IF YOU GO
• What: Construction management program information session
• When: 4-6 p.m. Tuesday
• Where: Card Auditorium in the Engineering, Math, and Computer Science Building, UTC
• Information: www.utc.edu
The construction industry has taken a hit during the economic recession, but that hasn't lessened the demand for UTC's construction management program.
"This economic downturn that we are in is not going to last forever, and our industry needs to be prepared to do the infrastructure and our facilities for our future generations, and that's what we are preparing for right now," said Roger Tuder, president and chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of East Tennessee.
An information session about the program is scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Card Auditorium in the Engineering, Math and Computer Science Building at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
"[The meeting is] to increase awareness about our construction management program and provide an environment where students can network with local construction company representatives and contractors," Neslihan Alp, assistant dean for graduate studies and research at UTC, said in a news release.
"They will see the high demand for this major and learn more about job placement and other opportunities," added Alp, who's also department head of engineering management and technology.
The construction management program -- a partnership among the UTC College of Engineering and Computer Science, Chattanooga State Community College, Cleveland State Community College and the Associated General Contractors of East Tennessee -- began in fall 2008.
In 2002, the group helped create the East Ridge High School Construction Career Academy, Tuder said, and a few years later partnered with Chattanooga State and started the Building and Construction Institute of the Southeast. Three years ago, the group gave UTC $150,000 to establish what he said is the only construction bachelor's degree in the university system.
"The reason we did this is because those students at the community college wanted to further their education and get a bachelor's degree," he said.
So many students have enrolled in the program, the university had to establish a graduate program last fall, Tuder said.
There are more than 70 undergraduate and 10 graduate students in the construction management program, according to Alp.
Construction employment nationwide increased by 8,000 jobs to a 15-month high in July but remained far below the peak set in early 2006, according the Associated General Contractors of America.