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The University of Nebraska Student Chapter has been awarded the 2019 MCAA Student Chapter of the Year.
The Student Chapter of the Year Award recognizes an MCAA student chapter for outstanding achievement as an organization of students who are planning careers in the mechanical construction industry. The award honors exceptional achievement in governance and leadership, membership recruiting, fundraising, community involvement, and career development.
The University of Nebraska Student Chapter is sponsored by the MCA of Omaha. Vishnu Reddi, assistant professor of practice with the Durham School, College of Engineering, is the chapter’s faculty advisor.
The Student Chapter was one of MCAA’s first. Chartered in 1998, it has since remained one of the most active in the MCAA student chapter network.
The chapter takes a unique approach to fundraising, community service and networking opportunities with local MCA members.
In 2019, the chapter hosted four events to raise funds and provide opportunities for students to network with the MCA of Omaha’s 30 mechanical contractor members. The events included a beer tasting, a wine tasting and two golf tournaments. The most profitable of these was a beer tasting that raised a record-breaking amount.
In 2019, the student chapter participated in three community services events.
One of the highlights was the annual Heat’s On event, during which HVAC service technicians and students provide free inspections of senior citizens’ furnaces to ensure that they were working safely for the winter months. Students worked with their service member partners to run through a checklist that included inspecting the filter, flames, flame sensor, flue gas, changing fire alarm batteries, and more.
MCAA Member Networking
Each student is offered the opportunity to be mentored by a professional from an MCA of Omaha member company, an internship with a member company, and the chance to serve on a committee with several contractors. By the time a student graduates, the goal is for them to have personal relationships at almost every MCA of Omaha member company that they can carry into their future careers.
In April 2019, Student Chapter members visited MCA of Omaha members to hand out mugs with candy in them for Administrative Professionals Day. This introduced students to all of the member companies.
In the fall, students took a behind-the-scenes tour of the mechanical and plumbing systems at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. The students also travelled to a virtual design and construction conference hosted by Victaulic.
During the year, the MCA of Omaha matches every student with a mechanical contractor mentor from a local MCA of Omaha company. This match between student and mentor is based on the student’s specific interests. Mentors engage with the students a minimum of four times throughout the year. Mentors show students what they do on a daily basis at jobsites and give a tour of their offices, walking students through the daily routine to help them get a feel for everyday life in the industry. Through this experience, students gain first-hand knowledge of the industry to help them make more educated career decisions.
Students had the opportunity to attend Internship Day in the fall, where they had a chance to interview with multiple MCAA companies that were looking for interns. Six of the nine students were offered and accepted internships with an MCAA member company.
Chapter member Caleb Kowalski’s internship experiences with MCAA members can be read about on the MCAA website.
MCAA and the John R. Gentille Foundation congratulate the University of Nebraska students on their active involvement with MCAA and their commitment to the mechanical contracting industry.