Los Angeles, CA— The Los Angeles affiliate of the Architecture, Construction and Engineering (ACE) Mentor Program held its sixth annual scholarships and awards breakfast recently at the South Lobby of the Los Angeles Convention Center. The breakfast, which attracted 700 attendees, awarded scholarships and celebrated the achievements of local high school students who have participated in the organization's mentoring activities.
The ACE Mentor Program was created to address the growing need for skilled professionals in the architecture, construction and engineering industries — a shortage that could become a crisis if current trends continue. The Los Angeles ACE initiative is part of a nationwide program of outreach and mentoring for students in 106 markets across the country where ACE has a presence. The mentors are professionals from leading design and construction firms who volunteer their time and energy to engage, inform and challenge youth.
"The construction industry is the second-largest employer in the U.S. With 50 percent of all buildings that will exist by the year 2030 not even built yet, it is a growing industry. However, current statistics project that the need for qualified, skilled individuals working in the field will far exceed the supply, with over 1 million job openings by 2012," said Dr. Charles H. Thornton, Founder and Chairman of ACE. "This is a crisis that we cannot afford — the growth of our country depends on finding solutions. These national and local initiatives will help to begin the careers of a new generation of talented professionals and mark an historic opportunity for us to make a difference and continue the growth of an industry that is so important."
Since its founding in early 2002, the Los Angeles chapter has grown to encompass 350 students and 90 mentors annually. Over the past five years, the organization has offered 184 scholarships of at least $1,000 per year to students active in the program who demonstrate progress in post-high school studies in ACE disciplines. For additional information please visit www.acementor.org.