A record 167 member companies are participating in the Department of Construction Science’s Construction Industry Advisory Council, which advises the Texas A&M program about contemporary construction practices and recruits students for internships and jobs at two annual career fairs.
CIAC’s growth has brought a greater variety of construction businesses and specializations to the membership, said George Eustace, the department’s industry relations coordinator.
When founded, CIAC’s membership consisted mostly of general contractors who were engaged in commercial, educational, healthcare and infrastructure projects, such as highways and water and wastewater treatment plants.
“The membership now includes residential, oil/gas and energy facility builders and engineering, specialty and facility management companies,” said Eustace. “CIAC members also vary from regional firms to large companies with an international presence.”
This increasing diversity gives students an ever-widening field of internship opportunities for learning the many of the skills it takes to succeed in the real world, as well as more and diverse entry-level jobs offerings, said Joe Horlen, head of the department.
Additionally, CIAC members annually contribute more than 200 guest lectures on a variety of construction science topics, said Horlen.
CIAC members also provide curriculum ideas and during meetings with department administrators and faculty each year. In addition to two annual meetings in College Station, luncheon meetings in Houston, Dallas/Fort Wroth, Austin and San Antonio provide opportunities for CIAC’s professionals to assess the construction education program at Texas A&M.
Generous donations from CIAC member companies and individuals played a critical role in funding the renovation of Francis Hall, home of construction science education at Texas A&M and the state’s only stand-alone building for construction education.
“The strong and generous support of our construction industry partners makes it possible to continue the improvement of what is already the best construction education program in the nation,” said Horlen. “The close ties we have with the industry are vital to our success in every way and make it possible for us to graduate students that are consistently in high demand.”