Celebrating Community Impact: Rodgers and the ACE Mentor Program


We are thrilled to announce that our collaboration with the ACE Mentor Program of Charlotte has been recognized with a Carolinas AGC Community Impact Award! This accolade honors our commitment to ACE’s mission: To engage, excite, and enlighten high school students to pursue careers in architecture, engineering, and construction through mentoring and to support their continued advancement in the industry.

The award honors CAGC members making significant contributions to their communities through their time, actions, talents, dedication, and resources. Honorees serve as role models for compassion and service, and they strive to make their community and the communities throughout North Carolina and South Carolina better places to live and work.

A Partnership Rooted in Passion

As a founding Charlotte ACE partner for the past 17 years, Rodgers has provided essential support, including class sponsorships, supplies, t-shirts, and events such as giant Jenga, trivia nights, trades day, and golf tournaments. These events are crucial for funding scholarships totaling over $70,000. Our mentors, drawn from architectural, engineering, construction (AEC), and diverse trades, guide students through hands-on projects during the school year. With each class comprising 6-8 mentors and around 15 two-hour sessions, students delve into chosen projects under meticulously crafted lesson plans.

Mentorship That Makes a Difference

Over 40 dedicated Rodgers team members have contributed over 6,000 hours to ACE, educating students about the intricacies of the construction industry. Each year culminates in a regional banquet, celebrating students’ achievements and honoring them with awards and scholarships. Rodgers takes immense pride in our student’s accomplishments, with four ACE Cup Awards and numerous scholarships awarded. These accolades signify the profound impact of mentorship and education in shaping the next generation of talent.

Empowering Future Leaders

The ACE Mentor Program is a free after-school initiative that prioritizes workforce development by providing high schoolers with invaluable insights into careers in AEC trades through hands-on experiences and mentorship from industry experts. Since its inception in 1994 in New York City, ACE has expanded nationwide to over 75 affiliates in more than 200 cities, boasting a network of 5,000+ mentors. ACE serves over 10,000 students annually, offering over $32 million in scholarships, benefiting 41% of first-generation college-bound students.

In the Charlotte area alone, over 175 students from 12 high schools are participating in the program. The program’s success is evident, with 93% of students reporting increased creativity and 77% planning to pursue AEC careers post-ACE involvement. Teams comprise 15-25 students, mirroring real project teams where they engage in mock projects guided by mentors. These experiences include activities like college nights and field trips to construction sites. Rodgers organizes 2 to 3 field trips annually to our active construction sites, offering students firsthand insight into careers in the industry.

A Legacy of Support and Advocacy

Our ongoing commitment to ACE is exemplified through the dedicated efforts of Brian King, Vice President of Integrated Construction. Brian’s leadership and mentorship have been instrumental in establishing programs across multiple local high schools and earning accolades like numerous scholarships and “best-class project” awards for his teams. His passion for guiding students toward fulfilling careers makes a lasting impact on countless lives. Brian was recently named the 2024 ACE Mentor Program of Charlotte’s Outstanding Mentor of the Year.

Similarly, Pat Rodgers, our CEO, has been a stalwart advocate for ACE, serving on its board of directors, advisory council, and executive committee and playing a pivotal role in shaping its initiatives. Her vision and dedication underscore the program’s transformative influence on students in the construction industry, particularly in encouraging young talent in the Carolinas.

Shaping Brighter Futures

Through ACE’s mission and our unwavering support, we are shaping brighter futures and empowering students to explore new career pathways. Together, we are ensuring a thriving and inclusive construction industry for generations to come. We are proud of our collaboration with ACE and honored by the Carolinas AGC Community Impact Award, which recognizes the profound impact of our shared commitment to mentorship, education, and community building.