by Tom Emison, Vice President Strategy and Innovation, Kraus-Anderson Construction Company
The War for Talent was a term coined by Steven Hankin of McKinsey & Company in 1997. It refers to the increasingly competitive landscape for recruiting and retaining talented employees. In the construction industry, high-performing companies have become proactive about finding and developing the next generation of talent. At KA, we’ve decided the best way to win the war for talent is to preempt the war; get ahead of the problem; be part of the solution. And, we’ve opted to do this in collaboration with architects and engineers. Together we can excite and enlighten high school students to pursue careers in architecture, engineering, and construction through mentoring and to support their continued advancement in the industry. That’s why we’ve been so engaged with ACE Mentor Program
ACE Mentors are dedicated professionals from architecture, construction, or engineering companies. They are passionate about what they do and want to share that with the next generation of the industry’s workforce. Ideal ACE Mentors are enthusiastic and great with students. Young ACE Mentors often can relate to the students more readily. But ACE Mentors of all ages have been very successful. Also, the closer the diversity of the ACE Mentors matches that of the students, the easier it is form strong relationships. ACE Mentors dedicate up to 35 hours of their time during the school year (it is an average of about two hours/week over a 20-week program). ACE students have projects to work on and an end-of-year friendly presentation/competition on an innovation that shows their new-found knowledge of our industry. Several KA leaders have served in leadership roles with our Twin Cities ACE affiliate. Our own Jake Boerboon serves on the ACE Board locally and has been an ACE Mentor. “I can’t tell you how motivating it is for me as a leader to help students see our industry for what it really is. They really like the career opportunities our industry offers and ACE Mentoring has helped many of these students transform their plans after high school. And, it’s helped me as a leader, too. Mentoring helps both parties excel.” Here’s the neat part. 68% of ACE students plan majors in A-E-C. 73% say that ACE made them motivated to go to college.
Well, it’s that time of year again when we are asking leaders within KA, and with our architecture and engineering business partners, to step up and volunteer for ACE. If this upcoming school year is anything like last year, then we are truly winning the War for Talent.
If you are interested in being an ACE mentor, fill out this interest form.