Lisa Stephen, New Jersey Institute of Technology
“Industry awareness and favorability of CIM continues to grow. This will generate more funding, develop more programs, and thus elevate CIM credentials.”
What is your involvement in the CIM program? Why did you get involved with the program?
I became familiar with the CIM program through my involvement in the PA Aggregate and Concrete Association, New York Construction Materials Association, and the NRMCA. As a patron of CIM for the past three years, we recognized the need of material producers to have a resource for young talent and new technology. Wayne Concrete most recently employed a CIM intern, Beely Bounedara, from the program at MTSU and it has been one of the most positive and refreshing experiences the company has had in some time. Every employee, customer, DOT inspector and vendor that had contact with Beely has had nothing but good things to say. Beely has not only helped us out tremendously during his internship, but he has been an ambassador for the CIM program by visiting other producers in the Western New York area.
Why have you and your company made the commitment to the CIM program? What benefits do you think it will bring to your company?
Wayne Concrete has continued to commit to the CIM program even in the lean times as we understand that this is when support is needed the most. It is important to capitalize on recruiting and retaining the best and brightest students for the industry to position for future growth. Especially, smaller companies like Wayne can hire, mentor, and network through CIM at the same level as larger producers.
What are your thoughts about the industry/academic partnership between CIM and it’s industry partners and patrons?
Industry awareness and favorability of CIM continues to grow. This will generate more funding, develop more programs, and thus elevate CIM credentials. It’s an opportunity for veterans of the concrete business to give back and enrich the future leaders of the industry both monetarily and intellectually.
Why should other companies in the concrete industry get involved in the CIM program?
Because it is a win-win situation. The more producers collectively get involved with education, training, and management, the more efficient, profitable, and professional we all become. Again, with current technology and communication, there is no reason that even the smallest companies can’t reach these higher levels of performance with a resource like CIM.
How can they get involved?
Participation is the key. Start with your local patron group and interact with other patrons, the faculty, and the students. Donate time, money, and people. Once you see the benefits first hand, the easy part will be “spreading the word.” It’s a rejuvenating experience in an industry that hasn’t seen a lot of brightness of late.