We Build Bridges…Then we Break Them!

For participants in the 6th Annual SAMPE Bridge Breaking Contest, finding the strongest bridge comes from putting their creations head to head to see which can withstand the most pressure.

Why hold such a competition? Students from across the state enrolled in advanced materials manufacturing courses are excited to demonstrate the skills they have developed, and to find new ways to innovate as they move forward in advanced materials innovation–preparing them for careers in one of the fastest growing industries in Utah. For the lay-person, here’s a bit of a primer on some of the terminology you may encounter at the Bridge-Breaking Competition:

Composite: A composite is when two different materials are combined to create a different material. These days, it serves as a catch-all term to refer to reinforced plastics and it’s how it will be referred to here. Composites are made of a structural fiber and a plastic to create Fiber Reinforced Plastics. Together, the fiber provides structure and strength while the plastic binds it together to make an incredibly strong, incredibly lightweight product.

Fibers: Carbon Fiber, Aramid Fiber, Natural Fiber (Wood, Hemp)

Plastic Resins: Epoxy, Polyurethane, Polypropylene, Polyester

 Pre-preg: This is the common term for fabric reinforcement that has been pre-impregnated with a resin system. It’s ready to place into a mold without the addition of resin.

 Core Materials: There are a number of foams that are a special class of composite materials made of two thin but stiff skins that are attached to a lightweight but thick core. They can be open- or closed-cell structure foams.

Participants will use materials like these to construct bridges at least 24” in length that are structurally continuous. They will also submit a poster or video that addresses the technical content that describes the process of their bridge-build. Teams will be judged on maximum compression load (for the category entered) where the bridge fails.

To see the competition in action, you can attend the Bridge Breaking Competition on Wednesday, April 12, from 2-5 p.m. at Salt Lake Community College’s Meadowbrook Campus, Building A-124, which is located at 250 W. 3900 S. in Salt Lake City.

Those interested in participating can contact the Rules Committee, or for more information, email Alan Done or Andy George.

Boosting Utah’s Economy with Talented Employees

Talent Ready Utah launch March 21, 2017
SLCC Utah Aerospace Pathways student Nathan Rose and Associate Provost Rick Bouillon at Talent Ready Utah launch, March 21, 2017

Tuesday, March 21 marked the launch of Talent Ready Utah. This initiative, building on the success of Utah Cluster Acceleration Pathways grants and other programs, will bring industry and education together to the benefit of both. By providing funding for projects that guide talented individuals into the workforce while providing them the educational background needed for them to be successful, the initiative promotes strong, ongoing collaboration.

Previous initiatives utilizing this model have already proven successful. The Utah Diesel Technicians Pathway, Utah Aerospace Pathway and Medical Innovations Pathway have shown that consistent collaboration, with clear educational goals, in mind provide positive outcomes for students, who are then well-prepared to enter the workforce.

The Talent Ready Utah initiative will distribute $2.1 million in grant funding for projects like those listed above, with the aim of filling 40,000 high-skilled, high-paying jobs over the next four years.

KUTV News Reports on Talent Ready Utah

Four Ways to Show Employee Appreciation

Employees in discussion
Professional development can make employees feel valued.

Appreciation can go a long way in helping boost employee morale and maintaining a positive workforce. There are a number of elements that contribute to an employee feeling valued within an organization, and while renumeration and benefits certainly tops the list, providing other avenues of support shows members of your team that their contributions add to your group’s overall success. Recognized contributions = feeling valued = boosted morale = positive, productive workforce. Here are four ways you can show employee appreciation:

  1. Professional Development. If an employee shows talent or interest in an area outside their professional wheelhouse, find ways to help them cultivate that interest. Help them seek out mentors, provide funding for training courses, let them practice the skill as they develop it. You may find your accountant to be a whiz at web development, or a machinist who becomes a great HR manager.
  2. Promote from within. Much like professional development, creating opportunities for employees to see pathways to career growth within a business shows an organization’s dedication to seeing an employee’s success. A company that works hard to retain and promote their own employees is one where employee’s feel valued.
  3. Praise in public. Take every opportunity to recognize the good work of your employees. While this obviously means letting your employees know that they are doing a good job, and highlighting specific accomplishments, take the time to praise their accomplishments to your supervisors, and colleagues–while the effects might not be immediate, the long-term results will play out in ways that create a culture of supportive trust.
  4. Say thank you. Say it often. Recognize that people feel gratitude in different ways, so take the time to write the occasional handwritten note, send an email or sit down for a few minutes for a brief chat. Lead the way in saying thank you for small things and don’t let large tasks go unnoticed.

Save providing funding for professional development opportunities, these simple ways of showing appreciation do very little to one’s bottom line, but can provide a significant increase in making an employee feel valued in an organization.

Become a Framing Assistant

Students learning construction skills
Students measuring and learning construction skills in a classroom setting.

The construction industry is one of the fastest areas of employment growth in Utah. With development on the rise, the need for skilled people working in the industry continues to increase. To meet this growing need, Salt Lake Community College has developed a Framing Assistant course, geared to helping people start careers in construction.

The program provides skills in workplace safety, construction terms, tools and materials, and a module where students practice in a classroom setting. Job interviews will be available for participants who successfully complete the course.

Course Schedule

Date: February 27 – March 21, 2017
Time: 8:00 a.m.– 5:00 p.m.


$950 (includes student workbook and use of tools during training)


Salt Lake Community College Redwood Campus
4600 S. Redwood Road, SLC, UT
Construction Trades Building, Room #025

For More Information Call
or email jadra.hymer@slcc.edu

In Their Words: Student Testimonials

Now that I am a Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer, the positive influence this course had on my career is evident every day.  My coaching, cueing, and instructing really improved during the course.  Through the practical assignments, I gained confidence and experience leading various fitness class formats (step, yoga, pilates, boot camp, kickboxing, etc). The instructor was very knowledgeable and gave excellent constructive feedback after each practical assignment.  I recommend this [group fitness] course to anyone considering pursuing [teaching] Group Fitness, or anyone who just wants to sharpen up their skills.”

~Will F.

group fitness class
Students learn techniques for leading group fitness classes