The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of the Carolinas–Lowcountry, in collaboration with the Charleston Metro Chamber, held its first annual Students’ Hands-on Experience Day (S.H.E.D.) competition on Friday, April 27, 2018, at the Exchange Park in Ladson, S.C. The purpose of the event was to introduce construction as not just a job, but as a potential career. ABC’s Lowcountry S.H.E.D. event was inspired by a similar event originated by ABC of the Carolinas in North Carolina’s Triangle region in partnership with Wake County Public Schools.
For the inaugural Lowcountry event, students from seven Charleston-area high schools entered teams who were tasked to build an 8′ x 11′ shed in seven hours. Each student team was paired with a contractor and/or contractor-subcontractor coaching team. Most of the participating ABC member companies (general contractors) were joined by a subcontractor partner.
- Berkeley High School
Coached by Samet Corporation and sponsored by Thompson Turner Construction
- Charleston County School of the Arts
Coached by HITT Contracting and sponsored by Lowe’s
- Cross High School
Coached by Frampton Construction and Light Gauge Company and sponsored by United Community Bank
- Fort Dorchester High School – First Place Winner
Coached by Thompson Turner Construction and Cullum Constructors Inc. and sponsored by Cullum Mechanical
- R.B. Stall High School – Second Place Winner
Coached by Miller Valentine Group and Yellowstone Landscape and sponsored by Limehouse and Sons
- Timberland High School
Coached by Robins & Morton and Paragon Builders and sponsored by Trident Construction
- Wando High School – Third Place Winner
Coached by Choate Construction Company and sponsored by Low Country Case and Millwork
All seven student teams used the same blueprint and were mentored by their contractor coaches over a three-month period in the areas of safety, quality, planning, scheduling and communication. The coaches also educated the students on the many available career options in the construction industry, and provided insight into the job application process, resume writing, and interviewing. As part of their preparation for the competition, the students worked diligently to successfully complete their OSHA 10-Hour Certification prior to the event.
Pamela Freeman, membership director for ABC of the Carolinas – Lowcountry, gave GroundBreak Carolinas a play-by-play account of the day’s activities. “The Chamber could not have ordered a more “picture perfect” day in terms of weather. At 7:10 a.m. the starting horn kicked off a full day of construction. The excitement really picked up as we closed in on the 2 p.m. end time. Although completion was not one of the judging criteria, the fact that two sheds were nearing completion generated a lot of excitement,” said Freeman. “Cheering from spectators, including our many sponsors, made for a lively event.”
The competition was judged by a panel of 11 volunteers from local businesses and government agencies or departments. The judges looked at each shed, then evaluated if the floor framing and decking, and the wall framing were completed properly. They also checked to ensure the siding, doors and windows were installed correctly. The judging criteria included safety, cleanliness and proper tool use.
After the judging, three teams – from Fort Dorchester, R.B. Stall, and Wando High Schools – were awarded first, second and third prize, respectively. Following the awards presentation, the students and their coaches regrouped to finish their sheds. For safety reasons, volunteers from Baker Roofing completed the roofing on all seven sheds as part of a company team-building exercise.
Showing today’s youth the advantages of a career in the construction industry is extremely important to our country’s future. We need a new generation with new ideas to be the next leaders of Americas’ construction industry.
– Craig Johnson, Sales Executive, ASC International (Material Recycling Specialist)
The sheds were auctioned off to the highest bidder. Bidders included participating schools, ABC members, sponsors, local businesses and members of the community. The proceeds will be used to support future talent initiatives, like this one. Event organizers and school representatives agree that all teams did a tremendous job working together to build a shed in just seven hours.
Mentor/coach Tim Heichelbech, Choate’s Vice President of Operations, noted “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.”
SALUTE TO SPONSORS
In addition to the team sponsors mentioned above, the following companies helped make the inaugural ABC-Lowcountry/Charleston Metro Chamber’s Build a Shed event a success:
- Baker Roofing, Roof Sponsor
- Muhler, Window Sponsor
- Builders First Source, Door Sponsor
- CF Evans Construction, Materials Sponsor
- Panera Bread, Team Lunch Sponsor
- Lowe’s, Materials Sponsor
Event organizers made a special point to thank these organizations for their support:
- Carolina Waste
- R. Hipp Construction Inc.
- Exchange Park
- Harold Prince Towing and Shed Movers
- Goose Creek Lions Club
- Williams Scotsman
For the list of the judges, visit the Charleston Metro Chamber’s website.
About ABC of the Carolinas — The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of the Carolinas represents the merit construction contractors and related firms in North Carolina and South Carolina. ABC of the Carolinas is a chapter of the national ABC organization which represents more than 26,000 members. For more information and news, visit www.abccarolinas.org.
ABC’s Pamela Freeman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.