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Building careers with ACE Mentors
Theresa Schroeder and a group of Osborne High School ACE students on a field trip to the World of Coke construction site. - photo by Submitted Photo

Current ACE Mentors sponsors and partners include:

Cleveland Electric
Ecos Environmental Design, Inc.
EMCOR Services/Aircond
ENR McGraw Hill
Georgia Tech
Greater Atlanta Economic Alliance
Holder Construction
IBG Construction Services
New South Construction
Panola **2009-2010 Food Sponsor**
Skanska USA Building Inc.
Skyline Engineering & Construction
Syska Hennessy
Turner Associates Architects & Planners
Turner Construction

 and more

Rockdale high school students interested in architecture, engineering or any of the building professions will have a unique chance to get industry exposure and learn directly from professionals in the field through a mentorship program starting in the fall.

The ACE (Architecture, Construction, Engineering) Mentor program will give students a chance to talk with industry leaders, who will personally walk them through what it means to work in those trades.

Theresa Schroeder, community affairs director for Turner Construction Company, one of the founding companies of the program in Georgia, said "It's for students that have some interest and need a little bit more. They get instruction from professionals in the industry."

"We show how do you become an architect, what does it take, we go through drawings, what's the difference between engineering or what are the different disciplines," she said.

"They learn about bridge building. They go on field trips to different construction sites. They get a whole hands-on feeling." The program also brings in electricians, plumbers and other professionals in the building trades as well."

Some of the field trips students have taken include exploring the construction site of the World of Coke before and after completion, and the re-paning of the windows of the Westin Hotel, which were shattered in the 2008 tornado.

The program, which begin five years ago in Georgia and 16 years ago nationally, had 36 students participating last term in Georgia and is currently operating in high schools in Cobb County, DeKalb County and Atlanta Public Schools. Schroeder, a Rockdale resident, said she is excited to bring the program to Rockdale.

The program will hold a kick-off at the Rockdale Career Academy on Friday at 8 a.m. for participating companies, and is currently looking for more local companies to serve as mentors or sponsors. An information session for students will be held at the beginning of the next school year in August.

To find out how to become a mentor, sponsor or partner or for more information, contact Theresa Schroeder at 404-504-3706 or

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