Student Competition Winners Featured in NAHB Workforce Development Video

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Fresh off a win in the NAHB Student Competition at IBS 2019 in Las Vegas, construction management students at Shelby County High School (Ky.) are featured in a recent workforce development video touting a career in carpentry. The video is part of a series of workforce development videos produced annually by NAHB highlighting career paths and salaries of professionals working in the skilled trades. SCHS students discuss why they see carpentry as a viable career, and many express their eagerness to get started right away. Watch the video below. In February, SCHS teacher Walt Wilson and his students found out that they had won first place in the construction management category of the NAHB Student Competition for secondary schools. SCHS students Abel Lopez, Kara Phillips, Nathan Pulliam, Jackie Romo, and Jacob Smith, as well as Wilson and advisor Perry Lyons of P.L. Lyons Architectural Builders, worked almost every Thursday night to answer the competition problem: How much would you charge to build the house pictured here, and why should we choose you to build it? "We had to devise a construction management plan to build a house with the exact footprint (size and shape) they gave us," said Wilson. "This year we had to create drawings and our own specifications." As "employees" of mythical Rocket Construction, the students created a 3-ring binder that detailed everything — drawings, material and labor estimates, as well as a construction schedule that adhered to the constraints, building codes and design criteria of a real-world development project. The students then pitched and defended their proposal to a team of judges during the competition, making a case for why they should be chosen as the project contractor. "The kids get so much out of this because it is as close as you can get to a real-world problem," Wilson says of the process. "It is project-based learning, and it is the best way to learn. You can see the students’ maturity levels change." For Rocket Construction President and SCHS senior Jackie Romo, the best part of the experience was meeting actual contractors and learning about different aspects of the construction industry. "I also liked experiencing what it is like to be put on the spot during the live aspect of the competition," Romo said. "I would like to see more high schools participate to make it even more competitive." For more information on the 2020 NAHB Student Competition, contact Greg Zick.

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