UPDATE: New Kids' Book Touts What 'Amazing Builders' Do
This story was updated on Nov. 19 to include new details on distribution of Those Amazing Builders and involvement of AEC firms in sponsoring book orders for schools.
Pushing to fill gaps in the construction workforce, particularly in the building trades, practitioners have teamed with a specialty publisher to showcase to middle- and high-school students what's "amazing" about industry building careers.
Promoters hope to distribute up to 100,000 copies of "Those Amazing Builders," to students through teachers and guidance counselors as a career-prep and classroom tool.
The highly visual guide provides a broad industry panorama in chewable bites for the Twitter generation, focusing particularly on the various building team roles, from architects and boilermakers and bricklayers to cost estimators and insurers.
Since the book's launch this summer by Trilogy Publications, nearly 100 schools across the country have applied on line, requesting more than 10,000 books, a company spokeswoman said on Nov. 19.
Through its Adopt-A-School program, the publisher is matching school requests with AEC firms and groups who can underwrite costs.
Sponsors of Those Amazing Builders—contractors Skanska AB and RailWorks, equipment firm Ingersoll Rand, insurer Willis Group, design firm HOK and industry groups General Contractors Association of New York and the New York Building Congress—have already distributed books through high school road shows, Boys and Girls Clubs, and YMCAs across the U.S, she added.
Other industry firms also are stepping up support. AECOM is donating 1,200 books for schools nationwide. HOK has donated nearly 500 to schools in California, Delaware, Indiana, Nevada, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Sciame Construction led in sponsoring books for schools in New York City, while design firm HAKS has underwritten near 100 in five schools. STV will take on its own distribution of 250 copies nationwide, says Trilogy.
Those Amazing Builders covers the variety of building and infrastructure projects, how firms work abroad, and how they incorporate new tools, technologies, sustainability trends and entrepreneurism.
Included are "cool" structures of the past and future, and advice for academic planning to help students "get there from here."
The builders' primer is the third in a series by Englewood Cliffs, N.J.-based Trilogy. Previous editions focused on engineers and scientists.
Skanska CEO Michael McNally hopes the outreach will aid the industry's growth through diversity. "For those of us who work in cities, we have to look like those cities," he says.
School districts, guidance counselors and teachers can order free copies of the book from Trilogy's website, www.trilogypublications.com.