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January is National Mentoring Month, so AIA Alliances is spotlighting its relationship with A/C/E Mentor ( ACE is a unique partnership among industry professionals — architects, construction managers, and engineers, among others -- who work together to attract young people to the building profession. ACE Mentor’s mission is to engage, excite and enlighten high school students to pursue careers in the integrated construction industry through mentoring; and to support their continued advancement in the industry through scholarships and grants.

Industry professionals volunteer to become mentors to high school students in order to introduce the teens to the professions and encourage them to pursue studies and careers in these fields. In return, the industry gets a much-needed boost of new talent.

Many AIA Components have a committee that works with ACE Mentor. Contact your local component to learn how you can get involved!

Ten Reasons Why YOU Should Become a Mentor:

    1. Help rebuild a valuable resource: Today’s young people are the ones who we must entrust with the future of architecture. It’s up to inform them about architecture as a career option to keep the profession vibrant.

    2. You may find a new job -- you’ll be the first to know if there is an opening at a nearby ACE Mentor sponsor firm: mentoring is a great opportunity to network with leading company executives, who are always looking for talent.

    3. You might learn something new by engaging with active and energetic minds: young people have the unique ability to develop ideas with few boundaries.

    4. You can teach someone something you are good at: AEC professionals are some of the most talented and creative individuals in the world. Teaching helps refine and validate your expertise.

    5. It feels good to make a difference in someone’s life: Mentors consistently say that seeing the eyes of a teenager brighten with comprehension and excitement over an idea or skill the mentor has shared is one of the greatest feelings of satisfaction and pride.

    6. President Obama called on Americans to volunteer time to improve their communities: For a couple hours a month, you can help young people in your community find rewarding career opportunities.

    7. You can meet new business partners, since ACE mentors range from partners and senior executives to project managers. Mentors span the corporate ladder from top to bottom, so you are likely to make new connections.

    8. You can improve your communication skills and better understand your individual strengths and weaknesses: Not only is ACE a perfect workforce development program for teenagers, it’s also an ideal leadership development program for mentors.

    9. You can lock in the best talent before your competitors even know the talent is there: Mentoring in the ACE program gives professionals a unique opportunity to identify talent at a very early stage.

    10. You may win brownie points from the boss who is a big ACE Mentor supporter: ACE’s national board of directors and leadership council is run by the CEOs and presidents of the industry’s leading firms.


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