What can an ambitious individual do to help further their passion and enthusiasm for the construction industry?
Engaging in the active pursuit of building something from start to finish requires commitment, dedication. And although the process may be difficult, a finished design or product is an accomplishment to be proud of. As we look to a new generation of craft professionals, we want them to take risks by facing unique challenges that will offer professional development and personal growth.
NCCER and Build Your Future (BYF) offer a fun video competition for individuals and groups looking to do just this. Intended to help promote construction as an industry of choice, this contest challenges young professionals to build a project of their choosing and record the entire process.
These videos are then showcased in the People’s Choice competition. Here, every eligible video is available for the public to watch and vote on their favorite project. This year's competition collected over 4,000 votes. This allows NCCER and BYF to showcase outstanding construction projects from the unique perspective of trainees, students and instructors.
While the public is voting on its favorite video, all videos are being reviewed and judged in-house by NCCER, Carhartt and DeWalt. This year, the fifth annual I BUILT THIS! video contest featured fierce competition with returning champions and new challengers. Showcasing specialized skill sets from different craft professions, these submissions represent bright, hardworking individuals who have an interest in the construction industry.
NCCER and BYF is proud to congratulate this year’s winners for all five categories:
• Jordan Stambaugh and Gavin Rouse of Carroll County Career and Technology Center (group secondary)
• Moshe Udy and Curtis Choi of ABC Southern California (group postsecondary)
• Joey Arrington of Carroll County Career and Technology Center (individual secondary)
• Russ Jackson of Southern Air (individual postsecondary)
• Jose Torres, Virgilio Morales, Eddie Torres, Jose Gomez and Tony Rodriquez of Milby High School (People’s Choice).
But what does winning this competition mean to these competitors?
Aside from distributing over $15,000 worth in prizes to the winners, the recognition and support for these individuals stretch far beyond the audience of NCCER and BYF.
“It’s quite the honor, from a lot of different perspectives,” said Jon Mersinger, carpentry instructor with Carroll County Career and Technology Center, representing his student Joey Arrington. “He was in the local newspaper, front page; his win was in the announcements at school and he was showcased on the board of education website. This benefits both the students and the [carpentry] program.”
The I BUILT THIS! video competition helps change how construction is viewed. Through these students, trainees and instructors and their projects, the industry is represented as unique and exciting.
“When people come and see the different things the welding program is doing and winning, it helps,” said Michael Schweinsberg, supporting the group secondary team at Carroll County Career and Technology Center. “Competing gives us exposure and when kids from eighth grade come by and take a tour; this sparks their interest.”
Here, winning defines itself as more than a prize.
From showcasing crafts like sheet metal, carpentry and welding, these trainees, students and instructors are learning more about the profession while offering new ideas to the construction industry.
Whether it’s building a house, a mailbox, an archway or rewiring an electrical system to make a smart house- working in a team or on your own, looking back on a finished design or product is gratifying.
“[Construction is a] team career. If you look at any structure, any building, or any power plant, no one man or woman built any of these,” said Russ Jackson, third year competitor and winner from Southern Air. “We need to get the youth excited about building with their hands and this competition gives us all an outlet to do exactly that.”
It all starts with building something.