BRUSH PRAIRIE – The Building Industry Association of Washington and the Washington Home Builders Foundation recently awarded Ava Stewart, a graduate of Excel High School attending Washington State University, a $5,000 scholarship to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.
With the help of her dad, Stewart began her career in the construction industry in 2021 as a shop assistant for Stewart Mechanical. She soon got into fabrication, prefabbing for plumbing and HVAC jobs.
“My dad has been a massive inspiration for me. He showed me the construction industry has fantastic opportunities for those willing to work for it,” Stewart said.
The mechanical engineering degree she’s pursuing at WSU would allow her to work with design software such as AutoCAD and Building Information Modeling, designing systems for commercial projects. After school, Stewart looks forward to opening an engineering firm one day, working with local businesses to create a thriving environment for the community.
Across the nation, October is celebrated as Careers in Construction Month to bring awareness to the many rewarding career opportunities available in the residential building industry. BIAW and the Washington Home Builders Foundation are doing their part to nurture the future workforce by investing nearly $80,000 in scholarships and grants to 16 students and 13 construction trades programs across Washington in 2023.
“The residential building industry needs 723,000 new construction workers each year to meet our nation’s current demand,” said BIAW President Gary Wray. “Investing in our future workforce is crucial, and we are so proud of these students and programs for stepping up to fill such an important need.”
The Washington Home Builders Foundation was founded in 2012 by BIAW as a way to address educational and workforce needs within the building industry through charitable activities.
The Washington Home Builders Foundation aims to empower and inspire the next generation of builders by advancing building-related education, unlocking academic opportunities and career possibilities while fostering a culture of innovation, enthusiasm and excellence in the building industry. Since its inception, the Washington Home Builders Foundation and BIAW have awarded over $830,000 in scholarships and grants.