AE is working to build the technical skills of local engineers and contractors in the areas where the company operates. Specific components of AE’s capacity-building program include working with local NGOs to introduce the engineering profession to local children and working with local Universities to promote innovative engineering amongst the students. While AE strongly believes in building the capacity of local engineers, the company also has immense respect for the knowledge and skills they already possess. AE works hard to foster a collaborative culture that encourages a partnership of ideas and techniques amongst all stakeholders.
Reaching students at a young age and providing an introduction to engineering concepts is one of AE’s methods for local capacity building. AE is currently working with many different Cambodian Children NGOs to provide students with exposure to various types of engineering careers through hands-on workshops on a variety of engineering topics. Workshops have included kids building hot air balloons, bridges out of straws, and simple one-line circuit flashlights. In addition to these workshops, AE published a bilingual children’s book about engineering called “Buildings and Bridges”. The fun kid’s book explains the basics of what an engineer does with colorful illustrations and simple examples. These books are left with the Children’s Organizations for their libraries after AE’s workshops.
AE actively works to strengthen and empower the local communities where projects take place. This community engagement is done with the goal of assisting the community in working toward managing their own development projects. By advocating and engaging local communities, AE assists in building alliances between local professional engineers, as well as both private developers and aid agencies for infrastructure projects. This leads to a more collaborative environment where communities actively participate in their own development.