Roger Williams University, Oregon State University and Pittsburg State University are recognized as the nation's most outstanding student construction chapters of 2018, the Associated General Contractors of America announced last week during its annual convention in Denver. The student chapters were honored in three categories; Emerging Student Chapter Award, Community Service Award and Construction Management Skills Award.


"There's no more important goal for our industry today than to invest in its leaders of tomorrow," said Eddie Stewart, the association's president and president and chief executive officer of Caddell Construction in Montgomery, Ala. "These student chapters have helped cultivate the construction workforce of the future and have completed projects that improve their local communities."


The Roger Williams University Student Chapter won the Emerging Student Chapter Award for exceptional program building and phenomenal partnership with their local AGC Chapter. The student chapter was re-established in 2016 and began with a small group of 10-15 interested students. Over the next two years they began partnering with Rhode Island AGC, developing fundraiser events, organizing field trips, bringing in guest speakers, holding webinars, and presenting information on club activities in construction related classes on campus. Currently, the group holds meetings where networking opportunities, current industry trends, and news in the world of construction regularly fill a classroom of over 40 attendees.


The Oregon State University Student Chapter won the Community Service Award for its project benefiting a school that was gravely damaged following Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. The student chapter partnered with their local AGC and traveled to Puerto Rico to help. The Oregon State students replaced the roof, removed debris and made the building more accessible after the tremendous impact. The students spent approximately 150 hours planning over a 6-month period and 190 hours working on-site. They partnered with student volunteers from the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez who also dedicated 100 hours to help finish the project.


The Pittsburg State University AGC Student Chapter won the Construction Management Skills and Project Award for the renovation of a rail road bridge in Joplin, Missouri, showcasing how successfully they applied classroom knowledge to real world applications. The "Rails to Trails" campaign, organized by the Joplin Trails Coalition partnered with the AGC Student Chapter to remove existing railroad ties, weld a steel frame to the existing beams, pour and finish a concrete deck on the new frame, and install a metal and wood handrail system.


The three winning chapters received $2,000 each with a $1,000 travel stipend to attend AGC's Annual Convention. They were selected by a panel of judges made up of practicing commercial contractors. Student chapters were evaluated on qualifying criteria in each of the three categories for exemplary demonstration of the AGC of America tenants of Skill, Responsibility & Integrity. The student chapters received their awards during the Closing Session taking place as part of the association's annual convention in Denver.