The future of apprenticeships, education in construction

FIU in D.C. weekly update: The College of Engineering and Computing hosted the panel discussion “Education + Industry: Partnering for the Future of Construction”; President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order calling for more apprenticeships in technical fields; Fiscal year 2018 appropriations season is under way.


Education + Industry: Partnering for the Future of Construction 

On June 21, the College of Engineering and Computing hosted the “Education + Industry: Partnering for the Future of Construction” panel discussion in Washington, D.C., to celebrate a historic gift made by alumnus Chad Moss ’94 to create the FIU Moss School of Construction, Infrastructure and Sustainability.

“FIU is producing graduates in construction management who are curious, passionate and well-equipped to provide innovative solutions to the industry challenges of the future,” Moss said during the panel discussion.

In addition to Moss, Mike Bellaman, president of Associated Builders & Contractors; Ryan Colker from the National Institute of Building Sciences; and Assistant Professor Lu Zhang from the FIU Moss School of Construction, Infrastructure and Sustainability, participated in the discussion. The panelists explored ways in which higher education and industry may collaborate to advance both building science technology and the education of future construction professionals.

The panel also assessed how emerging technologies are altering the ways in which construction professionals approach complex problems. Some of the technologies discussed were building information modeling, 3-D printing in construction and interactive work spaces that change in response to one’s immediate needs. The group agreed that it’s crucial to advance skills-based learning, a major thrust of the Moss School of Construction, Infrastructure and Sustainability.

Trump’s executive order opens door for university-based apprenticeships 

 In an attempt to address the need for skills-based learning in technical fields, the latest executive order signed by President Trump calls for a greater collaboration between America’s education system and workforce development programs.

The executive order emphasizes the need for a restructuring of our current education system as a means to prepare workers for the jobs of the future. Of particular interest to FIU, the Department of Labor is given the authority to incorporate four-year higher education institutions into the overall strategy. The ultimate purpose of the executive order is to allow professionals to develop the technical competencies they may need to succeed in their prospective positions.

Read more: Presidential Executive Order Expanding Apprenticeships in America 

On the heels of the order, both Secretary of Labor R. Alexander Acosta and President Rosenberg spoke to the APLU Council of Presidents meeting in Washington, D.C., . The meeting focused on expanding opportunities for these programs in four-year institutions.

“The point here is to foster private-private partnerships between industry and educational institutions … so that when [students leave the program] they have the skills necessary to enter the workforce,”  Acosta said.

Fiscal year 2018 appropriations season in full swing

Federal appropriations bills being debated this month could further the innovative research being conducted at FIU. The university will be advocating for the legislative priorities that directly affect the funding for certain agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense and the Department of Education.

Learn more about FIU’s federal priorities

Internship opportunities 

Applications for spring internships are opening soon. Students interested in an internship in Washington, D.C., should consider where their interests are primarily focused and how they may apply them in the District. FIU in D.C. offers FIU students a valuable platform for showcasing their abilities and connecting with professionals in their field of study, developing their professional abilities and expanding their network.

For more information on how to find internship opportunities in Washington, D.C., contact Career Services Manager Ethan Starkey at

Panthers spotted in D.C.

  • Simulation, Teaching and Research Center (STAR) Faculty
  • Graduate students from the Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work
  • Lisa McGill, President’s Council Member



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