With the demand for civil engineers and affiliated jobs only growing, ASCE members need a one-stop shop for workforce development resources. But first, ASCE needs to assess the challenges facing the industry, then determine how it can help address them.
Over the next several months, a new subcommittee of the Board Strategic Advisory Council will convene focus groups of hiring managers and conduct surveys to measure the impact of the labor crunch on both employers and individuals. Current and future trends in university enrollment in civil, structural, environmental, construction management, technologists, and other affiliated programs will also be assessed.
Results and recommended changes in programs, products, and services, will be presented this fall to the ASCE Board of Direction, with a goal of growing and developing a diverse and skilled civil engineering workforce.
The effectiveness and strategic alignment of ASCE’s organizational structure and budgeting process also will be assessed by a joint BSAC-Program and Finance Committee task committee, which will propose changes to the board.
Also at its spring meeting, the ASCE Board of Direction endorsed new criteria for nominees sought to fill the position of at-large director for its next three-year term, starting this fall. The selection of nominees will consider representation from underrepresented groups with knowledge or experience in key areas to advance ASCE’s strategic initiatives.
With the board’s approval, the Member Communities Committee has initiated a plan to enhance organizational efficiency and communications, reduce organizational hierarchy with a new structure that sunsets MCC, and advance the strategic plan’s mission to engage and support members more effectively. MCC represented subcommittees that oversaw ASCE’s activities at a more local, grassroots level, and will report directly to the Executive Committee with a flattened hierarchy that enhances collaboration and communication with Society leadership. The plan also strives to foster more effective communication and connections among the committees representing geographic units (sections and branches), student activities, and younger members. A short-term task committee will oversee implementing the new structure.
The board was briefed on an exciting new way ASCE will inform and educate engineers, tapping into the breadth and depth of content presented at ASCE conferences. Now available at asce.org/publications-and-news/conference-videos, the ASCE Conference Video Collection has launched with more than 1,200 presentations from 13 recent conferences with more being added. The intuitive experience provides easy access to cutting-edge multidisciplinary technical content. Session videos and posters specific to ASCE proceedings papers are accessible, plus links to supporting proceedings papers in the ASCE Library.
Board directors were also updated on ASCE’s responses to the catastrophic earthquake in Turkey and Syria. These include a message of sympathy to members of the ASCE Turkey Group, a collection of relevant ASCE journal papers being made available for free, a reaction from ASCE member Menzer Pehlivan, who was born and educated in Turkey and deployed to Turkey with the GEER assessment team, and a web page of worthy relief organizations to donate to.
The Structural Engineering Institute is working with a reconnaissance team formed by the American Concrete Institute that will assess collapsed buildings with an eye toward what can be learned to help revise standards, including ASCE 7 and ASCE 41, and eventually, building codes. Funding for SEI’s portion is coming from the ASCE Foundation Disaster Response Fund.
The Coasts, Oceans, Ports & Rivers Institute is considering a team to investigate damage to a port near the epicenter, while the Geo-Institute is collaborating with other geotechnical and seismic groups already in the area.
The Board also heard a variety of reports, providing input and strategic guidance, including from the Environmental and Water Resources Institute, the Committee on Sustainability, the Government Engineers Council, and the Innovation Contest.