As part of our mission to provide outreach to future generations within our industry, KCI participated in the 2021 Maryland Chamber Foundation’s Teacher Externship Program. This enriching program pairs local high school teachers with innovative businesses to immerse them within the company. During this time, externs learned new technologies, gained hands-on experience and spoke with a variety of professionals. Upon completion of the program, externs were encouraged to return to their classrooms and share this knowledge and insight with their students to prepare them for STEM-related career paths. This past summer, KCI had the privilege of hosting James Davis, a construction design management teacher from Carver Vocational-Technical High School in Baltimore City.
Throughout his four weeks with KCI, James had the chance to shadow every market and several departments in the firm to learn about day-to-day workloads, various engineering techniques and innovations, as well as industry challenges and opportunities. During his first week, James met with administrative staff and executives to gain a high-level overview of the firm’s operations and organizational structure. Following these discussions, he was introduced to Senior Vice President and Market Leader Gary Mryncza, PE, PH, LEED AP, who explained the many facets of KCI’s water market. With this knowledge, James headed into the field to see firsthand how our scientists monitor changes related to restoration efforts in freshwater streams and rivers using a method called electrofishing.
James’s second week at KCI was spent learning about KCI’s transportation market and construction management discipline. After meeting with Executive Vice President and Market Leader Scott Lang, PE, CCM, he had the opportunity to go on a site visit to the Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge, where KCI is performing comprehensive construction management and inspection services for the bridge replacement project. James was also introduced to another facet of this group through a demonstration and hands-on experience flying one of the firm’s drones.
The last two weeks of James’s externship were spent learning about our site/facilities and utilities markets from Senior Vice Presidents and Market Leaders Chuck Phillips, RPLS, and Scott Riddle. He then visited KCI’s new warehouse facility to gain knowledge on the breadth of services that our communications infrastructure group provides. James also played a large role in a career day event the firm hosted for I AM MENtality, a Baltimore nonprofit organization. Throughout the day, he interacted with the students and led them through activities that taught both engineering and leadership concepts.
This externship provided a great opportunity to open the doors for communication and bridge the gap between classroom education and real-world applications. Each of these discussions and experiences was designed to provide an enriching experience that James can share with his students and help them discover opportunities they didn’t previously know existed.