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Recruiting Partnership For Construction Engineering Technology

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.839.1 - 6.839.6

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Paper Authors

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William Whitaker

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2347


William Whitaker Department of Industrial and Engineering Technology Murray State University Murray, Kentucky


The construction industry is in the midst of a critical shortage of qualified employees. This includes management personnel with college training in construction related programs. Future forecasts for construction activity are high and the current employee shortage is expected to continue.

University construction related programs exist on many campuses with over 20 accredited baccalaureate programs nationwide. The Construction Engineering Technology (CET) program at Murray State University (MSU) has existed since 1970. After several unsuccessful years of recruiting freshmen into the program using traditional methods such as: written correspondence, telephone calls, and high school visits the CET faculty at MSU needed to try a new approach. During the spring of 1999 in cooperation with the education committee of the local Associated General Contractors a joint recruiting plan was developed. An innovative marketing effort that included contractors and MSU faculty was taken to the largest high schools in the region. Large increases in freshman enrollment occurred in the fall class of 1999 and by the fall of 2000 the freshman enrollment had doubled in the CET program at MSU.

The marketing effort has demonstrated the ability of a partnership between industry and education to the benefit of both. More graduates entering the local workforce, more internship opportunities and less on-campus concern for the CET program should be positive benefits to increased enrollment.


Construction is the second-largest industry in the nation, employing approximately 8 million workers who will construct $8 billion in new structures this year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Construction contributes 8% of the total gross national product and represents 11% of all businesses.

Unfortunately, many young people do not recognize the important role that construction plays in our society. Nor do they understand the many opportunities the construction industry provides for college trained professionals. It is the challenge of the construction industry and the universities to encourage the high school students of today to consider careers in construction. Enrollment in engineering and engineering technology programs has been a concern since the Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Whitaker, W. (2001, June), Recruiting Partnership For Construction Engineering Technology Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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