Iowa State students in the Associated General Contractors student chapter are breaking boundaries in construction engineering on a national level.
Club members traveled to Las Vegas for the AGC national convention to accept a community service award on March 12 – one that has never before been awarded to a student chapter.
“We were surprised to win this award since we were competing with general contractors of various sizes from all around the country who donate much of their time and efforts to people in need,” said Parker Lloyd, senior in construction engineering and president of AGC. “After winning the award, I felt very grateful. It was rewarding to know that all of our members who dedicate so much of their time to giving back, will be recognized for the work that we’ve done.”
The club received the AGC in the Community award. This award is given to chapters and members who complete exceptional hands-on service projects and charitable giving. Iowa State received the honor based upon the nomination that Lloyd submitted in December. In the application, he discussed their project of rebuilding homes in Tennessee over fall break after their recent forest fires.
In 2019, 48 AGC members traveled to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, for four days and totaled over 1,800 hours of community service. One of their main projects was framing a house in the mountains. Over four days, members dried-in the house, built interior walls and porches, and laid new drainage tile.
Lloyd said that a big challenge for the Tennessee project was that it was terraced on the incline of a mountain. According to Lloyd, it made construction preparation difficult for students as they received instruction from their host organization, Appalachia Service Project.
In the nomination, Lloyd said, “This project was so important because of the influence it had on the community we worked in and on our own members. While working on this project we had opportunities to talk to the homeowners of our sites and to the people of the community. After hearing their stories, it was very clear that the impact of what we were doing went well beyond our four days of work.”
The Iowa State AGC student chapter has received the student chapter of the year award 11 times in the past 30 years before they became ineligible and applied for the AGC in the Community award instead. The club is made up of over 100 members who regularly complete over 4,000 hours of community service work each academic year.
“Using our construction knowledge and experience, we help build, rebuild and repair homes in central Iowa and around the country,” Lloyd said. “We continually look for service projects in the Ames area to give back to the community and to help teach our members how to build.”
The mission of Iowa State’s AGC chapter is to use their engineering skills and expertise to help those in need. Service projects are conducted each year over fall and spring breaks to help with national disaster recoveries. The club has been to Tennessee, West Virginia, South Carolina, Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma with approximately 40-50 student volunteers for each project.
“I am excited to see all of the places that Iowa State AGC will go in the future,” Lloyd said. “The chapter’s commitment to serving others has taken it to many places and will continue to take it to new places to help those who are in need. I am also excited to see the wide range of projects that the chapter will continue to take on to reach as many people as possible.”