Farmington, CT – KBE Building Corporation has awarded $17,000 in scholarships to 34 seniors graduating from the Connecticut Technical High School System.
KBE first awarded scholarships to students 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 during a ceremony featuring Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman at E.C. Goodwin Technical High School in New Britain on June 13. The awardees represented 28 towns and cities throughout Connecticut.
“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.”
“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.”
“The tournament was a great opportunity for our clients and our peers 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% 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.