Message From the President: CSC and Emerging Professionals—what’s the problem?

Prez_LRKeith Robinson, FCSC, RSW, CCS, LEED AP
Over the past several years, a common concern voiced at CSC conferences is how the association promotes membership to recent graduates and new members of the construction community. A measurable objective about this has been included in our new “2015 and Beyond Strategic Plan,” which will be introduced at the Annual General Meeting in Winnipeg, and posted on the website for those members unable to attend Conference 2015.

So what’s the problem? We should be able to inspire our community into setting objectives for their companies and working groups. I am puzzled by the occasional implication CSC is an ‘aging’ association that needs to renew its relevancy by working more to meet the needs of a younger and more tech-savvy generation.

I am not implying recent graduates are not relevant to CSC—the need for self-renewal means they are essential to the sustainability of our association. Rather, my query is why this is an issue CSC specifically needs to solve, instead of targeting a wider demographic since the benefits of membership are apparent to those who belong. After all, the issue of attracting recent graduates seems fairly easy to solve at the company or firm level—hire them, encourage them to join CSC as part of their ongoing education, and offer mentorship that benefits growth in their chosen career.

Perhaps the bigger issue is employers are not hiring younger people and putting them into positions where they can grow as specifiers, technical representatives, and contract administrators. Employers are not promoting the educational paths our younger membership needs to fulfil their education and show growth toward their ambitions. The benefit to employers should be clear—in return for hiring recent graduates and rewarding them with education and sponsored membership, they get returns with the connectivity to the wider construction community.

This is my last President’s Message—the final in a series focused on inspiring a need to improve, and setting challenges that can be achieved with effort. This year’s strategic plan establishes goals for encouraging recent graduates to become members, sets out a plan to mentor professionals during their internship, and to promote CSC education and networking experiences as a part of the mentorship plan.

Expansion and relevancy begins with our membership; success depends on you. Be a part of the CSC solution.
I am CSC and I hire young people who are CSC—the best investment I have ever made.

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