- Organization Name:ACE Mentor Program of the Greater Washington Area
- Address:c/o McKissack & McKissack
S1401 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 900
Washington, DC 20005
The ACE Mentor Program of the Greater Washington Metropolitan Area, Inc. has a two fold mission: 1) To enlighten and motivate students toward Architecture, Construction, Engineering, and related careers; and 2) To provide career mentoring and scholarship opportunities for future designers and constructors.
The ACE Mentor Program counteracts the trend of architecture, engineering and construction (A/E/C) industry labor shortages in that it exposes youth at an early age to opportunities that a career in the industry may bring; as well as impart life-long skills of communication, teamwork and project management. The program also provides college access by awarding scholarships to graduating seniors to continue on at a two or four year college/university.
The program also provides hands-on, practical project experience, contraction site tours in the field, and professional industry office visits – building industry networks and experience. ACE also supports the trades – including carpentry, masonry, and iron workers. The program has a strategic focus on construction trade opportunities, should students choose not to pursue college or apprenticeships, but still wish to remain in the industry in another capacity.
ACE Mentor Teams are composed of 15 to 25 students and their industry mentors. Each team is set up to emulate an actual design team, with students guided through a mock design project by their architect, engineer and construction management mentors. Several companies will be assigned to each team, each providing one or two mentors. Mentors are all volunteer, dedicated professionals who are passionate about their industry. They engage and guide the students as they work towards a final project; introducing them to the careers, industry vocabulary and various roles companies play in the construction industry.
No school time is used and no school funds are needed; students meet after school during the school year. The ACE program serves to engage students through hands-on projects and field trips of construction sites, offices and other major projects in the area. These activities reinforce classroom learning in math, physics, art, computer skills and other important subjects, establishing for students a direct link between curricular and career success. Additionally, there are guest mentor presentations, discussions on career opportunities and a chance to meet university personnel and visit college
The students’ vision of an A/E project is realized at the final presentation night in the spring. It is the culmination of a year of hard work, where students from all over the community come together to present their projects just as if they were going to a client session; they present to teachers, friends and family, other teams, school and public officials. ACE encourages all levels of technical difficulty for these presentations; presentations may be simulated in Autocad or simply sketched out on storyboards and donned in PowerPoint.
In the end, the majority of students go on to a two or four year college or an apprenticeship program. The program has a strategic focus on construction trade opportunities, should students choose not to pursue college or apprenticeships, but still wish to remain in the industry in another capacity.
The ACE DC is open to all high school students in the Greater Washington Area; and makes a special attempt to reach students of all demographics, including inner city and Title I to suburban schools. The program traditionally draws participation from diverse student populations with the percentage of those enrolled historically being:
PROGRAM YEAR 2005-2006
PROGRAM YEAR 2006-2007
PROGRAM YEAR 2007-2008
PROGRAM YEAR 2008-2009
The Architecture/Engineering and Construction (A/E/C) industry joined together represents the second largest employer in the United States – second only to healthcare – and generates more than $230 billion a year. The built environment is the most prominent component of society, yet engineering degrees represent only 18 percent of university degrees awarded. There is a staggering decline in educated and experienced professionals, as well as overall interest in this compounding, multi-billion dollar profession.
That coupled with the fact that there is a five to one ratio leaving and entering the workplace, the industry is up against a major workforce shortage. Additionally, the importance of active mentoring for raising awareness of opportunities in science and engineering (Wallace and Haines 2004), and particularly for advancing women in technical professions (Wiest 2004, Nicoletti 2002), cannot be underestimated.
Skilled workers in the A/E/C are needed, especially in districts with construction industry mandates. The ACE DC builds economic viability for the greater Washington area in building the capacity of experienced talent. As District mandates require 50% First Source Employment agreements from developers and A/E/C contractors to pledge employment of District labor, it is increasingly important for the District to nurture and maintain this industry’s labor base with skilled, experienced professionals.
Although these mandates are in place, contractors, unions, subcontractors and developers have often failed meeting the requirements, voicing that “it’s a function of individuals not having the skills required to fulfill the position requirements” (The Washington Post)iii. Additionally, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton has also recently expressed that, “the city needs to close the gap between its residents’ skills and the skills needed for major construction projects” (Washington Business Journal).
Additionally, on the large-scale level, the Architecture/Engineering and Construction industry joined together represents the second largest employer in the United States, generating more than $230 billion a year, second only to healthcare. It employs more than seven million people, represents 10 percent of all businesses and produces more than nine percent of the Gross National Product. The industry remains one that cannot be outsourced or taken over seas. The built environment is the most prominent component of society, yet engineering degrees represent only 18 percent of university degrees awarded. There is a staggering decline in educated and experienced professionals, as well as overall interest in this compounding, multi-billion dollar profession. That coupled
with the fact that there is a five to one ratio leaving and entering the workplace, the industry as a whole is up against a major workforce shortage.
In addition to basic, experienced industry personnel, professionals will also have to be proficient in green building. A recent study by the American Institute of Architects reports that the eastern region has made substantial gains in sustainability and continues to grow in this field. Forty-nine (49) cities now have policies in place, which is an increase of 75% from that of 2007. Combined with the DC Green Building
Act of 2006 and the Obama Administration’s Executive Order for Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance (October 2009), knowledge and a practical understanding of recognized green building standards in DC and nation-wide will be essential to a thriving career in the built environment . (Hence the ACE Mentor Program will soon be implementing a Green Diploma Program for its student participants.)
Currently mentoring over 215 high school students, the ACE DC affiliate has nineteen (19) active teams in the District of Columbia (spanning Wards 1, 3, 4 and 7); City of Alexandria; and the counties Fairfax, Arlington, Montgomery, Prince George, and Prince William.
- Year established:2000
- Organization type:Grantseeker
- Country of registration:United States
- Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
- IRS Section:501(c)(3)
- IRS Subsection:509(a)(1)
Other Website Listings
Types of funding being sought (i.e. funding type)
- Scholarship or Fellowship:Yes
- Program Related Investment:Yes
Program areas of focus and activity (i.e. funding cause)
- Arts, Culture, Humanities:Low
- Human Services:High
- Public Benefit, Society Benefit:High
- Science, Technology:Low
Geographic areas of focus and activity (i.e. geographic area)
Organization tax information is not viewable for this organization.