The Consulting Engineers Council of Maryland (CEC/Md.) and the Associated Placement and Guidance Service (APGS) have combined forces in a unique project designed to "Americanize" immigrant engineers from the Soviet Union.
The project, financed through the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA), has already enabled 30 Russian engineers to learn about domestic engineering practices and to improve their mastery of the technical English language, according to Barbara Barshack, APGS project coordinator.
So far, three groups of Soviet engineers have attended the four-week program. Topics discussed ranged from American methods of negotiating and bidding for contracts, sub-contracting and site planning to using computers in engineering work. Each group also participated in a special, intensified English program five days a week, taught through the APGS English language program.
"Company texts, blueprints, journals and books of tables were donated by CEC/Md. member firms for use in the classroom," said CEC/Md. president Andrew J. Parker Jr., of the consulting-engineering firm of Mueller Associates Inc. "Council volunteers also evaluated the immigrants' individual job prospects," he added.
The program, according to its sponsors, has been highly successful. All 30 entrants to date have successfully completed the courses, and many are now employed by local consulting firms such as Nelson & Kind; Miller, Schuerholz & Associates Inc., and RTKL.
"I was very impressed with them, Charles S. Morgenthaler, chairman of the CEC/Md. Soviet Engineers Committee, said of the immigrants."Their technical training appears to be excellent; they have good experience and they are highly motivated.
"The program is something we look on as helping fellow professionals," Morgenthaler added.