STEM: Opportunities abound at Gray
In an ever-evolving world, one particular group of skills continue to gain value in seemingly all areas of life, regardless of niche or industry. STEM–science, technology, engineering, and mathematics–has risen in popularity in recent years, and with good reason. As the world we know grows more digitally driven and technologically centric, these skills are at the forefront in terms of need.
To help shine the spotlight on this area of growing importance, class curriculum and even student growth tracks have been made available for those willing to make STEM part of their future. Now, there is even a day, this year on November 8, to celebrate the importance of STEM and those students who choose to pursue a career in these fields.
At Gray, these are skills we put to use every day both in the office and on jobsites. Our industry is one that is a large utilizer of STEM students and to see an added focus in this area only increases more opportunities for the future success and opportunities for both individuals and the company.
We spoke with some of team members at Gray who have their hands in STEM-focused areas of the business about the importance of these skills, why they fit in so well at a place like Gray, and how to continue the growth of STEM.
In your opinion, what’s the importance of STEM education programs for students today?
Alex Pool, Automation Manager – Gray Solutions, A Gray Company – I think STEM is important in any career students choose going forward. The use of technology in every aspect of our life is only going to continue to increase. Being comfortable with these ideas and how to implement technology will improve their options in the future.
Dowell Hoskins, President, Gray Architects and Engineers, P.S.C. – The primary importance of STEM is learning to problem solve, and that is a valuable skill whether you are pursuing a career in one of these specific fields or not.
As industry professionals, how can we help students advance in STEM fields?
Brian Bernard, President – Spec Engineering, A Gray Company – Spec is very supportive and proactive in promoting STEM. We have two yearly initiatives in support of STEM: The first is “Shadow Day” where we collaborate with local high schools and junior colleges to present at the schools. The second effort provides students with the opportunity to work a day with our engineers.
We also host the “Jr. Engineers Camp” every summer in August where we have a five-day event with up to 20-25 young students between ages of 9-13 to create interest and awareness of engineering and science careers.
Perry Henderson, Vice President, Marketing & Business Development – Anderson Dahlen Inc., A Gray Company – One initiative we traditionally support every year is “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day.” For this event, an 8th grade female student is given the opportunity to spend the day alongside world-class scientists and engineers. During the day, the participants get to hear several presentations, tour a state-of-the-art engineering facility, connect with mentors, take part in hands-on engineering experiments, and compete in a team challenge.
In your opinion, why should young people pursue careers in STEM?
Hoskins – Solving some of the most complex and challenging problems in the technology or engineering fields is rewarding, and there will never be a lack of opportunity.
Bernard – The efforts and innovations in STEM have the opportunity to change the world for the better.
What opportunities are available within the Gray family of brands for young professionals in STEM fields?
Pool – At Gray Solutions, we rely heavily on computer science, electrical, chemical, and mechanical engineers to develop our projects, so people with these skills are always needed.
Hoskins – There are lots of opportunities for mechanical, electrical, civil, and computer engineering students, plus the skills learned in STEM fields in school translate well to project management and field management. With STEM skills, the opportunities really are endless!
If you would like more information into life at Gray and opportunities to join the team, please visit gray.com/careers.