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Workforce Development

ACEC/MN's Workforce Development Committee (WDC) aims to positively impact the number of students pursuing engineering degrees and engage, retain, and cultivate an increasingly diverse membership within the organization. For more information on how to get involved in the Workforce Development Committee, contact John Krapek at or the co-chairs of the committee, Jon Wacker at, or Ricky Kirchner at

The following are resources and article summaries prepared by WDC:

One of the focuses of the Workforce Development Committee has been retention of women in engineering professions. The committee recognizes that retention of women in many professions has been a historically challenging issue, but the engineering industry specifically is faced with the largest percentage of women leaving their profession relative to other industries. A collaborative study by professors of multiple universities was performed to investigate the culture of the engineering profession, and how it affects a woman’s decision on leaving the profession. The study highlights four events that occur in the engineering lifestyle: college major in engineering, membership in a cohort, collaboration in engineering teams, and internships. The study compares the experience and perception of these events for both men and women. This breakdown of events helps to pinpoint the time and reason why women chose to leave the engineering industry. Link to full Work and Occupations Study.

Article summary prepared by: Ricky Kirchner, Structural Design Engineer, BKBM Engineers

As ACEC/MN’s Workforce Development Committee continues to examine the results of its 2015 survey of ACEC/MN members, some interesting trends are being revealed. One question we asked all respondents was, “At what point in your career did you decide you wanted to become an engineer?” Possible responses were: grade school, middle school, high school, and college. In the chart on the right, the percentage of each response is shown for eight separate age groups, ranging from under 24 years old to 65 and older. As you can see, the percentage of respondents who made their decision in high school is significantly higher for younger engineers. This has two implications: high school students have been getting meaningful exposure to engineering recently, and current high school outreach efforts, such as STEM programs, are more likely to succeed than ever before.

Article summary prepared by: Greg McCool, Structural Engineer, Ericksen Roed & Associates

Minnesota Engineering Resources

In-Person Resources in Minnesota, including hyperlinks to websites, age ranges, and descriptions, for elementary, middle, and high school ages.

Online Resources and programs, including hyperlinks to websites, age ranges, and descriptions, offered online for elementary, middle, and high school ages.