DDC’s summer interns at the 2022 Closing Ceremony

The NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) last week held a closing ceremony for 15 high school and 50 undergraduate and graduate students to mark the completion of their paid six-week summer internships at the City’s leading capital construction agency. Interns were mentored by DDC professionals and senior staff in various divisions and attended site visits to get hands-on technical experience and an in-depth understanding of the infrastructure and public buildings projects that DDC builds throughout the City.

“Internships expose students to real-life hands-on situations that give them true insight into the technical careers that they are interested in pursuing,” said 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, the have an opportunity to learn skills from DDC professionals that will help them enter the lucrative and rewarding construction industry.”

“We are extremely proud to send our 2022 high school and college interns out into the world,” said DDC Deputy Commissioner for Community Partnerships and STEAM Initiatives Lee Llambelis. “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.” 

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

DDC has mentored over 700 high school, undergraduate and graduate students to date. This year there were 15 high school, 44 undergraduate and 6 graduate interns representing 13 high schools and 31 colleges. Students this year are majoring in the fields of architecture, civil engineering, construction management, mechanical engineering and electrical. DDC received applications for the internship from students all over New York City. 

The high school interns visited the East Side Coastal Resiliency (ESCR) project that is enhancing parks while creating a 2.4-mile long flexible flood barrier extending from Montgomery Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side up to Asser Levy Playground at East 25th Street. 

The undergraduate and graduate interns took field trips to different DDC project sites throughout the five boroughs. At the beginning of the internship, they joined Mayor Eric Adams, various agencies and elected officials to celebrate the completion of the first section of the ESCR project that reopened Asser Levy Playground with a new floodwall and resilient play areas. 

Patrick Black, a rising junior at Manhattan College in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx represented undergraduate interns at the closing ceremony, held today at DDC’s offices in Long Island City, Queens. Patrick is studying civil engineering while double minoring in environmental engineering and mathematics. 

“Prior to the internship, I only took one course in environmental engineering where we learned about structures, but thanks to this fantastic internship I was able to dive in and see more of what it takes to build for the City,” said Patrick. “Throughout the internship, I visited 15 project sites that involve various types of tanks that hold petroleum and biodiesel, which was very interesting to see firsthand.”

“A great piece of advice that Commissioner Thomas Foley gave was to always ask questions and that’s what I did, I spoke to staff outside of my unit and it was a great way to learn more about the projects in DDC’s portfolio and to receive advice from industry professionals.”

Rin Curzio, a recent graduate of Energy Tech High School is also an incoming freshman at LaGuardia Community College that hopes to study mechanical engineering. 

“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,” said Rin.

“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.”

DDC student internship programs are conducted in conjunction with DDC’s STEAM education initiative, established in 2014 to create a diverse and inclusive pipeline for New York City’s youth to engage in the architecture, construction and engineering industries. The High School Summer Internship Program is also organized in partnership with the NYC Department of Youth & Community Development. Overall, DDC STEAM has served 5,506 students since its inception.

About the NYC Department of Design and Construction

The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor Adams’ long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15.5 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit nyc.gov/ddc.