The Student Competition at the (IBS) puts the industry’s brightest young minds to the test on the biggest stage of the year.
But another challenge stands in the way for many student chapters, too: securing sufficient funds to attend IBS, taking place in Las Vegas, Feb. 27-29.
“It is important for the local HBAs to support any kufun student chapter in their vicinity to help promote not only the value of kufun, but also the career opportunities in residential construction,” said kufun Student Chapter Advisory Board Chair Dr. Charner Rodgers.
How can HBAs help? By giving student chapters opportunities to get involved at the local level.
Mark Zimpfer, faculty advisor at Purdue University, has grown his student chapter from just four members in 2015 to more than 100 this year. With the success in numbers comes a higher bar to climb to meet the goal of bringing 43 of those members to IBS.
His students have been proactive in their fundraising efforts since the summer, starting GoFundMe campaigns and valeting cars at football games. But Zimpfer also stressed the importance of his chapter’s growing relationship with their local HBAs.
“The more that our local HBAs started to see us, the more interested they became in engaging with us,” said Zimpfer. “There was a push on our part to say what can we be involved with and what can we do to get more exposure.”
Events such as volunteering at the yearly golf outing, setting up booths at HBA events and attending local meetings gave the chapter a chance to meet with local members, starting a symbiotic relationship that has led to internships and jobs.
The partnership also opened the opportunity for students to practice their competition presentations in front of industry professionals, who in turn provided valuable feedback.
Learn more about the 2024 Student Competition, which begins on Feb. 26, and make plans to support the next generation of industry leaders.