Recognizing Pennsylvania College of Technology among its core partners for educating the next generation of construction managers, one of the largest general contractors in the United States has donated a piece of job-site technology to the institution.
On campus for a recent Career Fair, Mid Atlantic District representatives of the Colorado-based Hensel Phelps brought along a solar-powered wireless kiosk for use by students.
A prototype of equipment that Hensel Phelps crews use in the field, the unit is equipped with a computer monitor, Wi-Fi Internet access, and the capability to upload project software so superintendents and subcontractors can access the most current models, schedules and other information without leaving the worksite.
Students at the college can simulate its on-the-job functionality in their course work, and those involved with the construction management major can display the kiosk at open house and other showcase events.
"Construction management as a discipline lacks curb appeal or bling. We don't have a lot to display at Open House and special events because our product - our accomplishments - are in the students themselves," said Wayne R. Sheppard, assistant professor of construction management. "This kiosk will provide a little glitz, but is still fundamentally a functional tool for managing construction projects."
Accompanying the donation were John A. Cowan, operations manager at Hensel Phelps and a member of the college's Construction Management Advisory Committee; David W. Milford, regional manager; and Brian J. Fish, project superintendent.
They were joined at an information session in the Hager Lifelong Education Center by Sheppard; Marc E. Bridgens, dean of construction and design technologies; and students Lane M. Ackerman, of Abington, and Nicholas S. Tomaine, of Lafayette Hill.
"We've hired a lot of students out of this institution, and they do very well with us," said Fish, himself a 2002 graduate of Penn College's four-year construction management major. "It's one of our core schools for recruiting."
Tomaine and Ackerman are among the latest to follow his footsteps.
They served impressive summer internships with Hensel Phelps -Tomaine worked in the Mid Atlantic District's Estimating Department, assisting with the bidding and procurement of new projects; Ackerman worked on-site during construction of the Social Security Administration's new 300,000-square-foot data center in Urbana, Md.
Both will begin full-time employment with the company after their May graduation.