Valle De Oro Community Planning Group Presentation

Written by Alyssa Burley.

On Tuesday, August 2, 2016, Crystal Howard from Project Cornerstone presented "Put the SanD Back in San Diego" to the Valle De Oro Community Planning Group at their monthly meeting held at the Otay Water District Headquarters in Spring Valley.

  Crystal Howard speaking at the Valle De Oro Community Planning Group Meeting on 8/2/16.  Photo by Alyssa Burley.

Crystal Howard speaking at the Valle De Oro Community Planning Group Meeting on 8/2/16.  Photo by Alyssa Burley.

Among the audience were Joel and Jon Cloud from Hester's Granite Company, a local rock quarry located on Willow Glen Drive in El Cajon.  They were on hand to answer questions from the planning group about their experiences in the local construction aggregates industry. 

Overall, the response from the planning group was positive and they appreciated the information presented at the meeting.

The Valle de Oro Community Planning Area encompasses approximately nineteen square miles of the unincorporated portion of the County of San Diego. The Planning Area is located to the south of the City of El Cajon and to the east of the city of La Mesa. Several neighborhoods are located within Valle de Oro. Those include: Casa de Oro, Mount Helix, Vista Grande Hills and Rancho San Diego. 

CTE Teacher Field Trip to RCP Block & Brick

Written by Alyssa Burley.

RCP Block & Brick, a manufacturer of hardscape products and masonry supplies in Southern California, hosted Career Technical Education (CTE) teachers from the Grossmont Union High School District on Wednesday, May 25, 2016.  The field trip was organized by Project Cornerstone who is working with the district's CTE specialist to ensure the construction aggregates and related industries are included in the local CTE programs. 

CTE programs are designed to train high school students to enter the workforce or continue onto college after graduation, with the skills they need to be successful in today's job market.  Through educational paths in manufacturing, transportation, building and construction, engineering and architecture, and others, students graduate with skills that make them ready to enter the workforce.  Project Cornerstone is bridging the gap between high school CTE teachers and the industry in order to ensure there is a skilled workforce interested in the aggregates and related industries in the future.  Currently, most CTE programs do not educate students about the industry.

The field trip began at the RCP Block & Brick corporate offices at the Lemon Grove location.  Kathy Olsen and Craig Finch from RCP Block & Brick introduced the teachers to RCP's history and provided a tour of the offices, retail store, products and displays. 

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After the tour at the Lemon Grove location, the group headed down to the Otay manufacturing plant.

The teachers toured the mechanic's shop to learn about the types of transportation jobs available in the construction aggregates and related industries.  The teachers asked questions and learned the skills employers want to see in new hires.

They also met the dispatcher who tracks and coordinates deliveries.

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The group toured the building where concrete blocks are manufactured.

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At lunch, the group of teachers listened to Matt Pound from Escondido Materials talk about engineering and the industry. 

After lunch, the teachers tested their masonry skills by building a concrete block wall.

Overall, the CTE teachers enjoyed the RCP Block & Brick field trip and each one took something positive away from the tour.

Photos by Alyssa Burley.

To be involved in future CTE teacher field trips, as a guest speaker, or offer internships, contact Crystal Howard at (619) 284-8515 or crystal@project-cornerstone.org.

Career and College Fair at Diego Valley Charter High School

Written by Alyssa Burley.

On April 29, 2016, Project Cornerstone had the pleasure of participating in the Career and College Fair at Diego Valley Charter School in El Cajon, CA.  High school students attended the event to learn about possible career paths and higher education opportunities.

  Photo by Alyssa Burley.

Photo by Alyssa Burley.

Project Cornerstone's Construction Aggregates booth was highly popular among the students.  Many of them didn't know what construction aggregates were when they first walked up to the booth.  However, by the time they left, they were saying things like, "wow, I never thought about this as a career."  Others commented how they thought "this industry is really cool!"

Students learned about the various careers from heavy equipment operator, to engineers, geologist, lab technicians and more.

Project Cornerstone looks forward to participating in future career and college fairs at Diego Valley Charter.  

Cajon Valley Middle School Field Trips to Enniss Inc. in Lakeside, CA

Written by Alyssa Burley.

On April 15th and 26th, 2016, Project Cornerstone coordinated two field trips to Enniss Inc. for about 70 students and 12 teachers and parents, from Cajon Valley Middle School in El Cajon, CA.

Enniss Inc. is a unique construction company that has a variety of divisions that include sand and material sales, and construction material recycling.  Students toured the Lakeside facility where they learned about the quarry, processing and recycling plant.

The students broke into small groups and visited various stations.       

Students learn about the heavy equipment used at the facility.

  Heavy Equipment.

Heavy Equipment.

They learned about asphalt and broke open geodes.

They blended their own amended soil and planted a flower, which they were able to take home.

  Amended Soil.

Amended Soil.

Students also made their own small batches of concrete and formed them into various shapes using silicone molds.

  Broken Geodes.

Broken Geodes.

  Concrete Projects.

Concrete Projects.

All the students, teachers and parents enjoyed the hands-on field trip.

Thank you to Enniss Inc. for opening your facility to these students.

Photos by Alyssa Burley.

TEDx Event at Greenfield Middle School

Written by Alyssa Burley.

Project Cornerstone hosted two workshops called "The Science and Economics of our Earth's Resources" at the TEDx event hosted by Greenfield Middle School in El Cajon, CA on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

The workshops included a brief history about how the ancient Romans revolutionized the use of concrete to build their cities' infrastructure.  The attendees participated in a trade activity where they learned about the value of a commodity and it increases with trade.  They also made their own concrete projects to take home.

  Photos by Alyssa Burley.

Photos by Alyssa Burley.

