construction of the Mackinac Bridge with a host of historic construction photos. The MDCC exhibit included the following:

o crane simulator

o CAT excavator simulation

o computer program that allowed students to design and test a bridge

o full-size CAT skid steer

o a variety of actual construction signs, barrels, cones and lights

Members of the Michigan State University Steel Bridge Team were also on hand to display their 30-foot long steel bridge they designed and constructed. The bridge weighed only 170 pounds, but supported 2,500 pounds of load with less than a half-inch of deflection.

“As the median age of Michigan’s construction work force continues to climb, we are at a pivotal time in our industry to attract youth into construction and engineering-related careers” stated Glenn Bukoski, MITA’s Vice President of Engineering.

To learn more about career paths for students in these professions, the Coalition has created a website at http://miconstructioncareers.org.