McKinstry mentor program at JFK high school

STEM Mentorships in Action: How McKinstry Advances Equity and Access in Schools

McKinstry, a full-service design, build, operate and maintain (DBOM) firm delivering consulting, construction, energy, and facility services, has a deep and long-standing commitment to promoting quality and equitable access to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education across the country. Our CEO, Dean Allen, was the founding board chair of Washington STEM, and our passion for STEM education is embedded in our company culture from our CEO to our employees. 

In Colorado, McKinstry employees have volunteered nearly 800 hours over the past five years to further this cause, serving as mentors to students in Denver Public Schools and engaging classrooms in solving real-world problems related to energy efficiency. Our most recent project with John F. Kennedy High School and DPS CareerConnect focused on wind energy design and engineering, and allowed students to design and test their own model turbines.

Our commitment to STEM is also why I serve as co-chair of Colorado STEM at Colorado Succeeds, a coalition of business, education, and civic leaders dedicated to providing high-quality STEM education and experiences for all students. Through McKinstry’s involvement with this coalition, we’ve had the opportunity to influence and advance STEM at the state level.

With 50 percent of Colorado jobs requiring STEM skills in just a few short years, it is critical that each and every student, no matter their background, can see themselves entering and succeeding in a STEM career – because they can. For many students, having exposure and an understanding of the career pathways available to them can be a game changer.

On the business side, any company invested in improving their talent pipeline and supporting their community must create the time and space for employees to engage. One of the reasons why our STEM Mentor Program is so effective is because McKinstry employees have the opportunity to spend time in classrooms where they develop relationships and become invested in the projects and the students.

Across the country, McKinstry has played a leadership role in organizations that promote equality, advance education, and ensure the health of people and planet. Taking responsibility is a key part of our identity, and making an effort to have a meaningful social impact is simply the right thing to do. Our STEM Mentor Program is a key piece of our commitment to our communities, and I encourage other Colorado companies to get involved and explore ways that they can engage, and inspire, the future generations of our state.

To get your company involved in expanding access to STEM education and learning experiences, contact Ashley Andersen.

Leslie Larocque

Vice President, McKinstry