Monthly Archives: November 2011

Lewis shows STEM students the ropes

STEM club members recently visited Lease Crutcher Lewis’ Sixth and Lenora construction site.

Lease Crutcher Lewis is teaming with biology teacher Lee Ann Love on a pilot program for the student STEM club at Tacoma’s Lincoln High School. The program consists of six weekly modules that revolve around construction and engineering elements of Lewis’ renovation of Lincoln High that was finished in 2007.
Lewis engineers are working with the STEM students on real-world problems where math and engineering are used. The program helps students understand the complexity of systems and the interrelationship of all engineering disciplines. It focuses on structural, mechanical and electrical systems and how Building Information Modeling can help resolve conflicts before construction starts.
Company president Gary Smith is leading Lewis’ pilot program.
CEO Bill Lewis stepped up to personally pledge $125,000 to the Washington STEM program, where he serves on the board of directors. Washington STEM is a nonprofit promoting science, technology, engineering and math education.
Another $125,000 was pledged by the company and employees to various charities in honor of the company’s 125th anniversary.
Way to go Lewis team!

Sunshine on your kids’ economic horizons?

Kathleen recently wrote about how the economy is looking up, at least in the near term.

That may be good news for workers with a few years of experience under their belts, but how does that bode for today’s high-school kids, who face high unemployment, more competition to get into college and skyrocketing tuition if they get there?

The solution may be found in career fields such as construction, utilities, manufacturing and transportation, where some are forecasting a shortage of skilled workers in the coming years. The problem is vocational education has been stripped from most public schools, so kids may not be aware of all of their options.

Fortunately, local industry has stepped up to fill some of that gap with Pierce County Career Day, which will be held Wednesday at the Western Washington Fair Grounds in Puyallup. Now in its fourth year, the program has interactive exhibits that show students which technical skills are needed for trades such as construction. Kids also learn about internships, apprenticeships and training resources.

Dozens of local companies, unions, training programs and municipalities have stepped up to support the event. Some familiar names include the Washington Laborers-Employers Cooperation & Education Team, Tacoma Power, Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Clover Park Technical College, IBEW Local 76, AGC of Washington, Workforce Central, Pierce County, and the Washington State Building & Construction Trades.

More than 1,500 students are expected at this week’s event. For more information, check out Pierce County Construction Partnership’s website: