Local builders association supports students’ upcoming travel

Published 02.21.2024

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The Penn College Construction Association accepts a gift from the West Branch Susquehanna Builders Association. The donation will support a trip by the group to Las Vegas to participate in the National Association of Home Builders Student Competition and attend the International Builders Show. From left are faculty adviser Barney A. Kahn; students Corbin R. Moore, of Manheim; Dakota M. Davis, of Dover; Connor M. Gentile, of Oxford; Sam K. Brost, of Big Falls, N.Y.; Trent M. Devlin, of Hatboro; Yelisa A. Lora, of Hanover Township; Evan J. Woodhead, of Newtown; and faculty adviser Garret L. Graff. (Photo provided)

Pennsylvania College of Technology students who are set to compete at the International Builders Show this month were hosted recently by the West Branch Susquehanna Builders Association, which presented the students with a check for $3,500 to offset the cost of their competition and travel expenses.

The students are members of the Penn College Construction Association. Each year, the association sends students to the show, where they compete in the National Association of Home Builders Student Competition and have returned with five national championships.

“West Branch Susquehanna Builders Association is pleased to support the personal and educational learning for Penn College students to compete,” said Jody Harlan, the association’s president. “We believe in investing in the future of the industry, and this is one of the ways the association is supporting the next-generation workforce.”

Two Penn College teams – comprising 11 building construction students – have been preparing for the competition for months.

An associate degree team submitted its plans to build a home in Park City, Utah. Those plans include drawings, a material and labor estimate, construction schedule and construction management plan.

A team of bachelor’s degree students is competing in the Custom/Small Build Competition, which puts participants in the role of a home builder in Lake Allatoona, Georgia. The team was required to analyze the local market and select a property, determine permitting requirements for their selected municipality, complete a project estimate, identify trade partners, submit floor plans and elevations, create a plan for marketing and selling the home, and provide a financial and risk analysis.

Both teams will present their plans to judges in Las Vegas on Feb. 26.

The students will be joined by Penn College Construction Association advisers and building construction technology faculty Garret L. Graff, assistant professor, and Barney A. Kahn IV, instructor.

During the West Branch Susquehanna Builders Association meeting, Yelisa A. Lora (with microphone) discusses her role on the four-year team that will compete in Las Vegas. Lora is an architecture & sustainable design student from Hanover Township.

“I am so proud of these teams for putting in the effort to participate in this national competition,” said Ellyn A. Lester, assistant dean of construction and architectural technologies. “We’re very fortunate to have a strong relationship with WBSBA, which is due in large part to our incredible faculty who always go ‘above and beyond’ when it comes to supporting the students. The relationships that Barney Kahn, Garret Graff and other faculty have built with the WBSBA yields ongoing support from the organization, which makes these trips possible.”

The NAHB’s International Builders Show is one of the largest conventions in the U.S. In addition to the competition, it features more than 1,500 exhibitors and a variety of seminars.

Penn College offers several majors in building construction, including associate degrees in building construction technology and concrete science technology, and a bachelor’s in residential construction technology and management, as well as two competency credentials for concrete technicians. To learn more, call 570-320-4520.

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.