Posted on July 11, 2017 by Jorie Helms


Team members (from left): Megan Enouen, Sarah Morrison, Elizabeth Dowland and Katie Anderson.

In a predominantly male industry, four young women blazed their own trail as the first all-female team to participate in the annual NAHB Student Competition during this year’s International Builders’ Show in Orlando.

The competition, formerly called the Residential Construction Management Competition, is always a highlight of IBS as it gives students across the country the opportunity to put their home building skills to the test.

Students, who are all members of NAHB Student Chapters, are given a problem that the teams must respond to by creating a proposal for a construction management project. Teams then present their proposals to a group of residential building professionals who judge the projects in front of an audience at IBS.

This year’s all-female team, from Shadow Ridge High School in Surprise, Ariz., included Elizabeth Dowland, Katie Anderson, Megan Enouen and Sarah Morrison. The team was led by Scott Thomas, a veteran coach of the competition.

“The [team’s] focus, dedication to detail, and the completion of the competition problem statement ahead of schedule was extraordinary and set this particular team ahead of any team I have had in my 35 years of teaching high school and college-level students,” Thomas said.

NAHB is dedicated to fostering the next generation of female building professionals through its Professional Women in Building Council (PWB). The council supports women in the industry through education, professional development and mentorships. PWB also is dedicated to recruiting and retaining young professionals.

“These young women are the future of the residential construction industry and PWB celebrates them. The council prides itself on partnering with NAHB Student Chapters to provide scholarship opportunities through the council’s Building Hope Scholarship Fund,” said PWB executive director Sheronda Carr.

Student Elizabeth Dowland, who has participated in a number of comeptitive events, said the NAHB Student Competition pushed her and her team to a new level. “This was the most advanced and intricate project my team and I have ever worked on…I’m proud of the outcome because it was a new experience for me.”

NAHB’s Student Chapters program offers students first-hand exposure to the real world of the building industry through NAHB membership, educational programming, and networking opportunities. Through the combined efforts of PWB and the Student Chapters program, the Student Competition should expect to see more all-female teams following in the path of the pioneering group from Shadow Ridge.

Registration for the 2018 NAHB Student Competition will open in September. For more information about Student Chapters or the Student Competition, contact Greg Zick.

For more information about PWB, contact Sheronda Carr.

This post was researched and written by Isabel Grabowski, a summer intern for the NAHB Professional Women in Building Council.

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