Students entering the building design and construction field receive financial support to bolster their education.
June 21, 2017 – What do tees and T-squares have in common? For KBE Building Corporation, hosting its first charity golf tournament has helped fulfill the company’s goal of providing scholarships to state Tech High School seniors as a way to support Connecticut ‘s future workforce in the design and construction industry.
Recognizing the continuing labor shortage in the building trades and design and construction industry, KBE recently awarded $17,000 in scholarships to 34 seniors graduating from the Connecticut Technical High School System. Students receiving the awards will use those dollars to help fund their continued studies in the building trades, or in degree programs in construction management, architecture, or engineering.
“The number of young professionals pursuing degrees and certifications in the construction trades is declining and we wanted to support those students who aim to advance their skills in these fields, as well as students pursuing programs in construction management, architecture, and engineering fields,” Simon F. Etzel, Jr., senior vice president KBE Building Corporation, said. “As a company, we place a high value on education and mentorship, and these scholarships are a way for us to help Connecticut to grow and maintain a highly skilled construction workforce.”
To fund the scholarships, KBE hosted its first charitable golf tournament on June 19 at the Country Club of Waterbury. Nearly a hundred golfers participated, helping to raise the $17,000 needed for the scholarship program.
“The tournament was a great opportunity for our clients and business partners to rally in support of encouraging students to join our industry,” Etzel said. “We are thankful to all of the players and to our sponsors for joining us in support of this mission.”
Sponsors for KBE Building Corporation’s 2017 Golf Tournament included: United Steel (Dinner Sponsor); MJ Daly (Lunch Sponsor); Interior Building Contractors & AMEC (Cart Sponsors); Macri Associates (Cigar Sponsor); Elite Construction & Ducci Electric (Cocktail Sponsors); and, Blakeslee Prestress (Putting Contest Sponsor).
A 2015 workforce survey conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America found that nearly 80 percent of construction businesses were experiencing difficulty finding qualified skilled labor. Further, a 2016 Morning Consult poll commissioned by the National Association of Homebuilders found that only three percent of young adults who know what field they want to study aspire to study/pursue a career in a construction trade.
In an industry poised for growth – the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the construction sector will add roughly 790,000 jobs during the decade spanning 2014-2024 – encouraging young professionals to pursue careers in the construction fields is critical.
“Encouraging and supporting young adults to pursue certificates, degrees and careers in construction-related fields requires a proactive approach,” Etzel said. “From KBE’s unique ‘Ground Up’ internship training program for high school students to monthly education forums with our millennial workforce, we aim to educate teens and young adults about the opportunities available in the construction field, as well as provide them with opportunities to learn and grow in their careers.”
KBE Building Corporation first awarded scholarships to students from Connecticut Technical High School System in 2014 as part of the firm’s 50 Ways to Make a Difference philanthropic initiative. To be eligible for scholarships, students must be pursuing building industry-related higher education, such as four-year college programs for structural engineering, civil engineering, mechanical/electrical engineering, construction management, or architecture. Students pursuing certification programs for building trades such as electricity, plumbing, or HVAC were also eligible.
This year’s scholarships were presented to students during a ceremony featuring Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman at E.C. Goodwin Technical High School in New Britain on June 13th. The awardees represented 28 towns and cities throughout Connecticut. (You can view a complete list of winners here.)
Photography by Ashley Burr.
About KBE Building Corporation
KBE has managed more than $4 billion in construction volume during the past two decades alone and is ranked among Engineering News-Record magazine’s top 400 construction companies nationally.
With offices in Norwalk and Farmington, CT, as well as Columbia, MD, KBE Building Corporation is a full-service, single-source commercial construction company strategically positioned to serve the Eastern and Mid-Atlantic U.S. Founded in 1959 and incorporated in 1966, the $300 million firm provides preconstruction, construction management, design-build, and general contracting services to clients in the retail, educational, senior living, federal, corporate, hospitality, health care, and institutional markets. Clients in the metropolitan New York area are supported through KBE affiliate, KBENY.
KBE’s team of 120+ construction professionals and support staff is deeply committed to the firm’s corporate philanthropy program, 50 Ways to Make a Difference. Established in 2009 to celebrate the firm’s 50 years in business, 50 Ways has helped KBE associates donate more than $2.5 million and 12,000 volunteer hours to charitable causes benefiting children, seniors, and military veterans in Connecticut and Maryland.
Learn more at www.kbebuilding.com.