Our mission is to provide vocational training in the field of construction administration to high school students from underserved neighborhoods that would allow them to be immediately employable in the construction industry or prepared for success in construction related college degrees. The skills acquired will provide them with the skills needed to transition into a multitude of construction administrative careers which include but are not limited to Construction Project Manager, Assistant Project Manager, Project Associate, Expediter and Construction Office Manager in construction, architecture, development and engineering firms.
The need that drives our mission:
Significant disparities in graduation rates exist in New York City when viewed through the lens of race and ethnicity. While 82 percent of white students graduated in four years, only 64 percent of Hispanic students and 65.4 percent of black students did so in 2015.
Young workers (ages 16–24) historically have higher unemployment and underemployment rates compared with their peers ages 25 and older—and these rates have spiked even higher during the pandemic, and workers of color experienced even higher unemployment. At the height of the coronavirus recession, in spring 2020, nearly 30% of young Black workers (ages 16-24) were unemployed.
New York City youth's entry level employment options are diminishing. Many of the students are not prepared to apply for employment positions that lead to a financially stable profession.
The Youth Construct curriculum would allow students the opportunity to learn sound construction administration and back office principles that drive the industry. They will also cultivate practical and formal skills through classroom and paid internships, construction bookkeeping principles (percent complete and estimating), utilization of project management software, such as Microsoft Project, Industry mandated OSHA safety certifications.
Youth Construct has a goal of partnering with a consortium of schools, government, and larger Construction Management firms to provide a platform for this two-semester high school curriculum.
Youth Construct would provide a direct response to the increasing need for skilled back-office construction administration for both, public (receives government and or City funds) and private projects.
Alexis McSween is the founder and CEO of Bottom Line Construction & Development, LLC (BLCD). A 100% woman-and minority-owned construction and development company, BLCD embodies the ingenuity, grit and grace that characterizes Alexis’ life.Alexis brings over eighteen years of practical and professional experience—twelve of which are in real estate development and construction, including public works—to cultivate community. She combines human centric-community development, entrepreneurial problem solving and hard core real estate development and construction management. In doing so, BLCD is able to fulfill market demand, minimize financial risk, leverage transferrable models and maximize municipal incentives while making a broader and lasting impact.
Growing up in New York with little resources and unable to complete high school, Alexis ultimately received 3 advanced educational degrees and career success thanks to New York City’s community programs, such as The Door. She is a true testament to how community programs can provide alternative paths to success and she is committed to paying it forward.
Seeing the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on underserved communities, Alexis was driven to formalize and crowdfund for the launch of the Youth Construct training program. With this program she hopes to improve job opportunities and career trajectories for underserved youth.
Having a big sale, on-site celebrity, or other event? Be sure to announce it so everybody knows and gets excited about it.Eva Chan is a member of the Manhattan Community Board 11 (East Harlem). Prior to her retirement, she worked in the banking field for 21 years, and last worked as an Executive Director at JP Morgan Chase Bank managing large scale risk management projects. Her experience with the construction industry started with her work in financing mortgage backed securities in 2011. Outside of work, Eva has been actively purchasing and renovating real estate properties, and developed a passion for interior design and managing real estate projects. Another passion of Eva is in youth education. For 5 years, she has served as a mentor in iMentor and then in JP Morgan Chase bank, and she has been helping to recruit young adults from Harlem into mentorship and internship programs, such as Year Up. Eva is excited to be a part of Youth Construct as its curriculum fills an area of training that is not currently available to youth in Harlem. Eva hopes to leverage her existing network to help recruit trainees.
Alan Senzer is an accomplished leader and educator with a breadth of construction expertise. Over his 35-year career, Alan has contributed to major projects with New York City, such as New York City schools, Newark Airport, Bank of America, New York City Transit Authority, and New York City housing, to name a few. Alan began his career as an architectural designer and eventually transitioned into construction management. Prior to retirement, he worked 20 years for the New York City School Construction Authority, designing, building, and maintaining the schools of New York. His work was honored with the President’s Award for Distinguished Service and the Queens Chamber of Commerce Award. He ultimately served as Chief Project Officer, managing all of Authorities’ construction projects with excellent execution. Alan now channels his passion for the construction industry as a professor. He has been teaching future construction professionals at Baruch College and NYC Mechanics Institute for the past 20 years.
He is honored to be on the board of Youth Construct. Similar to Alexis, Alan’s pathway to obtaining a college degree was not straightforward; Alan took 8 years to complete college while working full time. Alan is a champion of non-traditional pathways to education and is committed to using his expertise to build a truly impactful program.
Jina’s experience in Construction Project Management is expansive. She is currently a senior project manager at AECOM. Within this multinational construction company, she has successfully completed numerous large scale projects such as schools, airports, hotels, and residential properties. Prior to working in AECOM, she served as Partner of S&J Project Management and Senior Project manager for Advance Design Management Incorporated. She prides herself on her ability to prioritize and resolve issues under tight timelines and complex conditions. Jina has an undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Master of Science in Construction Management from New York University.
Her passion for Youth Construct is rooted in her awareness of the shortage of skilled professionals in the construction administration field and her commitment to providing these opportunities to New York’s underserved youth.