Douglas K. Guerrero, California State – Chico
Title: Chairman of the Chico State CIM Patrons
Employer: California State University - Chico
“I see a time when our Chico State CIM Program will be a stand-alone department within the School of Engineering. We are hoping to see this in the 2010-2011 academic year. We believe we will grow from our current 62 students to more than 100 by the time we are a full-fledged department. Hopefully, we will remain in place to provide the continuing strength for this concrete industry and Chico State partnership. I hope that within 10 years or so, we can grow the program to about 200 to 250 students, providing 50 to 60 graduates per year.”
What is your involvement in the CIM program? Why did you get involved with the program?
I have been the Chairman of the Chico State CIM Patrons since it was established on December 7, 2005. I am also a Board Member of the CIM National Steering Committee. I have had a keen interest in this program for more than 10 years, and have followed the growth of the Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) program since its inception. I and several other industry colleagues were responsible for bringing the expansion program to California and Chico State. As a 40-year veteran of the cement and concrete industry, I know how valuable this program will be to the industry. It has been sorely needed because there has been no direct four-year college program that prepared professionals to enter this industry.
What are your thoughts about the industry/academic partnership between CIM and its industry partners and patrons?
When the CIM National Steering Committee approached Chico State and the other two Universities selected for expansion CIM Programs, they promised $1 million over five years to help offset costs. In addition, our local patrons promised additional donations of concrete materials and equipment, as well as significant volunteer time to act as guest lecturers and consultants. Everybody on our Patron’s Board continues to come through on this promise. The President of Chico State, Paul Zingg, stated that our partnership model should be the one used as the “standard industry/academic partnership” throughout academia. This is our key to success and a must for any successful program.
Why should other companies in the concrete industry get involved in the CIM program?
They have to. If they do not, they will be left without the high level of training and professionalism the graduates of the CIM Program will bring to the companies that hire them. In time, our graduates will make their way to leadership positions in the companies they work for. Our industry is age-challenged; we grew older and did not do a good job of replacing ourselves. We need highly trained professional graduates who are skilled in the many facets of our industry. Our industry also is moving rapidly ahead in more technological areas than ever before. We will help fill that need, because our students are exposed to a broad range of new technologies while in college. Their education and enthusiasm to make our industry better will be welcomed. Also, as the economy recovers, we will find a shortage of qualified individuals available for a growing concrete industry, and our graduates will be sought out and competed for. Companies that have participated in the CIM Patrons Programs will have a leg up.