Summer Internships Add Valued Career Experience

ACE Mentor Program Students Spend Summer Interning
Internships Add Valued Experience

Summer means R&R for many young people, but not for several students involved with the ACE Mentor Program of Cleveland. These young people are working hard this summer learning more about the building and construction industry. These opportunities fall under the ACE Mentor Program of Cleveland’s Career Pathways committee’s responsibilities.

Take Imani Young. Imani, who joined the ACE program in her junior year at John Hay’s Cleveland School of Architecture and Design, graduated in 2014, and is now interning with Regency Construction Services, Inc. getting front-line experience in the industry after graduating in May of 2018 from Andrews University in Michigan.  She received a $19,000 ACE Mentor Program of Cleveland scholarship via the Cleveland Foundation - Ward Scholarship.

Imani Young at work at Regency Construction Services, Inc.

ACE Mentor Program of Cleveland Board Chair Tari Rivera is President of Regency Construction Services and a tremendous advocate for providing opportunities.  “Imani’s internship is allowing her to work on a multitude of tasks typically performed by an entry-level project engineer,” Tari Rivera noted. “She is currently working on an estimate for a renovation of a chemistry lab, chemistry prep lab and a collaborative area for Holy Name High School.  This assignment included visiting the school to meet the architect and school principal to observe and take pictures of the spaces, performing take-off quantities on on-screen estimating software and inputting data into the estimate spreadsheet. Imani also assisted with the presentation of the estimate to the client.  She is also assisting project managers with the subcontractor pay application process working with certified payrolls and lien waivers.”

Bakari Ballard works with fellow ACE students on a design challenge. Ballard is one of two summer interns at Stark Enterprises.
Stark Enterprises, headquartered in Cleveland Ohio, is also hosting interns for the summer – Bakari Ballard, a 2018 John Hay graduate who will be attending Kent State University in the fall (majoring in Construction Management), and Takumi Jordan Davis, a 2016 John Hay graduate now majoring in architecture at Carnegie Mellon University, who also interned with the Construction Employers Association earlier this year. Both Bakari and Takumi are working with key executives in every aspect of business operations at the full service real estate development company – including acquisitions, development, design, leasing, construction and property management.  Stark, which is currently building the new hi-rise Beacon in downtown Cleveland, a new student housing complex in Arlington, Texas, a mixed-used property in Los Angeles,  and an historic building in downtown Pittsburgh, is providing these young men with valuable work experiences and opportunities. Stark has hosted two ACE interns each of the past three years.  
ACE student Takumi Jordan Davis is one of two ACE scholars interning this summer with Stark Enterprises.

Taking Initiative Pays Off

Mohammed “Moe” Khaled, the inaugural recipient of the Tom Laird Excellence in ACE Award, reached out to Emeritus ACE board member Tom Laird in the spring and became one of Gilbane Building Company’s summer interns. As the newest member of The Lumen at Playhouse Square project, Moe has learned the importance of attention to detail and having good communication skills. He has been on site for almost a month, and has demonstrated his ability to take on daily reports and accurately documents daily site progress. “My favorite part about construction is the interaction with different people and learning from others,” said Moe. “I also like seeing things go from nothing, to something.” Moe has been a valuable addition to the project team and is eager to learn.

Bakari Ballard, Glen Shumate, and Mohammed Khaled at the ACE 10th Anniversary Gala.

These opportunities fall under the ACE Mentor Program of Cleveland’s Career Pathways board committee’s responsibilities.  “The overarching goal of the Career Pathways Program is to engage and retain students through the full cycle of their high school, college or trade school and professional careers’” said Glen Shumate, executive director of ACE Mentor Program of Cleveland. “This starts in high school with shadow experiences – students are paired with professional mentors who provide students with a tether to their ACE relationship and help align them with co-op and internship opportunities as they move through their secondary education experience. Then, when students graduate from college, the ACE network can help align them with full-time work opportunities, keeping them in the industry and in the region.”
Several other ACE alumni are interning and working for AKA Construction Team, CEA, Independence Construction, Ozanne Construction, Then Design, Turner Construction and with other employers.  

This is the type of internship experience available to ACE Mentor Program students. To learn more about Career Pathways Program, contact Glen Shumate, Executive Director, at [email protected]

To contribute to ACE Mentor Program, visit this page.

This story was written by Kim St. John-Stevenson of Ink+ LLC.