West Branch Builders Donate $3,000 to Student Chapter
The West Branch Susquehanna Builders Association has donated $3,000 to a group of Pennsylvania College of Technology construction students to help defray the costs of competing at January's International Builders' Show in Florida.
At a dinner cruiseaboard the Hiawatha paddle wheeler, group president Steven S. Sechrist of Sechrist Construction in Cogan Station − a 1998 graduate of Penn College's carpentry program − presented the check to college representatives on behalf of the Penn College Construction Association.
Members of that organization, a student chapter of the National Association of Home Builders, will travel to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando to compete in both two- and four-year categories in mid-January.
A group of two-year construction students logged its second consecutive first-place finish at this year's show and were the subject of an episode of "Penn College & You" that premiered in April.
Members of the WBSBA were sparked by Second Vice President Ray Venema of Susquehanna Builders Inc., whose $1,000 personal contribution provided an incentive for their matching funds. Venema said his gift recognizes that today's Penn College students represent the future of his longtime field, eventual graduates who will carry their considerable skills onto the job site.
Among those on hand for the presentation were Thomas A. Fedor of Whitehall, a residential construction technology and management major, and part of this past year's two-year team. Continuing his education after earning an associate degree in May, he will be a member of the four-year team in January's competition.
Also on board were Bernard A. "Barney" Kahn, instructor of building construction technology at Penn College and adviser to the PCCA; Tom Gregory, the college's dean of construction and design technologies; and Richard L. Druckenmiller, building construction technology instructor and the students' adviser during previous competitions.