Education Training and Recruitment

AGC MA Expands Program for Students in Mattapan

Kacey-Ann Satchell, Consigli Construction, reads “Celeste Saves the City” to fifth graders at Mattahunt Elementary, Mattapan. / Photos courtesy of Focus Forward Media

Boston – The Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts (AGC MA) announces the expansion of a program it has developed to highlight work opportunities in the construction sector for traditionally underrepresented communities.

Erik Gronneberg, Columbia, shows teachers and students at Mattahunt Elementary School in Mattapan how drones are used in the construction process.

Last year, AGC MA “adopted” the fifth grade classes at Mattahunt Elementary School in Mattapan to increase awareness of professional STEM careers in the construction industry for students. Professionals from AGC MA member firms provided inspiration and information regarding careers in the industry, led engaging activities, and participated in the reading of Celeste Saves the City by Courtney Kelly who was a child in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit the city. The book tells the story of a young African-American girl who, like Kelly, was horrified by the devastation that ensued, and became a civil engineer in order to ensure that her city would be protected in the future. In a surprise for students, Kelly joined the group to lead a teamwork exercise.

Cynthia Rodriguez, Turner Construction, with fifth grade students at Mattahunt Elementary, Mattapan

Next, in April, AGC MA’s Committee for Diversity and Inclusion will return to Mattahunt Elementary and “adopt” the school’s sixth graders as well. These students will participate in STEM-based commercial construction activities designed specifically for them.

In addition, an administrator at a second school has contacted AGC MA and requested that a similar partnership be established at their school. This new program is now in the works and is expected to begin in October, during Construction Inclusion Week.

“We are so pleased to expand our involvement with the students at Mattahunt Elementary and look forward to working with them for years to come,” said Marion Jones, director of workforce development and industry inclusion at AGC MA. “As we continue to introduce similar programming at other schools, the wide-ranging value of these partnerships – for schools, for individual students, and for our industry as a whole – becomes clearer. We’re grateful to all of the local construction firms that are working with us for their investment in this important initiative.”

AGC MA staff and AGC MA member firm volunteers celebrate with Mattahunt Elementary School educators, administrators, and students.