The Building and Construction Institute of the Southeast (BCIS) met to recognize contributions made to the organization from past Chairpersons, Roger Tuder of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of East Tennessee and Kenny Smith of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (JATC).
The BCIS is a consortium of construction professionals that supports and directs construction education in the greater Chattanooga area. The group is made up of representatives from the trades, contractors, architects, engineers, educators, and city officials and oversees construction educational pathways from grade school to apprenticeship schools to college.
Under the leadership of Mr. Tuder, the group started in 2006 and led initiatives to start the Heavy Equipment Operator program and the A.A.S. Construction Engineering Technology program at Chattanooga State Community College, and the B.S. Construction Management program at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He also oversaw the development of an AGC Student Chapter and established the AGC Scholarship Fund to support students in those programs.
Mr. Smith began his role as Chairperson in 2009 and led the integration of technical training for course credit and promoted technical training in the Hamilton County School System and in the region. According to Tim McGhee, dean of the Engineering Technology Division at Chattanooga State and BCIS director, “Roger and Kenny have both demonstrated a passion for and a commitment to education - especially when it comes to construction education and training. We are deeply appreciative for their leadership and commitment to our students, College, and community.”
The group also recognized new leadership under Jimmy Lail of Raines Brothers who will be serving as chairperson, Dallas Rucker with the City of Chattanooga who will be serving as vice chairperson, and Bob Franklin of Franklin Architecture who will assume the role of secretary. The new leadership team plans to support new initiatives for the BCIS in 2013.
The first initiative involves continuing and improving high school outreach through the East Ridge High School Construction Academy and the local ACE (Architecture, Construction, and Engineering) Mentor Program which serve to promote careers in design and construction. The second initiative focuses on supporting a new A.A.S. in Engineering Systems Technology with a Construction Management concentration at Chattanooga State. This program would be open to graduates of Department of Labor JATCs, Tennessee Technology Center construction-related programs, and veterans by awarding practicum credit toward an Associate of Applied Science degree in Construction Management.
“We need to continue to professionalize the industry by creating opportunities for workers to pursue higher education and recruiting the best and brightest from high schools and our community into construction. Those will be the major goals of the BCIS in 2013,” commented Mr. Lail.
If interested in becoming involved with the activities of the BCIS, please contact Caitlin Moffitt at Caitlin.firstname.lastname@example.org.