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Career Day at Mountain Empire High School

Written by Alyssa Burley.

On March 11, 2016, the Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce hosted Career Day at Mountain Empire High School in Pine Valley, CA.  Along with the high school students, sixth, seventh, and eight grade students from Campo, Descanso, Jacumba, Pine Valley and Potrero also attended the event.

After an inspirational speech from former National Football League middle linebacker Chris Washington, students visited booths presented by 22 companies in a wide-range of industries.  Students were encouraged to ask questions about the industries and possible careers options.

Visitors to the Project Cornerstone booth learned about the local construction aggregates industry, various careers, education and training requirements, and the science behind concrete.  Plus, students made their own concrete stars to take home.  Project Cornerstone's Alyssa Burley and Jamie Metivier were there to answer questions and lead the students through the concrete activity.

  Photos by Alyssa Burley.

Photos by Alyssa Burley.

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Pit & Quarry Magazine Features Project Cornerstone

Written by Alyssa Burley.

In its March 2016 issue, the 100 year-old Pit & Quarry magazine features Project Cornerstone's construction aggregates-focused educational programs and community outreach efforts.

The article explains how Project Cornerstone serves "as a bridge between the community and the industry it knows little about," writes Allison Barwacz.

Barwacz covers the Project Cornerstone field trips that take students on tours of local rock quarries, and the educational activities that are designed to meet their science curriculum.

Through Project Cornerstone, students are enlightened about various careers within the aggregates industry.  The potential shortage of future industry employees is mentioned by Barwacz and backed up with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Barawcz highlights how Project Cornerstone's teacher workshop is designed to equip "teachers with the tools necessary to teach their students about the aggregates industry."

“It’s very clear that the general public does not understand the construction aggregate industry and how it impacts them,” Barwacz quotes Crystal Howard, executive director of Project Cornerstone.  “Mining, in general, is a scary word to the public when you first bring it up. This program has really opened the eyes of students, their teachers and the general public that sand and gravel is really the cornerstone of their community.”

Read the full article.

About Pit & Quarry
Launched in 1916, Pit & Quarry magazine serves the multi-billion-dollar aggregates mining industry.  It serves as the leading equipment and technology media source for the crushed stone and sand-and-gravel industries, offering readers relevant information about the latest industry news.

Pit & Quarry offers a monthly magazine, as well as a weekly newsletter and online platform that provide a constant stream of equipment and technology information and news.

Presentation at the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce Business and Education Committee Meeting

Written by Alyssa Burley.

On Friday, March 18, 2016, Alyssa Burley from Project Cornerstone spoke at the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce Business and Education Committee meeting. 

Alyssa introduced the group to Project Cornerstone's mission, the organization's recent and upcoming activities, and discussed the May 7, 2016 Teacher Workshop.  The group was receptive to her message and the organization's educational programs as they are in-line with the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) emphasis in East County schools.

The Business and Education Committee is designed to allow business leaders, educators and administrators to collaborate.

Letters from Diego Valley Charter High School Students

Written by Alyssa Burley.

Project Cornerstone visited Diego Valley Charter High School on November 24, 2015 and February 9, 2016 at its El Cajon and Lakeside campuses.

Two students decided to share their Project Cornerstone experience.  Their letters were read at the Project Cornerstone Annual Meeting on February 25, 2016.

Lyzette Rubenstein

"Hi my name is Lyzette Rubenstein. I’m a student at Diego Valley at our Lakeside Learning Center and I participated in the concrete seminar. I enjoyed participating in the seminar because I’m a kinesthetic learner and I prefer having a hands-on experience learning. That is exactly what the seminar was. The project tied a lot into math and science, because we had to make measurements and calculations. We got to learn about the different rocks and sand such as the sand that came from the beaches and sand that came from the river. I feel that having more projects that are hands on would be very helpful for students, because they get to learn in a new way and interact with others and the material is right there in front of them rather thanreading out of a textbook or getting a lecture.  I hope in the future we get more opportunities to do more seminars like this in our school at Lakeside Learning Center."

Download Lyzette Rubenstein's letter.

  Lyzette Rubenstein, Student at Diego Valley Charter School.

Lyzette Rubenstein, Student at Diego Valley Charter School.

  Samantha Moses, Student at Diego Valley Charter School.

Samantha Moses, Student at Diego Valley Charter School.

Samantha Moses

"Last month I was encouraged to participate in a hands on lab about construction and concrete. During the lab, the interaction between students and the Project Cornerstone instructors was great. We worked closely with sand and other minerals found in concrete, which was really interesting because we learned about their applications in real life. I never thought about how widely common the use of concrete is before participating in this class.

My favorite part of the class was mixing different dry materials and watching the reaction as it became wet concrete. It was pretty amazing to see how you can take small amounts of rocks and mix them with sand and water to make concrete. After making our own concrete, we were able to place the concrete into molds to make different shapes and figures. We were also able to add die, using colored powder, to make the molds colorful. You could tell everyone was having a great time because students all wanted to try multiple molds. I really enjoyed interacting with the other students and being able to work together and help one another.

It taught me a lot more about concrete and construction than I would have ever known before.  I learned a lot about the huge piles of sand we all see on the side of the freeway and how it’s used as part of construction materials. Also knowing how roads and buildings are made was very intriguing. I learned about cement trunks and how costly they are to use because you can expect to pay roughly $120 to $200 per cubic yard.

The workshop was even related to my Earth Science class because we made a mixture using different rocks, sand, and water. We also learned about the composition of many building materials. The class helped expose us students to a wide variety of career choices within the construction industry. I thought it was interesting to think about a career in construction for my future.

 Samantha Moses"

Download Samantha Moses' letter.