Bauer Business Focus

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Neil Eldin | January 17, 2014

Published on January 15, 2014

Neil Eldin, chair of the Department of Construction at the University of Houston, talks about the recent increase in Houston projects and the construction program’s enrollment.

On Bauer Business Focus — A conversation on the strength of the construction industry and its growing opportunities for students with Andrew Schneider, business reporter for KUHF 88.7 FM.

Houston building permits are at their highest level in nearly six years according to Neil Eldin, chair of the Department of Construction at the University of Houston. While bringing extra dollars to the local economy, the construction boom has resulted in a wealth of resources for the university’s construction management program.

Eldin, also a professor at UH in the College of Technology, links students to industry professionals. Students go to work for major Houston construction companies during the day and attend classes at night.

“We are very connected with the construction industry, and most of our classes are taught by top industry professionals who are experts in their own field. That appeals a lot to the students,” Eldin said. “After a year or so, we place them in the industry with major companies and they work a good two or three years before they graduate. This is like going to school twice.”

The petrochemical sector has seen a rise of its own in construction, and after its latest burst of growth enrollment in the program aimed at the industry grew from 20 to 100-150 students interested.

“The shale gas boom and the industrial sector also caused very high interest,” Eldin said. “A lot of companies come and talk to them because students know a lot more about buildings than plants. We needed to educate the students on that part and how exciting, interesting, lucrative and challenging and complex is its.”

Click here to hear the full interview.

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