Building the bridge: CIIC Conference sets sights on university program
Entering its 11th year, Arizona State University’s Construction in Indian Country conference is a means to recruit prospective Native American construction students, educate local tribes and foster industry connections. It is also a key contributor to the CIIC endowment, which has raised $400,000 and put 14 students through the construction management program at ASU. It is currently supporting nine undergraduates, including Shane Cody who came to the program after working in the industry as a field laborer.
“I really enjoyed my working experience in the field, but I knew that obtaining a management position would require me to obtain a construction management degree from a university,” Cody says. Cody contacted the CIIC through the suggestion of his ASU adviser and has since landed two internships with DPR Construction offices.
Program chair Allan Chasey, at the Del E. Webb School of Construction, is proud of what the CIIC conference and endowment have accomplished, but when he stepped into his current role at the school a year ago, he says he saw more to the CIIC culture; he saw a full academically involved program. The first step toward making the conference into a year-round program was replacing an events coordinator with a program manager. The department landed Jerome Clark, who had extensive experience with the Intertribal Council of Arizona and an understanding of Chasey’s vision.
“The question we find ourselves asking more often is nation-building for tribes — what does it take for a tribe to build up their nations. build up its hospitals, roads, etc.,” Clark says.
The CIIC’s updated vision includes more conversations with tribes, research into tribal construction laws and potentially building a clearing house. But first, CIIC must address its 2014 theme, “Bridging Our Communities – Building for Our Futures,” — the key to its future as a program.
11TH ANNUAL CONSTRUCTION IN INDIAN COUNTRY
April 28 to 30
Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino
5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler