UTA, CARCON Industries & Construction honored for collaboration in construction engineering and management

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The Regional Hispanic Contractors Association, the leading agency promoting Hispanic contractors in North Texas, presented its 2017 Vanguard Award to CARCON Industries owner and CEO and member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) Arcilia Acosta and University of Texas at Arlington President Vistasp Karbhari. Karbhari and Acosta were honored for their collaborative work in meeting the need for educating highly skilled leaders in construction through the development of new programs and partnerships.

UTA recently established a bachelor’s degree in construction management, adding to its portfolio of degrees aimed at highly sought-after professionals in the field of construction. The University already offers specialized degrees in architectural engineering at the baccalaureate level and construction engineering at the master’s level. 

The only degree of its kind in North Texas, the B.S. in construction management meets the region’s growing demand for professionals skilled not only in building, but also in managing the scope, budget and schedule for construction projects while consistently meeting quality, safety and environmental demands.

RHCA’s Vanguard Award recognizes individuals or entities who are leaders in improving the construction industry. It is presented once every five years. Previous recipients are Home Depot and DFW International Airport.

“Collaboration and partnerships between academia and industry are critical to the future, both to ensure that we develop a highly skilled workforce at the cutting edge of technology and professional practice, and as a means of catalyzing and enhancing economic development,” Karbhari said. “UTA, through its tremendous faculty and staff, is focused on leading in educating not just the workforce of tomorrow but also providing the intellectual leadership for the future. I'm extremely grateful to Arcilia Acosta for her support and guidance both as a leading construction professional as a THECB member, and for lending her expertise in her field to enabling this successful outcome.”

The bachelor’s in construction management degree was launched at UTA in the spring of 2017 and features innovative curriculum and instruction practices. The degree and curriculum were developed by UTA’s Department of Civil Engineering, led by its chair Professor Ali Abolmaali in consultation with Acosta and leaders of the construction sector in Dallas-Fort Worth.

As sole owner and CEO of CARCON Industries and Construction and CEO of STL Engineers, Acosta provided UTA invaluable insight in designing a degree that will produce the graduates that the state and especially North Texas need. Demand for construction managers in Texas is expected to increase by more than 25 percent by 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“This is a tremendous example of UTA listening to industry and workforce needs and responding with a new and very useful degree program,” said Acosta, who was appointed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott in 2016 to the board of the premier organization that coordinates the state’s public higher education systems and has a substantial impact on education policy. “I am honored to be recognized with President Karbhari for the development of a degree that will undoubtedly fill labor demands and contribute positively to the local, state and national economies. This is a true example of Governor Abbott’s 60x30TX goal: By 2030, at least 60 percent of Texans ages 24-34 will have a certificate or degree.”

Establishing a construction management degree is one of several key initiatives of UTA’s Strategic Plan 2020 Bold Solutions | Global Impact which is developed around the focus of enabling a sustainable megacity by harnessing the considerable talent and expertise of the University’s faculty, staff and students in addressing issues pertinent to the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area as it grows to megacity status and thereby enhancing the quality of life and economic development of the region.

Karbhari and Acosta received the Vanguard Award during RHCA's 11thAnnual Awards Luncheon on Oct. 19 in Fort Worth.