Jamie Gentoso, New Jersey Institute of Technology
Title: Chair of the Patrons Committee for New Jersey Institute of Technology
Employer: New Jersey Institute of Technology
“The CIM program is a benefit to all companies in the concrete industry and it’s up to each one to take advantage. The program graduates students with actual experience and knowledge in the industry.”
What is your involvement in the CIM program? Why did you get involved with the program?
Currently, I serve as the chair of the Patrons committee for NJIT. In addition, I am an adjunct professor at NJIT and am fortunate to teach the CIM 101 class where students get their first introduction to the industry. I got involved with the program because I personally am very passionate about the concrete industry. Upon graduation, I was employed by a cement manufacturer and have built my career in the industry. I feel that it is very important to give back to the industry that has given so much to me. In addition, even as a civil engineer, I learned very little about concrete in college as we were always taught to design in steel. It’s imperative for the growth and success of our industry that we get involved in academia and shape young minds to think concrete.
Why have you and your company made the commitment to the CIM program? What benefits do you think it will bring to your company?
My company, Sika, is a huge supporter of the program. Locally, we were involved with NJIT from the conception of the program and have continued to be big supporters. The concrete industry is not sexy, so it can be difficult to attract degreed professionals who just envision driving concrete trucks. This program serves to educate not only the students, but the community at large that concrete is an important, impressive and complex building component that demands an educated work force. The program is a great benefit to our company, as it provides help (interns) during the busy construction season and CIM graduates who can “hit the ground running” upon hire.
What are your thoughts about the industry/academic partnership between CIM and its industry partners and patrons?
This program, like no other, offers students access and insight into the concrete industry. Before graduation, the students get the opportunity to attend industry functions, conventions and events giving them the ability to mingle with the concrete professionals who may offer them a job in the future. The patrons work to ensure that all the students receive valuable internships, education, and scholarships in hopes of improving and growing the industry with young, well-prepared professionals.
Why should other companies in the concrete industry get involved in the CIM program?
The CIM program is a benefit to all companies in the concrete industry and it’s up to each one to take advantage. The program graduates students with actual experience and knowledge in the industry. There is little to no learning curve for these new hires. In addition, by getting and staying involved, we (the patrons) have the ability to help shape the program such that the students graduate with the most practical and up-to-date industry knowledge.