Rosendin Electric Sponsors Problem at ASC
Winners hailed from Minnesota, Alabama and California
Rosendin Electric, the country’s largest private electrical contractor, sponsored the electrical problem category at the ASC (Associated Schools of Construction) Regions 6 & 7 Competition. The competition, which just took place in Sparks, Nevada, is one of the most exciting events for students of construction management in the country, as it offers a chance to network with peers and impress big-name construction companies, many of which do hiring on the spot.
Out of 10 University teams who competed this year, students from Milwaukee School of Engineering came in first in Rosendin’s electrical challenge to construct the second phase of a new data center using Bluebeam® Revu® software. Students from Auburn University came in second and California State University – Chico took third.
“All of these students were so impressive in how they quickly learned the software and developed a comprehensive plan under immense pressure,” said Brandon Stephens, Rosendin Division Manager and competition judge. “This was the first time many of the competitors had seen this type of project and we are impressed by everyone’s commitment.”
The history of Rosendin’s participation in the competition can be traced back to Stephens. In 2003 he was a student in Boise State’s construction management program. While enrolled in classes, Stephens participated in the ASC contest, an experience that he still recalls fondly.
Not long after joining Rosendin in 2004, Stephens proposed a sponsorship with ASC to his company: “I said that we really ought to be involved with the ASC. It’s got all of the construction management schools in a single place on a single day.” That, he says, presented a potential recruiting boon: “Now we have access to schools we would never have the opportunity to go to.”
In 2018 Rosendin was offered the chance to sponsor the electrical problem category. Here was a chance to put the company’s stamp on one of the most revered building competitions in the country. After all, without good electrical engineering, no matter how well-built the building, the lights will never turn on.
The higher-ups at Rosendin quickly got on board with the idea. They were already familiar with the competition: the company had been a career fair participant and hospitality sponsor for about a dozen years at that point. From there, Stephens and his colleagues had to craft an electrical problem for the students—unique in the competition in that it required contestants to think not like general contractors, which is how most are trained, but rather like subcontractors.
“We really wanted to look at it differently and try and provide the students with an experience of how many different applications of the job have to be considered when you’re a subcontractor,” Stephens says.
That meant creating a facsimile that featured such real-world as problems as gear buyout, manpower availability, manpower loading and incentive costs. “It’s trying to get that knowledge into the students’ hands when they’re still in school, because a lot of the construction management students don’t really explore specialty contracting,” Stephens explains. “A lot of the curriculum is not necessarily geared toward specialty contracting, either, so we really kind of wanted to be a little different.”
“It’s an opportunity for kids to get out there and experience the real world. It’s like a career fair and professional development, recruiting,” says Mark Stone, a project manager at Rosendin who’s participated in ASC for several years. “It really is the huge event here in the construction industry. It’s grown significantly over the last 10 years.”
Both Stone and Stephens were among the six-person judging panel at ASC. In crafting this year’s problem, they inspiration from a past project, which they’ condensed into a single-day problem scenario.
“Bluebeam really comes into the equation of being able to make PDF files, and count light fixtures or conduit runs,” says Rob Clark, a project manager with Rosendin who also judged the contest.
“I’ll be honest, as far as technology goes, we’ve just always used Bluebeam for pretty much every activity that I can think of,” he adds. “During ASC, it’s almost a part of the competition now—to become familiar with Revu and its functions and being able to apply it during the day of the competitions.”
“The men and women here today are the best of the best in college construction programs, so it makes sense that we would want to recruit them,” said Stone. “Rosendin has been around for 100-years and we want these talented young people to help us build the future using advanced technology.”