Tanner Duron has applied for our Future Contractors Scholarship and his essay was selected to be one of our finalists. Below is some information about Tanner and his essay submission. You can vote for his submission by clicking here.

Junior at Brigham Young University
Major – Construction Management

What do you enjoy about your studies?

My studies have proven to be difficult, though rewarding. I enjoy the relationships—personal and professional—that I have developed through my studies at BYU. It has helped me understand that in the world beyond my education, I will find that I must work together with those around me to achieve success. Furthermore, I have enjoyed the real-world application of my studies. Each of my Construction Management classes have served as forums for the numerous problems that can be solved by applying the knowledge that we gain.

What hobbies/organizations/jobs are you included in?

At present, I work as an Assistant Production Manager for a Salt Lake Valley homebuilder called Alpine Homes. I am a member of the Construction Management Student Association and National Homebuilders of America clubs at my University. While enrolled in classes, I participate on an Ultimate Frisbee intramural team. I also actively serve in my church.

Tanner's Essay. What do you think the future of construction will be like and how will your education be applicable to this?

The future of construction will be greatly influenced by developing technologies that have yet to be adapted universally within the industry. When comparing industries such as manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, and more to construction, a researcher will discover that while advancing technology has significantly improved productivity, construction is among the very few industries that has been stagnant or faced decline in productivity despite improving technologies. As such, many industry professionals are recognizing the discrepancy between construction and the many industries that have progressed, and are seeking ways to implement productivity-raising technologies to speed up the construction process. In addition, the construction industry faces a rapidly widening gap between the need for skilled labor and the number of available qualified workers.

As such, contractors are faced with a dilemma: Do they seek only qualified individuals to perform the work and pay higher fees to compete against other companies seeking the same laborers? Or do they seek to maintain their costs and sacrifice quality and qualification as they hire unqualified individuals to perform the required work? Sadly, many contractors choose to or must select the latter option.

My education has taught me two principles that underlie the construction industry. First, it has taught me that the construction industry is ever changing. To be successful in the industry, I must continue to learn to adapt to the conditions that constantly change in an advancing world. My professors have instilled in me the desire to be ready to tackle anything that the industry can throw at me.

The second principle that I have learned is that the construction industry is often an overlooked and underrated
industry. Many of my peers in my Construction Management program found the major after unhappily struggling through three or four or even five other majors. When I first learned of the major, I’m afraid that I looked down on it after having grown up with careers such as engineering and medicine being glorified as the holiest and most successful of all majors.

Little did I know that with half the amount of schooling required, I could find a career that pays just as well, yet fulfills ones soul in such a way that no other career could so do. As such, I plan to become actively involved in local elementary and secondary schools to advocate for students to seek careers in the construction industry. I will make sure that they are fully aware that trade school and construction work is every bit as acceptable, respectable, and successful as any other field of study that they could possibly pursue.

My educational experience has taught the value of choosing a challenging, yet fulfilling career regardless of the way the world perceives that industry. It has helped teach me that lifelong education and adaptability is necessary for success, regardless of your career. Finally, it has taught me that the world needs to be better educated about the value of a correct opinion of construction and a need to share this opinion.