You Make a Difference

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the best parts of being involved with the NPCA Education Foundation is hearing from our scholarship recipients about what they are achieving at school. As supporters of the foundation, you should hear these stories as well so let me tell you about Mike Mattern, a junior at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.

Mike is majoring in building construction management and expects to graduate in May. In addition to his classes, he’s been taking advantage of leadership opportunities such as being involved in a program that helps young students adjust and serving as president of the Purdue student chapter of Associated General Contractors. He’s also serving on two executive boards at Purdue, including the Construction Leadership Council.

As for recognition, Mike was awarded the Sheldon Yellen Award for being a quiet leader “who always has a positive effect on the organizations he joins.” He was also inducted into the Sigma Lambda Chi International Construction Honor Society, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Phi Sigma Theta National Honor Society.

Sheldon Yellon and Michael Mattern

Sheldon Yellon and Michael Mattern

In addition to all of this, Mike was an exchange student and construction intern in Saudi Arabia, and a construction intern for Walsh Construction.

Mike’s story puts a face to the difference you are making when you participate in foundation events like golf outings, clay pigeon shoots or silent auctions. They’re fun and a great way to bring our industry closer together, but also have a big impact on the lives students like Mike.

Our work doesn’t stop there, though. We need to find ways to bring precast concrete to the forefront in new and meaningful ways with the next generation of construction professionals. This can be accomplished through plant visits for scholarship recipients or internships for them or other students in your area. What truly stands the greatest chance of having a widespread and long-term impact, is finding a way to get precast concrete into the curriculum at schools that host the Concrete Industry Management (CIM) Program. We need to invest in students in order to attract young, smart people to the precast industry.

I hope you’ll continue to support the foundation so that we, in turn, can continue to support the future of the industry. To learn more about the work of the foundation, or to make a donation, please visit

Barry Fleck Signature

Barrry Fleck
President, NPCA Educational Foundation


  1. Jeremy Smith says

    Great information, Barry, and excellent blog. It’s nice to hear stories like Mike’s. We’ve always supported the NPCA Education Foundation because we know it’s the right thing to do. But, Mike’s story just reinforces why we donate, as well as the great things that NPCA does! Job well, done, my Man.

  2. Richard Isaacson says

    Very well said. It is very important for our members to step up and ensure that we help the young people of tomorrow to embrace precast today.

  3. Jim Westhoff says

    Barry, great story, as a supporter of the Foundation we are glad to hear about the good work and leadership opportunities our recipients are undertaking. Thanks for taking the time to share, appreciate your leadership and look forward to learning more.

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