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DFW Hosts North Texas Consulting Engineer Diversity Enhancement Program

"Engineers Of The Future" Visit Terminal D/Skylink Construction Site

DFW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Texas (July 3, 2003) — For many budding engineering students, dreams of billion dollar projects with thousands of workers are simply a class paper. At DFW, they are a reality made of steel, concrete and industry experts eager to teach.

Today, the Airport is hosting seven student interns who comprise the 2003 North Texas Consulting Engineer (NTCE) Diversity Enhancement Program. Former DFW International Airport Board Chair Tom Dunning was instrumental in creating the program in 2001 to increase the diversity of the consulting engineering industry in the North Texas region. The Dallas Chapter of the Texas Council of Engineering Companies (TCEC) sponsors the program. TCEC is a professional trade association representing the business interests of consulting engineering firms.

"There is no better place to see a vision of the future for engineering, architecture or good business practices than DFW Airport's Terminal D and SkyLink projects," says Dunning. "Diversity in this critical area of our future is essential for North Texas, and this is an excellent forum to make minority engineering students aware of the opportunities. North Texas should be inspired by these outstanding students pursuing their vision and we think they will be inspired to move forward in these career paths by what they see today."

The student interns taking a hands-on hard hat tour of DFW's $2.6 billion Capital Development Program (CDP) attend seven different universities: University of Oklahoma, University of Texas - Arlington, Howard University, University of Southern California, University of Texas, Texas A&M University, and Texas Tech University. 

A local engineering consulting firm sponsors each student. This year, HNTB, Turner Collie Braden, Carter & Burgess, and Chiang, Patel & Yerby are serving as sponsors for the summer program.

TCEC member firms recruit engineering students for summer employment as interns. The objective of these internships is to encourage minority students to come back to North Texas following graduation, thus becoming members of the local engineering community. A key feature of the program is a series of group activities, which expose the students to a variety of local engineering projects and civic and recreational venues, while also providing the interns networking opportunities. All interns are invited to participate, building relationships between minority and non-minority students.

"DFW is very committed to a diverse workplace, and our industry leading contracting and hiring practices for minority and women-owned businesses are something we are proud to show those desiring to enter our profession," says Clay Paslay, executive vice president of airport development at DFW. "We think these students will benefit greatly by seeing all aspects of the largest construction project in Texas and the opportunities that lie ahead of them in their careers." 

TCEC's program has become a model for other chapters around the country.

"We appreciate DFW's willingness to participate and educate our students and our community on this extremely important program," says Tom Burke, senior vice president of Turner Collie & Braden Inc. and a leader in NTCE. "DFW is a local and national example of how business can work with the professional and educational communities to broaden the horizons for minority students and expand the workforce for the good of all."

The 2003 North Texas consulting engineer intern class:

Shawn Harris, Chandraprakash (CP) S. Nawal, John Sodimu, Kirsten Harper-Smith, Neal Patel, Austin Gunter, Robert Jenkins, Ryan Lynch, and Jose Valensula.

Editor's Notes: This release, and past news releases issued by DFW International Airport, are available online at www.dfwairport.com in the “MediaSite” section.

For the latest news, real-time flight information, parking availability or further details regarding the many services provided at DFW International Airport, log on to www.dfwairport.com. To arrange interviews contact DFW Public Affairs at 972 574 NEWS (6397) or Ken Capps, APR, Vice President Public Affairs, kcapps@dfwairport.com