In Charleston, the partnership between Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce and Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Carolinas puts students head-to-head in a single-day competition to complete the build of an 8’ x 11’ shed. Preparation for the competition began weeks ago as the students met and started their mentorship with their volunteer construction professionals from Choate Construction. In the weeks leading up to the big day, students honed their skills and knowledge in crucial areas of the industry including safety, planning, quality, scheduling, and communication. All students that participated finished the competition with an impressive OSHA 10 Certification to add to their resumes. Raleigh’s competition ran over two days, and included a precursor Design Competition leading up to the build.
Allowing students to work directly with construction professionals and learn hands-on about the industry, the events further establish the Carolinas as leaders in the STEM industry.
Choate Senior Project Manager and Build a Shed volunteer Andy Grayson adds, “The students from Wando have impressed me since day one. One of our team members invited me to view a webpage he created himself and showed me the furniture he creates in his free time as an amateur carpenter. I was blown away by the young talent and have enjoyed this experience immensely.”
The Charleston team wanted the ambitious students to experience the Build a Shed project as a small-scale version of a typical Choate groundbreaking ceremony. Staying true to Choate’s OneLife safety identity, the students of Wando High School signed a banner listing the names of their loved ones, challenging them to make safe decisions to protect their legacy no matter the size of the job. For fun, they experienced the ceremonial first toss of dirt with custom hard hats and Choate’s signature black and gold shovels in hand.
Choate’s Vice President of Operations and Build a Shed team coach Tim Heichelbech stated, “The construction industry looks bright, and that is apparent just looking around today at this group of talented youth. These students are excited about the work they have put in, and it’s going to pay off today when they experience the unique feeling of pride that comes with successfully completing a quality project.”