GALVESTON, Texas (Dec. 2, 2016) – Achieving diversity in the workplace is one goal most employers work toward but often find challenging to accomplish. In an effort to create a workplace that is reflective of the communities in which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District serves, staff works to partner with local institutions that offer engineering programs in hopes its students will consider a career with the Corps following graduation.
The 2016 Advancing Minorities' Interest in Engineering Program hosted a conference at the Tuskegee University in Alabama in September 2016, aimed to help businesses diversify America's work force in preparation for the challenges of the 21st Century and beyond.
“The AMIE Conference allows the corporate and governmental agencies that support the 15 accredited HBCU engineering schools the opportunity to attack the complex problem of diversifying the workforce for the 21st Century by sharing best practices and initiatives that can directly impact this real dilemma that America¹s workforce is facing,” Dr. Kendall T. Harris, dean of the College of Engineering at Prairie View A& M.
According to Dr. Rose Caballero, Equal Employment Opportunity officer and coordinator of the AMIE Program for the USACE Galveston District, this partnership helps prepare students for leadership positions in the engineering field after graduation.
“AMIE will assist the USACE Galveston District in recruiting a workforce comprised of a diverse pool of high-performing individuals with valuable talents and strengths that are critical to providing excellent services to all Corps customers,” said Caballero.
Caballero works diligently within the USACE Galveston District on collaborative efforts that build upon human relations, in an effort to promote and recruit African Americans into government. She was instrumental in coordinating Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU), a Historically Black College/University (HBCU) and the district signing the Memorandum of Understanding to solidify their commitment to open doors for African Americans in architecture, engineering, construction and various other fields in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Prior to the existence of this agreement, there were few African Americans being represented in these career fields in the Houston-Galveston area.
Caballero explained that partnership agreements, such as the one with PVAMU, outline opportunities to assist in preparing engineering students for responsible positions in an engineering environment to include environmental engineering and civil programs as well as to enlighten engineering students about the Corps, its missions, unique capabilities and opportunities through student career experience programs, internships and career development programs.
PVAMU is one of 105 HBCUs that represent only three percent of the nation’s institutions of higher learning and graduate nearly 20 percent of African American students with baccalaureate degrees, according to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
“Partnerships such as this one has enabled the USACE Galveston District to recruit, mentor, develop, advance and retain a diverse workforce,” said Caballero. “We continue to work diligently to eliminate barriers that hinder equal opportunities and remain dedicated to promoting equal employment opportunities.”
To ensure the students success, she created a mentorship program that extends beyond the boundaries of the workplace and provide the means for students to attend and complete their summer internships. Caballero’s continued dedication and personal oversight has propelled the district’s partnering agreements and become driving force in its ability to continue to attract and retain a diverse pool of engineering talent.
For more information regarding career fairs, AMIE conference or assistance with coordinating campus visits, contact 409-766-3920. To learn more about the USACE Galveston District’s partnership agreement with PVAMU visit http://www.swg.usace.army.mil/About/Partners/PrairieViewAMUniversity.aspx. Find us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/GalvestonDistrict or follow us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/USACEgalveston.