CMEF awards scholarship at MAGIC Camp

Of all who work in the construction industry, nine percent of them are women, according to the US Dept. of Labor. Construction and Maintenance Education Foundation (CMEF) worked to increase these numbers by volunteering at the Mentoring A Girl in Construction “MAGIC” camp on June 16 – 19 at Galena Park ISD Agricultural Center.

For more information about the nation-wide program, visit

Under the leadership and direction of De’Ann Gill, SPHR, Bechtel Construction Services, 44 volunteers from numerous participating construction companies and CMEF, had an opportunity to make these young women aware of various crafts and career opportunities in the construction industry through discussion, instruction, and hands-on projects. This nationwide program encourages young women to enter the exciting Construction Industry career path, therefore helping to address the current and future workforce shortage the Industry faces.

The week began with Schools Program Director Dr. Steven Horton speaking to the campers about CTE craft training classes offered in high school and how they could continue their education in a local community college. He then spoke about an opportunity for one camper to win a scholarship to one of the ABC/CMEF Sponsored College Training Units, reviewed the guidelines, and gave them the essay topic: Why I deserve the Construction & Maintenance Education Foundation Scholarship?

Master craftsman and CMEF Lead Instructor William Fuller and Dr. Horton facilitated the “Keeping It Square” event during the week-long camp. Fuller explained the required personal protective equipment (PPE) and taught the campers how to safely cut ceramic tile that had to fit into a mosaic pattern. Prior to the campers cutting the tile, he explained measuring tools and the importance of measuring and marking the tile correctly prior to cutting. While many of the campers were quite nervous about using a power tile saw, all successfully measured and correctly cut the tile and wanted to do it again and again.

The girls not only cut tile, but they also learned about a pipefitter’s work. Journeyman Pipefitter and CMEF Performance Evaluator Richard Bolt and Dr. Horton facilitated the “Spooling Pipe” event. Bolt taught the campers how to safely fit together pieces of pipe, gaskets, and various valves from an isometric drawing. While Bolt worked with half of the campers on the piping spool, Dr. Horton spoke to the rest of the group about the drawing, the symbols, bill of materials, and the importance for the piping designers to ensure that the construction documents are drawn correctly and to specifications.

Gladis Cortez and Dr. Steven Horton

CMEF Training Coordinator Donna Sandlin and Dr. Horton presented a framed certificate of award to the winner, Gladis Cortez, North Shore Senior High School student. She plans to start taking advantage of the scholarship this coming Fall semester by attending a Welding class at San Jacinto College North Campus.

Construction and Maintenance Education Foundation congratulates Gladis Cortez and all MAGIC participants. CMEF recognized each camper by giving each girl a backpack with several great items inside. CMEF congratulates these young women who instead of sleeping late, lounging by a swimming pool, or strolling along the beach, made a choice to give up a week of their summer vacation from high school to attend MAGIC Camp.


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