By Jeff Winke, Guest Contributor The construction industry needs individuals who can perform many diverse and detailed tasks, including those who create digital models of a construction site, operate million-dollar machines and those who map the features of a construction site using satellite navigation systems, inertial measurement and laser scanning. Understanding the demand for qualified workers in the construction fields, Topcon Positioning Systems Inc., a developer and provider of technologies and products for the survey and construction markets, has developed outreach programs to help attract more students into the industry and equip them with the latest technology. Topcon recently hosted a traveling roadshow to provide interactive demonstrations and highlight products, systems, software and technology that showcase where construction has come from and where it is heading. The Topcon Technology Roadshow toured 24 cities across North America, spanning 23,000 miles. The 52-foot-long mobile solutions center used on the roadshow includes pop-outs, adjunct tents and functions as the hub for presenting the latest positioning technologies in the construction, surveying and GIS, architecture, engineering and construction professions. The new, mobile classroom within the customized, 18-wheel trailer seats more than two dozen visitors and not only allows for centralized demonstrations of the latest Topcon products and technologies, but is designed for interactive training sessions as well. Dealer_MCX_2012-166Technical colleges and university-level technical programs were invited to participate in the two-day roadshow visits. Counselors, instructors and students rubbed shoulders with site surveyors, 3-D-model builders, earth-movers and milling and paving contractors who are coming to see the latest technology and solutions for their evolving needs. Students loved seeing the technology on display and thoroughly enjoyed the hands-on demonstrations that happen in the field. They asked many challenging and technical questions rather than just commenting on the operations. Having access to the latest products and seeing demonstrations of how critical, real-time data is used for the successful completion of construction projects makes the roadshow a valuable opportunity for students. In fact, many of the students were surprised to see how machines working at a project site can be linked to both an on-site supervisor and an off-site office. Today, the best and brightest are needed in construction, and contractors are seeking just that. Topcon’s Technology Roadshow is one of the ways the construction industry is attracting high caliber talent and changing the perceptions of individuals who influence career choices. NCCER 1505 Spring Summer-coverFor the rest of the story, read Jeff Winke's Tech Talk article in the online issue of NCCER’s Cornerstone magazine.

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NCCER develops standardized construction and maintenance curricula and assessments with portable credentials. These credentials are tracked through NCCER’s National Registry which allows organizations and companies to track the qualifications of their craft professionals and/or check the qualifications of possible new hires. The National Registry also assists craft professionals by maintaining their records in a secure database.