Gavilan College announces 2+2 concrete industry management degreeby on Apr 1, 2018
Partnering with CSU Chico, Gavilan College has launched 2+2 CIM, a fast track degree pairing business administration and concrete industry management.
One of only four programs nationwide, CSU Chico is the only college in the western states offering the degree. Business students at Gavilan College complete the Business Associate Degree and general ed prerequisites at the community college level. Students are guaranteed their units will transfer. As juniors at Chico, they begin the two-year intensive curriculum. Students finish the degree with a major in concrete management and a minor in business administration.
Dr. Kathleen Rose, Superintendent/President of Gavilan College, kicked off two introductory sessions on campus with three questions:
• What are the businesses and industries based on concrete management work?
• How do we create partnerships?
• How do we create seamless ways to take business degrees and move students into industry-based partnerships?
Industry leaders asked "Where is the talent coming up behind us?"
Bill Albanese, retired CEO of Central Concrete, talked with colleagues at an industry conference in 2000. "Wake up everybody," he recalled saying at the time. "This is more than mixing sand and gravel and cement together."
Albanese and his brother took over Central Concrete from their father, who started it as a general contractor requiring more material than could be purchased at the time. Later they formed US Concrete, now listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.
"We were looking at retirement and the color of our hair," Albanese said of a conversation he had with a concrete colleague. Together they explored colleges and universities in the greater Bay Area and Sacramento. Their work established the program at CSU Chico 12 years ago.
Integral to student success is the financial aid the industry offers to students, who can receive up to $2K the first year. The industry pays students to attend a cross section from more than 50 industry conferences a year, and they offer paid summer internships.
Dr. Feraidon Ataie, Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator, Chico State Concrete
Industry Management Program, shared the program's history and career opportunities.
No calculus? No problem!
The 2+2 program is a technical program, but not math based. The highest math required is pre-calculus. At Gavilan, students have a pathway that fulfills the CSU requirements.
In addition to scholarships, conferences and internships, the industry offers opportunities for students to talk directly with companies. Some students receive job offers as a result of those meetings. The CIM program boasts 100% job placement for graduates, with some students receiving three to four offers.
Currently the program has more than 100 enrolled students, with room to expand to 175. CIM is hands-on, with lab activities, nationwide competitions and community projects. Students can focus on either business or concrete tech when they graduate.
Presenters for the CIM program (l-r) Bill Albanese, retired CEO Central Concrete;
Zach Booth, Graniterock; Jaymi Fridley, BASF; Gage Miller, Project Manager, Central
Concrete; Anne Banta, marketing & communications, Central Concrete; Amanda Muller,
CIM associate development director, Chico State University; Feraidon Ataie, Assistant
Professor, CIM Program Coordinator Chico State University.
• Concrete is the most used substance after water.
• Don't call it a cement truck! Concrete is made from water, gravel and cement.
• There are more than 14,000 different formulas for concrete.
• Concrete has a shelf life. A short shelf life.
• Levi's Stadium, LEED certified, used a special concrete formula to comply with environmental requirements.
• Opportunities in the industry exist for women and men.
• Job opportunities are available in finance, human resources, logistics, sales and marketing, operations, quality assurance and materials.
CIM graduates shared their paths
For Jaymi Fridley, now working in sales at BASF, approached her career with the philosophy, "If you're going to major in business, focus on something."
She took a shot at an internship in concrete repair, spent a summer in concrete estimating, then asked for more opportunities. She also attended three conferences a semester and received enough scholarships to pay for her college education.
Gage Miller started as an intern at Central Concrete immediately after graduating from the CIM program. His education and talent were recognized, and he was promoted from dispatcher to project manager in two months. "I'm in my early 20s, have a solid career and growth opportunities to look forward to," he said.
"These people you meet are going to be your suppliers, customers, employers, peers," Fridley said. The CIM program makes it easy to get involved.
For the founders of the program, it's just as personal.
"Concrete companies are responsible to the industry for their product," said Albanese. The previous path was to train people from within, an eight-year path. The CIM program cuts that time in half.
"We are now looking to train the next generation," said Zach Booth from Graniterock, noting it can be hard to find good, educated people interested in the building industries. "The CIM program allows the company to decrease in-house training and know the grads have a business head start."
Gavilan students interested in the CIM program can contact Jessica Weiler, Career Technical Education Counselor or call (408) 848-4848.
For more information, check out the CIM program at CSU, Chico.