By Alec Doniger.
In a recent episode of Roofing Road Trips, Heidi speaks with Allison LaValley, director of the Roofing Alliance; Allen Lancaster, chair of the Student Competition committee; and Chris Evans, vice president of estimating at K-Post, about the upcoming Student Competition at this year’s International Roofing Expo (IRE). Students from across the U.S. compete to make a compelling bid proposal for a roof installation.
“They research the chosen project, they submit a qualified bid package, and then they provide an oral presentation to illustrate their roofing knowledge, whether that be on project management, estimating and safety, which is really important,” Allison shares. “So they submit these proposals to a panel of judges who review those, the written ones, and then they will present during the International Roofing Expo again, which is in Dallas this year on Wednesday, March 8.”
Every year, a project is selected in the city where IRE will be held, so this year’s project is Globe Life Field in Dallas, Texas. “The project itself, it's daunting. There's a lot of everything. Part of this is not only to test the abilities of the students, but also provide them with some excitement, with some opportunity to see what truly is available to them as a roofing contractor and the types of projects and the type of impact you can make to a community by being part of them,” Chris says. “This project has everything from the world's largest retractable roof area to back of house roof areas that house mechanical equipment that are vital to the operations of the building itself.”
While the bid proposals and presentations at IRE are key parts of the competition, one of the most important aspects of this event is to welcome young people into the roofing industry. These students have worked hard to prepare their work and seeing and interacting with professionals in the roofing industry who show up for them gives them confidence in the work and the industry they are pursuing. You might also learn from these students. “You could listen to their presentations and actually get some ideas to take back to your own company. That's how much they have invested their time into this event,” remarks Allen. "We're trying to, as an association, as an industry, to educate construction management students... So if we're putting this program on, but we're not as members supporting it by showing up to show that we're really behind it, what are we really saying? I mean, it's important that we get there and we say it.
The competing students are well-versed, professional and entering the workforce. If the students experience support from industry professionals who are eager to learn from them and with them, they’ll be more willing to join this incredible industry.
Listen to full podcast to learn more about at the upcoming Student Competition at IRE.
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