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OSU Senior and summer bond program intern, Paul Wilson, joins Sylvania Campus summer 2013 construction team.
Photos and Story by Gina Whitehill-Baziuk
September 30, 2013
Written by Gina Whitehill-Baziuk
Six years ago Paul Allen Wilson was a high school kid from Redmond, Oregon wondering what his next step was going to be. Now 23, Paul is an Oregon State University (OSU) senior looking forward to graduating this winter with a BS in the Construction Engineering Management (CEM) program. His path to that degree has taken him from Central Oregon and Lane Community Colleges, a short stint at the University of Oregon, Linn Benton Community College and ultimately to the two-year CEM program at OSU. After three years of tackling just about every math class he could muster but not feeling excited by what a math degree would offer, he took a seminar at Lane that helped students explore options – combining interests with academic studies. It was this seminar that led him to complete his course of study in the construction industry and to Howard S. Wright (HSW) Construction.
HSW along with many construction companies in the Willamette Valley participates in an OSU program that connects students, potential interns and full-time hires, to construction companies. It’s the college’s good fortune that HSW hired Paul as a Project Engineer intern to work at PCC’s Sylvania Campus this summer. With major renovations to the campus’s main College Center building slated to begin summer 2013, bond program and campus staff in concert with HSW launched an intense signage and wayfinding effort to help students, faculty, staff and campus visitors navigate the tricky construction landscape. Among other things, Paul led the manufacturing and installation effort of this signage program and along the way learned a lot about his strengths. “I knew that I was a people person but hadn’t fully realized how much communication played into effectively getting a job not just done but done to everyone’s expectation,” said Paul. “I honed my organization and time management skills and came to really appreciate what it takes to be a project manager that can deliver on time, especially when working with many stakeholders and in the college’s compressed summer schedule.”
Paul impressed his co-workers, supervisor and the PCC bond staff. His strong work ethic and commitment to his work may very well lead him to a full-time position with HSW upon graduation.
PCC’s 2008 voter-approved $374 million bond program is increasing opportunities for residents to access quality, affordable higher education close to where they live and work. Additional classrooms, updated equipment and technology, and advanced workforce training programs are helping to pave the way for future employment options. For more information, visit www.pcc.edu/about/bond/about.