While the AEC industry adjusts to the skills gap and generational challenges to acquiring and keeping new talent, CCI Mechanical, a firm specializing in design, installation, and maintenance of mechanical systems for commercial and industrial facilities throughout the western United States has developed an internship program to find the best and brightest talent and groom them for success.
A Different Internship
By offering flexible programs that allow university-level students to work around their class schedules, CCI interns can finish class duties and still be actively involved with CCI business. In a nutshell, CCI interns have real-world responsibilities, as opposed to being “paper shufflers.” One student, Hannah Crawford, was an assistant project manager during her senior year at The University of Utah, so she was getting hands-on experience and classroom experience at the same time. Using technology like Bluebeam Revu, Hannah was able to integrate newly learned digital workflows into her new responsibilities, giving her instant value for CCI.
Why It Works
CCI has been developing the program for the past seven years and has already had a handful of interns successfully complete the internship program. These former interns have been instrumental in helping guide the new groups of interns, as they can shadow them on their respective teams and departments, giving them the freedom to succeed as well as the support necessary for onboarding and grooming. Interns also see the growth potential within their positions, as well as the trust CCI is empowering them with to learn on the job.
After starting the initiative four years ago, CCI has successfully onboarded key positions in project management, engineering and document management. CCI interns are offered a full-time position upon completing the program successfully, which has changed the culture at the company for the better, as the innovation, creativity and digital savvy of the interns has been maximized. For the interns, a guaranteed position within a firm dedicated to giving them the resources to succeed is invaluable in today’s climate, making the program a win-win proposition for all involved.