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The Role of the Local Partner - Making Studios Happen!

When sponsoring a Precast Studio or education program at a university, the PCI Foundation typically makes a significant contribution that extends over four or five years. This allows us to plan for the future, but also allows the students and professors at the school to get to know the local industry and understand how the school and its industry partner might work together. That local relationship has been key in making our programs successful. In some cases, it has been a regional organization and members from several producers, and in other cases, a single producer will take on the role of "local partner."

The local industry partner is a key component to the sucess of PCIF programs over the years. Not only in terms of funds donated to make the studio possible -- but also in the willingness to take time and money to give the students a unique industry experience.

Things you might consider as a region or company:

• Donating to the PCI Foundation and designating funds to the local region (up to 50% of the donation may be earmarked for a specific program)

• Spending some time and money up front getting a professor on board as a studio professor — this might include

  • travel to the the university

  • sponsoring professor to attend the PCI Convention

  • sponsoring a professor to attend the PCI Professors workshop

  • buying books and literature to complete professors PCI library

• Once a studio is started, you might have expect to

  • Travel to the university for guest lectures and reviews

  • Fund books and literature for all students

  • Help students travel to PCI Convention (depends on how much of this you chose to do)

  • Supplement professor travel to PCI Convention

  • Cover other student expenses, pizza party, bus trips, etc.

Aside from the expenses that are part of being a local partner, the biggest asset for the student is the availability of industry partners -- especially in the engineering department. Having a "go-to" person with real world experience that the students can rely on can make the studio a much richer experience for the students.

Other interaction with the students will include organizaing a plant tour, introducing students to architects with experience designing precast structures, sitting in for "desk reviews" and offering students feedback on their design, providing tours of finished or in-progress precast buildings, and taking park in mid-term and final reviews and listening to students present their work. 

If you have questions about how to launch a program at your favorite school, contact Marty McIntyre.

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