NCCER and BYF Announce Scholarship and I BUILT THIS! Contest Winners

BYF, an initiative to recruit the next generation of craft professionals, presents the recipients of the Careers in Construction Month scholarships and I BUILT THIS! contest winners.

Build Your Future (BYF) is NCCER's national image enhancement and recruitment initiative for the construction industry.
Build Your Future (BYF) is NCCER's national image enhancement and recruitment initiative for the construction industry.

NCCER, a not-for-profit educational foundation, announced the companies and scholarship recipients of the Careers in Construction Month (CICM) pledge drawing and the I Built This! video contest winners. Both are a part of the Build Your Future (BYF) program, which aims to improve the image of construction careers while recruiting ambitious youth to become craft professionals.  

Careers in Construction Month pledge drawing

During the Month of October, BYF asked companies to pledge to connect with students nationwide with a virtual or in-person visit. The purpose of the CICM initiative was to share resources from BYF to help current students explore a possible career in construction. 

The 2020 initiative received 151 companies and organizations that pledged their support. Once pledged, each company was entered into a $5,000 drawing for a school of their choosing, offered exclusive resources and promoted via website, newsletter and press release. 

The winners of the pledge drawing included:

  • Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), Florida Gulf Coast
  • Ohio Ceiling and Partition (OCP)
  • Worley

Each winner was able to award a school, that implemented effective construction craft training programs, a $5,000 scholarship.

ABC nominated Sickles High School for its Drafting and Carpentry programs, while OCP decided to award the Penta Career Center. 

According to NCCER's press release, "Penta Career Center is a local vocational school that brings students from many schools in our area together to learn their trade of choice. The staff at Penta are more than just teachers; they work with kids to get them placed with contractors. They truly take an interest in their future, which in turn, contributes to ours," shared Chris Gunderman, superintendent of OCP and a Penta Alumnus. 

Lastly, Worley selected The Channelview High School for its welding program that contributes to building a sustainable workforce. 

For a complete list of pledged organizations, visit

I BUILT THIS! video contest winners

During CCIM, BYF held a I BUILT THIS! video contest. It aimed to provide an opportunity to showcase outstanding construction projects by secondary and postsecondary students and trainees. 

NCCER and BYF announced the contest winners and programs, which will receive tools, swag, gift cards and more — with a total prize value of more than $20,000. 

The 2020 I BUILT THIS! contest winners include: 

Secondary First Place: Dylan Buzzard of Carroll County Career and Technology Center

Dylan Buzzard, senior at the Carroll County Career and Technology Center, created an entryway bench and storage unit for the resource officer at the center. 

In the future, Buzzard plans to further his career in the welding industry with expectations of eventually opening his own fabrication shop.

Secondary Runner-Up: Dakota VanCleve of Carroll County Career and Technology Center

Dakota VanCleve, senior at the Carroll Country Career and Technology center, designed a custom tailgate for her Father's F-350 Pickup Truck. 

Vancleve decided to choose this project to learn to properly use the welding equipment available in a fun and interesting way. After initially becoming interested in the field during the Future Farmers of America's (FFA) welding competition, Vancleve plans to continue to pursue a career in welding. 

Postsecondary First Place: James Snyder of Pikes Peak Community College

James Snyder entered the I BUILT THIS! competition in his second year at Pikes Peak Community College. He designed and built a complete fire place with a pizza oven located at the top. 

Snyder chose this project specifically because he believed it would challenge his Masonry skills. The entire construction of the project included an initial dry layout, mixing and assembling the parts, measuring and laying out the firebrick, creating the arch templates, running electrical conduits for the lights, inserting the damper and building up the chimney.

After this process, Snyder placed flagstone for an aesthetic purpose and completed an acid wash for the final product. 

Postsecondary Runner-Up: Raul Sanchez of Shapiro & Duncan and ABC of Metro Washington

Raul Sanchez, a third year plumbing apprentice for Shapiro & Duncan, is currently working on creating new HVAC Installation Units in Washington D.C. This entire project includes installing five contamination units, one cooling tower, four VAVs, nine wall and unit heaters, a mechanical condensing water system, two AC split systems and a closed water loop system.

Sanchez entered this field because of his interest in thinking outside the box to find real and tangible solutions. In his apprenticeship, he is learning about plumbing, HVAC systems, construction project management software, blueprints and many other valuable skills and systems. 

People's Choice Award: John Amos of William Chrisman High School

John Amos worked with a group of students in the Independence School District to work on two Habitat for Humanity Houses. During this project, students were able to get out of the classroom and obtain real-world skills in fields like carpentry. 

The Habitat for Humanity plan included putting up sheet rock, gutting and remodeling a house, as well as other tasks. All proceeds from the project go back into the school and program for additional resources and education. 

This project submission won the popular vote category, receiving 25% of the I BUILT THIS! People's Choice votes

For more details about the I BUILT THIS! video contest and to see the winning videos, check out