Trade groups embrace students' educational mission to Vegas

Published 01.27.2023

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More than $5,000 in industry support is among the financial assistance to five Penn College students and two faculty members traveling to Las Vegas for the National Home Builders Association's International Building Show (Jan. 31-Feb. 2).

Acknowledging the West Branch Builders' $3,500 contribution are (from left) Harlan, current West Branch Builders president; James Hoffman, past president; Gaffey; Simcox; Stein, Reyes-Becerra; Randy Williamson, a construction trades instructor in the Williamsport Area School District (and in the Penn College Dual Enrollment program); Varano; Graff and Kahn.Students making the trip are Henry G. Gaffey, of Wexford; Lizeth V. Reyes-Becerra, of Erie; Carter J. Simcox, of Lock Haven; Cheyenne E. Stein, of Orwigsburg; and Carson J. Varano, of Allentown. Simcox is enrolled in building science & sustainable design: architectural technology concentration; the other four are pursuing degrees in residential construction technology & management. All are members of the Penn College Construction Association, an NHBA student chapter.

Contributions to the team include $3,500 from The West Branch Susquehanna Builders Association and $2,000 from NAHB's National Housing Endowment Travel Scholarship Program.

“It is more important now than ever for The West Branch Susquehanna Builders Association to support young builders and future industry professionals," said Jody Harlan, newly sworn in as the organization's president. "It is vital that our builders of today develop a strong relationship with the builders of the future and help them find their place in the industry. We are just as committed to the success of our future industry professionals as we are to the success of our current association members."

The group – mentored and joined by building construction faculty Garret L. Graff, assistant professor, and instructor Barney A. Kahn IV – will take part in the annual NAHB Student Competition, which gives students the opportunity to apply skills learned in the classroom to a real-life management project/proposal judged by a group of construction company executives.

"Student attendance at the IBS is very important to NAHB," read the sentiment accompanying that group's donation. "Despite increased demand for the scholarships, the National Housing Endowment strives to reach as many students as possible through this program. We hope that your student chapter will find the scholarship funds helpful as you travel to IBS."

Other Las Vegas activities will include seminars, a trade show and career-focused networking with professionals in the construction field.

Watch PCToday for more on the students' competition performance.

Photo provided