In Career Development

Six construction and engineering professionals recently held a career panel introducing the exciting world of opportunities that exist within their industry to nearly 100 middle school students in the Career Pathways exploration phase at The Immokalee Foundation.

Career Pathways is a comprehensive educational approach that breaks new ground in preparing students for professional careers that lead to financial independence. Middle school students explore the various careers available in specific industries, including the demand for specific jobs, required training, and average pay.

Each panelist came from a different background and position within the construction and engineering industry and provided students with an inside look into their unique experience and knowledge.

Megan Kohan, Assistant Project Manager at Suffolk Construction, and volunteer mentor at The Immokalee Foundation advised the students to “talk to as many professionals in the field as possible to understand all the positions, educational requirements, job descriptions, wages and geographical opportunities. And while in school, participate in clubs, online courses, part time jobs that are within the industry so you can get real life experiences and build your resume.”

In an industry mainly comprised of males (91 % male to 9% female), the inspiring all-female panel set a great example for the middle school females interested in pursuing a career in engineering and construction management.

“Females are not often shown in the construction and engineering field,” said Kohan. “Allowing the students to hear from women of all ages, in many spectrums of the field, brings their interests and dreams to life. Positively impacting a child’s life is the best gift we can experience and I am honored to be a part of it!”

Panelists included: 

ü  Megan Kohan – Assistant Project Manager at Suffolk Construction

ü  Dana Marcano – Project Manager at Suffolk Construction

ü  Mackie Myers – Superintendent at Suffolk Construction

ü  Emily Minkowitz – Architectural Associate at RG Architects

ü  Karen Hendricks – TIF Board Member and Retired Engineer at Proctor & Gamble

ü  Tatiana Gust – Professional Engineer and Principal at Elie Permits

The middle school program curriculum includes career panels, field trips, workshops, career interest and aptitude assessments, a four-week summer STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Academy in partnership with Florida Gulf Coast University, and for eighth graders, the development of a career plan for high school with the assistance of career counselors.

Before entering high school, Immokalee Foundation students choose to focus on one of four available pathways: Business Management & Entrepreneurship, Education & Human Services, Engineering & Construction Management, and Healthcare.

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