Helping STEM Professionals and Veterans Get Back to Work

News Item
Helping STEM Professionals and Veterans Get Back to Work
November 5, 2021
CDM Smith's Reboot Re-Entry Program is hiring!

BOSTON—Engineering and construc­tion firm CDM Smith is proud to help profes­sion­als and veterans return to work after a 2-or-more-year career break. The 16-week Reboot Re-Entry Program is a paid, full-time temporary opportunity offered in CDM Smith’s U.S. locations for profes­sion­als to rejoin peers and gain experience. CDM Smith is currently accepting appli­ca­tions for the January-May 2022 cycle, which is targeted toward both STEM profes­sion­als and U.S. veterans.

CDM Smith was the first in the AEC industry to launch a ‘returnship’ program, partnering with the Society of Women Engineers and iRelaunch in 2019. Now entering its fourth year, CDM Smith believes programs like Reboot are valuable channels for a more diverse and inclusive workforce. 

Reboot has success­fully relaunched a number of careers and helped the firm source qualified employees, those who may have otherwise been overlooked by recruiters due to a resume gap. In fact, half of the hires made through the program were returning CDM Smith alumni.

Water resources engineer Jennifer Coryell, PE, who worked at CDM Smith from 2000-2012, rejoined the firm permanently after completing the Reboot program in 2021. 

“I took a career break to focus on family needs and to earn my master’s degree in public policy and public admin­is­tra­tion,” said Coryell. “I used to work in CDM Smith's Los Angeles office. Now, even though I'm in Chicago, I'm still working on L.A.-based projects for the same clients I worked with before. It's been really exciting to reconnect with them.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women make up 27% of the archi­tec­ture and engineering workforce and only 10.9% of the construc­tion workforce. The pandemic has set progress back further with many women considering pressing pause on their careers to care for children at home. 

“Women should have a path to make their way back to their careers, when the time is right, without having to pay a huge penalty in terms of position and pay when starting back up again,” said Sara Varvarigos, a mother and trans­porta­tion planner who was hired by CDM Smith after completing the Reboot program in 2020.

Veterans, who often face adversity when trying to reenter the workforce, are another group that can benefit from the program. CDM Smith specif­i­cally designed a new track of Reboot this year to help veterans transition into civilian careers. 

“CDM Smith knows that veterans don’t stop serving their country once they become civilians. We value the experience, training and knowledge they bring to our teams,” said Kurt Wildforster, U.S. Navy veteran, CDM Smith recruiter and Veteran Reboot program manager. “I’m excited that we’re providing the opportunity for veterans to help design and build the infra­struc­ture they served to protect.”

Both tracks of the Reboot program will run concur­rently with partic­i­pants of the 2022 cohort completing activities together and inde­pen­dently. Reboot partic­i­pants will be integrated into the firm with help from managers, teams and mentors, through networking activities and Lunch & Learn presen­ta­tions from CDM Smith program leaders. Veteran partic­i­pants will be paired with veteran employees as mentors. With profes­sional development tools and online learning resources at their fingertips, Reboot partic­i­pants will get up to speed with the latest industry practices and tech­nolo­gies. They will also gain confidence as a teammate through hands-on work for client deliv­er­ables. 

“I think one of the great things about Reboot is that it's a temporary position. You only need to commit to 16 weeks, which I guarantee you'll enjoy, and you get to decide from there,” added Coryell.

If you’re a profes­sional or veteran looking to return to work, visit to learn more and apply. If you’re interested but are not ready for the next cycle, join the Reboot Talent Community to stay in touch and receive the latest news about the program.

CDM Smith is a privately owned engineering and construc­tion firm providing legendary client service and smart solutions in water, environment, trans­porta­tion, energy and facilities. Passionate about our work and invested in each other, we are inspired to think and driven to solve the world's envi­ron­men­tal and infra­struc­ture challenges.

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