Setien News

Construction Related Children's Books - East Central ISD

Setien & Associates is committed to training and educating the next generation of skilled construction workers, and subsequently helping to close the gap in the shortage that the industry has suffered in the past few decades. We are doing several things to help accomplish this; such as getting involved with schools’ CTE Advisory Committee Boards, participating in career days, and opening internship opportunities for high school students.

We recently started a project of donating construction related children’s books to elementary schools. The first independent school district that has opened it’s doors to our project, is East Central ISD in San Antonio, Texas. On February 20, 2020, ECISD allowed us the honor of making a presentation of these books, to the principals of each of their elementary schools. The book that was donated to them is, Look at That Building: A First Book of Structures, by Scot Ritchie. We are currently working with Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD, to donate books to all of their elementary schools, as well.

Below is a picture of the ECISD School Board presentation.

east central ecisd school board

Left to Right: Kristin Wurzbach - Pecan Valley Elementary, Stacey Johnston - Sinclair Elementary, Teresa Triana - Salado Elementary, Domingo Setien – Setien and Associates, Nehemias Moreno – Setien and Associates, Joette Barnes - Oak Crest Elementary, Stephanie Orsak - Harmony Elementary, Dr. Dustin Breithaupt - Highland Forest Elementary, Charlott McReynolds - Highland Forest Elementary, Lorie Lampman - Tradition Elementary

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Raising The Dome

setien associates raising the domeIf you travel highway 281 north frequently, you have seen the landscape along 281 change dramatically. Buildings were demolished to make way for 281’s much needed highway expansion making way for additional travel lanes.

The Mission Park Life Center was just one of the buildings torn down to make way for the highway expansion. But the beautiful building would not stay down. The owners would raise it again to offer families a place to celebrate every milestone of their lives from baptism to birthdays, weddings to anniversaries, luncheons and even final life tribute.

Setien Group which has been in the forefront of structural design and steel fabrication since 1978 did the drawings of the facility.

As the work got under way, the owner could see that things were not going according to plan. The contractor constructed the main focal point of the facility, a 30,000-plus lb. dome, on the ground. It seemed to be a great idea at the time, but it needed to be on top of the building, not the ground.

Once again, the owner reached out to Domingo Setien, owner of Setien Group, a collaboration of Setien & Associates, structural design and engineering; Setien Properties, real estate acquisitions and land development; S&I Welding & Erection; S&I Transport and Setien Investments and asked him to come to work for him on the project. With years of experience in steel erection and concrete wall construction, Setien agreed.

“We designed the dome. Somebody else constructed it on the ground. Our intent was for the construction of it to be done up in the air,” says Setien.

Setien took into consideration every inch of the already constructed dome. “I lasered out and developed what looked like a spiderweb, so we called it the spider design. I added extra bracing to support the legs so that when we lifted the dome, it would not spring in breaking all the insulation, all the work that had been done and all the studs that were there in place.”

Through Setien’s engineering, his team laid 1/4 inch stud pegs sticking up at eight points atop the walls of the dome’s seat. On the frame bottom they set the “spider brace”. From there they took a 5-ton and also a 2 1/2 -ton tire jack at 14 points and started cranking them up to level the octagon shaped dome. With the spider brace in place, structurally the dome would not shift. Once the dome structure was level, Setien’s team drilled holes to match the pegs placed at the eight points of the dome’s final resting place.

Before raising the dome, Setien shaved the pegs on opposite sides to 2 inches and 1-1/2 inches. “We had two men in baskets, one on each side to guide. When they lifted the dome, they dropped the holes that I made on the frame into the male end sticking up. As the base of the dome hit the two inch pegs on opposite sides, they guided the frame to line up the holes to fall into the shorter pegs.

“One shot, one deal, one try, and it could not have gone any better. It was a proud moment for everyone. We had to bring a crane in from out of state to lift the dome. 32,600 lbs. and we nailed it. It looked like a piece of art,” recalls Setien.

“Nothing like this has really happened since the moving of the Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Antonio. So once again we are creating history,” says Robert Tips, owner of Mission Park Life Center.

Setien Group is a full-service structural design, engineering, steel fabrication and erection construction firm in Schertz, TX.

- cmw

SAN ANTONIO Construction News - the industry's newspaper in Texas

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Career Day - Mens Educare, Mutare Mundi – Educate the Mind, Change the World

setien associates frank l madla career dayOn Friday March 8, 2019, Setien and Associates had the honor of taking part in the Frank L. Madla Accelerated Collegiate Academy Career Day, in San Antonio, TX. Three employees of Setien and Associates participated in the career day; Mr. Domingo Setien, President; Katia Beltran, Project Manager; and Nehemias Moreno, Education Consultant.

The Career Day event consisted of three, 25-minute segments, in which the S&A employees shared information with 7 to 10, middle school students, at a time. The students received information on what skills, education, and training, are beneficial for this industry and what pay, and benefits are available. The students also had the opportunity to handle and explore tools used in the structural steel and civil engineering industries.

Many of the students, and instructor, expressed a gained perspective about careers in structural steel detailing and civil engineering. The S&A employees left with an invitation to return at a later date to share a more in-depth exploration of the industry.

- Nehemias Moreno

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Focus - College isn't for everyone

news setien group nehemias morenoSAN ANTONIO - Moreno is a former Career & Technology Education (CTE) instructor, during which time he worked to build the gap between construction companies and schools. He is currently visiting the CTE program at the Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD, trying to make connections between construction companies and the district’s schools.

“They have a wonderful architecture and construction program at the SCUC ISD schools. The students are learning and using three-dimensional computer-aided software and are learning how to weld and read plans, giving them a hands-on application of learning.”

What areas of education need to be improved to better serve the construction industry?

During my last couple of years in education, I began to study Texas high school graduates and higher learning. Through my research, I found that only 20 percent of Texas high school graduates obtain a college degree. This might have changed in the last four years, but I don’t expect it has changed that much. Even though only 20 percent of high school graduates obtain a college degree, many, if not most, high schools focus more time preparing students for college rather than preparing them for the workforce.

The education industry needs to improve in this area. They need to do a better job of identifying the youth that does not want to attend college and help them acquire skills that will make them valuable to companies, such as those in the construction industry. Reaching out to companies in the construction industry, identifying what skills, education, training and certifications would benefit students interested in construction jobs, would help to ensure a higher success rate for both students and companies.

Why aren’t young people looking to construction as a career?

There are several reasons why young people are not looking to the construction industry for jobs. One reason is that 30 to 40 years ago there was a certain stigma attributed to manual labor jobs such as those in the construction industry. Many people would say, “Get an education; you don’t want to dig ditches for the rest of your life”. This got people to believe that vocational jobs were not worthwhile occupations. Now, you might want to reconsider the digging ditches job because you will probably be doing it with heavy equipment with a possible starting pay between $20 and $25 per hour.

The second reason is that students are not being encouraged to consider construction careers. This has to do with educational institutions not being in touch with the students’ interests, abilities, skills and aptitudes. During my last four years as an instructor, I conducted annual student interest surveys. I always found that a good percentage of my students were interested in construction jobs.

What does the construction industry need to do to attract the next generation of youth into the industry?

Everyone in the construction industry is very busy performing his or her jobs. It is hard to take the time to get involved with the schools to help educate and train the next generation of skilled workers. Having said that, that is exactly what it is going to take. Construction companies must take the time to get involved with the schools of their communities. They can do this by providing internships, mentorships, job shadows, etc.

I currently attend the Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD Career & Technology Advisory Committee meetings. This is a great way to get involved because it gives the companies the opportunity to influence the education system in their area. It is easy for everyone in the construction industry to throw their hands up and say, “Oh, these kids don’t want to learn, they just want to play video games and talk on their cell phones” or we can get involved and do something about it.

How can contractors get involved in the school systems to educate the youth on construction careers?

As I mentioned before, everyone in the construction industry is very busy and it is difficult to carve out time to get involved. Having said this, if construction companies don’t find the time to get involved with the school systems, eventually the companies will age-out.

Reach out to the school district or high school in your area. One phone call won’t take more than 10 to 15 minutes. If possible, hire someone or find an existing employee that might be interested in collaborating with the schools. The persons that you might want to contact are the CTE teachers, CTE coordinators, college and career advisors, etc. You can also contact the Career and Technology Education Coordinator (CTE) at the school district.

Once you have made the initial contact, ask if it is acceptable to visit the school and meet with the program staff. If possible, get involved with the CTE Advisory Committee. They usually only meet three times a year with meetings lasting no more than an hour and a half.

Lastly, make contributions to the CTE programs. These contributions will help to make a positive impact on the students. Though monetary contributions are always helpful, there are other ways to contribute such as providing internships, jobs, job shadows, mentorships, etc.

Setien & Associates is a structural design and steel fabricator in Schertz, TX.

- cmw
SAN ANTONIO Construction News - the industry's newspaper in Texas

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