The ACE Mentor Program is made up of affiliates. Each affiliate serves high school youth within a certain region or city. A mentor team is assigned to each high school and is made of up industry volunteers and set up similar to a project team: it will typically include an architectural or design firm, engineering firms representing several specialties, a construction manager, a general contractor, and sub-contractors. The mentors are responsible for scheduling meetings and coordinating activities, as they work in conjunction with a team leader (teacher or administrator) from the high school.
The main commitment a company makes is empowering its staff to give time to the ACE Mentor Program. The Next High School team meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:45 – 11:45 at the high school. A total of 20 sessions per trimester are held at either the school or on field trips to construction sites or architect / engineering firm offices. A firm’s time commitment is approximately 1-2 hours per week during the school year. Additional time may be necessary to organize for a mentoring session.
There are several types of activities that take place during the season.
Mentors are dedicated professionals who are passionate about what they do and want to share that with the next generation of the industry’s workforce. Ideal qualities for a mentor are enthusiasm and the ability to develop a rapport with the students. Young mentors often can relate to the students more readily, but mentors of all ages have been very successful. Also, the closer the diversity of the mentors matches that of the students, the easier it will be to form strong relationships.
Besides feeding the pipeline with the next generation of construction industry workforce, your company will benefit from its involvement with ACE.