Association Leaders Meet with Students at Prairie View A&M University to Discuss Glass and Steel Industries

On Nov. 15, staff from the National Glass Association (NGA) visited Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU), Prairie View, Texas—the largest Historical Black College & University (HBCU) in the state and one of the largest HBCUs in the U.S. PVAMU is a leading producer of construction engineering and architectural design graduates.

Nicole Harris (left) with SMA, CMA and Prairie View A&M staff and students.

Nicole Harris, NGA president and CEO, and Alicia Hamilton, NGA operations manager, joined Shonzia Thompson, Council of Manufacturing Associations (CMA) executive director, and Philip Bell, president of the Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA), to talk with three student classes about career opportunities at trade associations and at NGA and SMA member companies.

“This first HBCU visit was an impressive in-person launch for CMA’s diversity, equality, inclusion (DEI) commitment that many of us in the trade association community see as essential to building our future workforce,” says Harris. Harris serves on the CMA’s Board of Advisors and will chair its DEI Committee in 2023, working to advance the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the Manufacturing Institute’s workforce development initiatives.

As project manager of NGA’s DEI and HBCU initiatives, Hamilton shared her trade association career trajectory with students and recently spoke to a standing-room-only audience on “Women in Glass and Fenestration” at NGA’s annual event for the glass, window & door industry, GlassBuild America in Las Vegas last month.

In addition to addressing seniors, juniors, and sophomores at PVAMU’s School of Architecture founded by Nathelyne Archie-Kennedy, the first African American female engineer in Texas, Harris and her colleagues toured the university’s 25,000-square-foot Fabrication Center where students design and fabricate architectural building models, and learn how to use woodworking and metal machinery. The university also boasts a digital fabrication and conventional fabrication space along with an assembling space.

The students of the Architecture and Construction Science programs were excited for the opportunity to learn more about trade associations and were eager to ask questions about the glass and steel industries. Many students asked for further information after the sessions.

“On behalf of the CMA Board of Advisors, we would like to thank the Prairie View University Deans and Professors for allowing us the opportunity to speak with their students,” concludes Harris.

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