NPCA professional staff traveled to Downers Grove, Ill. on October 17-19 to participate as judges for the NPCA sponsored Project Solutions problem statement at the 2019 ASC Great Lakes Region 3 Student Competition and Conference.
NPCA partnered with Procore to develop the Project Solutions problem statement, which called for students to submit and present their proposal in accordance with specific criteria distributed to them on the first day of the conference.
With the help of Paul Heidt from Garden State Precast, NPCA developed the construction management challenge while Procore managed the software students used to organize and submit their proposals.
During the challenge, five teams of students were tasked with managing the logistics for a large precast concrete stormwater pump station project that encompassed cost estimating as well as the excavation, pick-up and transport of all precast pieces, on-site assembly, and backfill required in the installation phase.
NPCA Director of Workforce Development Alex Morales, M. Ed., Director of Codes and Standards Eric Carleton, P.E., and Director of Outreach and Technical Education Claude Goguen, P.E., LEED AP, judged the competition along with Paul Heidt and Procore representative Miles Anderson. The first, second, and third place teams – California Polytechnic University, Milwaukee School of Engineering and Illinois State University, respectively – were awarded prize money and trophies for their placement.
Alex Morales reported the significance of NPCA’s participation.
“NPCA’s problem statement put precast at the forefront of students’ minds who may not have otherwise considered precast conversions,” said Morales. He also noted that having a precaster involved in the competition was a critical resource for providing students with guidance on field installation. “It’s important for students to hear directly from those involved in these unique precast solutions, and Paul Heidt’s presentation to the students made quite an impact.”
NPCA was also involved in other aspects of the Region 3 conference. NPCA professional staff participated in the career fair, where students handed out their resumés, and scoped out employment and internship opportunities. Morales reported the career fair is especially beneficial for precasters looking to hire.
If you are interested in learning more about NPCA’s workforce development related outreach efforts, or if you would like guidance on getting involved in a local university, vocational school or student organization, please contact Ashley Benson, NPCA’s outreach coordinator.