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Engineering Opportunities for Area Youth

Metro Area Students to be Engineers for a Day during Engineers Week

OKLAHOMA CITY– Engineering professionals in Oklahoma City will celebrate Engineers Week with hopes to inspire a new generation. National Engineers Week, February 18-24, is observed throughout the United States to increase public awareness and appreciation of the engineering profession.

On Thursday, February 22, the Oklahoma Society of Professional Engineers will coordinate an Engineer for a Day program, matching metro-area high school juniors and seniors with local engineering professionals. The students will shadow engineers in the fields of aerospace, mechanical, civil, petroleum and other specialty areas.

“Engineering is more than just math and science – it’s fun,” said Kelly Duke, engineering recruiter for Mosaic Personnel and chairman of Engineer for a Day program. “Giving students hands-on opportunities is an important step in inspiring their future education path.”

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, earnings for engineers vary significantly by specialty, industry and education, but as a group, engineers earn some of the highest average starting salaries among those holding a bachelor’s degree. A 2005 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers reports starting salaries for petroleum engineers average $61,516 a year, the highest starting pay among engineers with a bachelor’s degree.

“With national challenges in energy, environment, health care and national security, engineers will play an increasingly important role in finding solutions to our country’s top concerns,” said Tom Landers, dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. “Oklahoma will benefit if we encourage K-12 students to look at engineering as a possible career and encourage excellence in science and math. Engineer for a Day is a great program to show students how engineers apply their knowledge to real-world solutions and discover how their education today can impact solutions to some of our most challenging problems.”

Over the past year, Pam Fountain, president of Mosaic Personnel, a professional employment firm that specializes in recruiting and employing engineers locally, has seen an increase in clients looking for qualified engineers.

“Engineers are in high demand in the metro area and the demand will rise in the future,” said Fountain. “Research, biomedical, aerospace, electronics and other technology-driven industries will require highly-trained, specialized engineers. That is why Mosaic Personnel is dedicated to fostering the development of children at a young age. Not only is it good for the student; it encourages workforce and economic development in Oklahoma.”

The Engineer for a Day program is open to all high school juniors and seniors. For more information or to sign-up to participate in next year’s shadow day, contact Kelly Duke at Mosaic Personnel (405) 858-8800 or kelly@principaltechnologies.com.

“With baby boomers retiring and a large number of college graduates leaving the state, anything we can do to promote professional jobs and steer high school students toward higher education will be a benefit to the economy as a whole,” said Duke.

National Engineers Week takes place every year at the time of George Washington’s birthday; the nation’s first president had the background of an engineer and land surveyor.

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