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University Teams Compete at Associated Schools of Construction Student Competition

BIG RAPIDS, MI — Rosendin, an employee-owned electrical contracting company, recently challenged college students to come up with solutions to fix a commercial project during an electrical competition. Rosendin congratulates the top three teams as winners of the 2024 Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) Regions 6 & 7 Student Competition’s Electrical Challenge.

Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, secured first place, successfully working together to demonstrate a working understanding of job cost, planned versus actual scheduling, financial forecasting, and how project issues impact the financial outcome of construction projects. The team from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo took second place, and Oregon State University placed third.  

Rosendin’s Electrical Problem challenged 15 student teams to assume the roles of project managers taking over a 30-acre commercial development with multiple buildings that are only 25 percent complete and facing problems. Students were tasked with developing solutions to try to overcome problems like supply chain issues and workforce shortages.

“Our challenge this year was developed to give students real-world experience in the commercial building industry and insight into problems they will be solving as they start their careers,” said Brandon Stephens, Rosendin Vice President and ASC Electrical Challenge Judge. “The key difference in this year’s challenge was that there was no solution. The challenge put the students under pressure to handle a project in distress, and the winners found the best way to explain to judges why their project could not meet its goals.”

As a former student at Boise State University, Stephens was an ASC competitor, himself. Now as a professional in the industry, Stephens said he finds it important to test students’ communication and teamwork skills to see how they would handle a difficult project. He is among several Rosendin professionals who participated in the ASC challenge as students and returned as judges.

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“I participated in ASC’s Competition while I was attending Sacramento State and have carried industry-specific skills that I learned with me ever since. I am proud to support Rosendin’s efforts as a sponsor of the electrical challenge to contribute to the development of the next generation of builders,” said Rob Clark, Rosendin Senior Project Manager and ASC Electrical Challenge Judge. “Most universities are teaching general construction, but this competition gives students a chance to dig into specialty contracting, and that gives them a huge advantage when talking to recruiters and even after they start their careers.”

The 37th annual ASC Student Competition and Construction Management Conference hosted over 1,700 students on 233 teams representing 55 universities. The event also connected students with 190 companies offering internships and career opportunities. This annual competition provides industry professionals with the ability to see how students react under pressure and meet students face-to-face to see if they are a good fit for a company. Since becoming judges, Stephens and Clark have recruited half a dozen students to Rosendin.

The Associated Schools of Construction is the professional association for the development and advancement of construction education. Student teams led by 128 faculty coaches also competed in categories such as Integrated Projects, Virtual Design & Construction, Sustainable Building, Preconstruction Services, and Project Management.

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