Moving on: More than 60 students complete summer internship with city’s Department of Design and Construction

Photo courtesy of the Department of Design and Construction

The NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) held a closing ceremony last week for 65 students to mark the completion of their six-week summer internship.

More than 700 high school, graduate and undergraduate students have been mentored by the DDC through its internship program. During this internship, the students — featuring 15 high school students, 44 undergraduates and six graduates — were monitored by DDC professionals and senior staff in various divisions. They also attended site visits to get hands-on technical experience and an in-depth understanding of the infrastructure and public buildings projects built throughout the city by the DDC.

DDC’s undergraduate and graduate interns joined Mayor Eric Adams (center) to celebrate the completion of the first section of the East Side Coastal Resiliency project, which reopened Asser Levy Playground with a new floodwall and resilient play areas. (Photo courtesy of the Department of Design and Construction)

“Internships expose students to real-life hands-on situations that give them true insight into the technical careers that they are interested in pursuing,” DDC Commissioner Thomas Foley. “We hope that these students will return to DDC one day and contribute to the greatness of this City. In the meantime, they have an opportunity to learn skills from DDC professionals that will help them enter the lucrative and rewarding construction industry.”

In total, the students in the program represented 13 high schools and 31 colleges from all over New York City. The college students who took part major in the fields of architecture, civil engineering, construction management, mechanical engineering and electrical.

During this program, the high school interns got to go to the East Side Coastal Resiliency project in Manhattan. This project is meant to enhance parks and create a 2.4-mile long flexible flood barrier extending from Montgomery Street on borough’s Lower East Side up to Asser Levy Playground at East 25th Street.

The undergraduate and graduate interns, meanwhile, were able to visit several different DDC sites across each borough. At one point, they joined Mayor Eric Adams, elected officials and various other agencies to celebrate the completion of Asser Levy Playground with a new floodwall and resilient play areas as the first section of the East Coast Resiliency project.

“We are extremely proud to send our 2022 high school and college interns out into the world,” DDC Deputy Commissioner for Community Partnerships and STEAM Initiatives Lee Llambelis said. “Our students have been working with some of the best built environment professionals in the industry, not only in NYC but the world. It is critically important that we expose our young people to rigor and high expectations of the industry in a professional setting.”

For Energy Tech High School graduate Rin Curzio, this internship meant a lot for him as he prepares to study mechanical engineering at LaGuardia Community College. He hopes to apply what he learned from the internship to his studies and eventually his career.

“Throughout my entire high school career, I studied engineering and this internship was the next steppingstone to learning about the industry and it gave me great exposure,” Curzio said. “I’ve been part of a robotics team for two years now and I hope to become a mentor to teach other students what I’ve learned. To simply put it, I love engineering and I’m very passionate about the field.”

Established in 2014, DDC’s STEAM education initiative works in conjunction with DDC student internship programs to create a diverse and inclusive pipeline for New York City’s youth to engage in the architecture, construction and engineering industries. The NYC Department of Youth and Community Development also works with them to organize the high school summer internship program. DDC STEAM has served approximately 5,506.

The Department of Design and Construction acts as the city’s primary manager on construction projects. Among the resources it works to provide for communities are new or renovated public buildings such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs.