Concrete industry students receive paid-internship...

Concrete industry students receive paid-internship funding

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, left, is shown with 10 of 13 students who will work paid summer internships with local construction and concrete businesses across the region. They include, from left, Cory Powell of Lawrenceburg; Billy Mitchell of Memphis; Nathan Tenpenny of Murfreesboro; Cameron Robinson of Memphis; Ryan Jessie of Murfreesboro; David Dozier of Gallatin; Richard Nelson and Cameron McKee of Murfreesboro; Dan Erickson of Pekin, Ill.; Jim Duffy of Murfreesboro; Dr. Heather Brown, chair of the Concrete Industry Management Department; and Dr. Patrick Geho of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center. (photo by News and Media Relations)

With the help of state funding, 13 of nearly 50 students in MTSU’s Concrete Industry Management Department will work paid internships this summer that will prove even more valuable when they enter the job market.

This year CIM received $41,983 in funding from the Tennessee Small Business Development Center to provide students with paid internships, said CIM Chair Dr. Heather Brown.

The student internships are with small businesses in the concrete and construction industries across the Midstate.

Brown said the department relies on industry support each year to place summer interns.

Companies have had to tighten budgets and, in many cases, have suspended paid internship programs across the country, Brown said. CIM students are required to work in the industry up to 400 hours, which the chair noted has proven valuable in full-time career placement.

Although the job outlook has improved this year, students still struggle to find summer jobs on their own, Brown said.

“All of the companies that were awarded a ‘free’ summer intern give to the CIM program in many ways, through time, talent and treasure,” she noted. “We wanted to reward the generosity of our supporters in the concrete and construction industry and give back to companies who typically cannot hire paid interns.”

She added that CIM also is grateful to be able to place the 13 students in paid summer jobs thanks to funding provided by MTSU President  Sidney A. McPhee and Dr. Patrick Geho, state executive director of the University’s Tennessee Small Business Development Center program.

CIM is one of 10 departments within the College of Basic and Applied Sciences.

The Tennessee Small Business Development Center is a network of professional business consultants with 14 centers and five affiliate offices throughout the state. The center provides expert business advice to all types of businesses, whether a manufacturer, retailer, service provider or a professional.

Locally, the Tennessee Small Business Development Center at MTSU is located inside the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce headquarters at 3050 Medical Center Parkway in Murfreesboro.

— Randy Weiler (