January 18, 2014

Prior to joining DPR’s Austin office as a project engineer, Adam Cashner spent time in London working on the Olympic Stadium project through a study abroad program with Texas A&M University. On Aug. 29, he took that experience, along with others that helped him achieve his current role, and spoke to a class of G.E.D. candidates at the DPR Foundation-supported LifeWorks’ Austin facility.

In the course of the discussion, Cashner learned that several of the students currently work in construction. To help guide them in their careers following graduation, he discussed his education and work in London; different career paths within the construction industry, such as safety, superintendent, project manager, field office coordinator (FOC); and the various sectors of construction. Cashner also used his iPad to illustrate the intersection of technology and construction and discuss the future of construction technology.

According to Cashner, the group was particularly interested in learning about building in a different country, as well as the technology side of construction. Together, Cashner and the class reviewed how you can hyperlink plans using software like Bluebeam and how to post requests for information (RFIs).

“We talked about some of their aspirations, and I tried to give them direction on how to achieve their goals,” Cashner said, adding that he gave out business cards to students for follow-up questions. “Overall, I think the discussion was very successful and informative.”

LifeWorks serves more than 10,000 individuals each year through 19 programs and services to the Greater Austin community. Its goal is to create individuals that are self-sufficient by providing them with a firm foundation for success. Most of the youth it serves have had their early lives filled with abuse, neglect, abandonment and instability. LifeWorks focuses on building their self-esteem, literacy and educational skills, as well as providing them opportunities to develop their soft and hard skills in order to enter the workforce.

LifeWorks is one of 15 youth organizations nationally awarded a total of $845,000 in grants by the DPR Foundation in December 2012. The DPR Foundation’s 2012 grant of $40,000 to LifeWorks supports the organization’s programs and is being applied to classroom supplies and G.E.D. testing fees. Over the past five years, the Foundation has awarded more than $2.4 million to 21 different organizations focused on providing community support to grade school- and high school-aged children.