The Future Contractors Scholarship launched last year, which encourages students to consider a degree and career in construction. CCIS selected the eight scholarship finalists, but this was the first time a poll was used to select the winner. The public got to choose whose essay was their favorite.

The voting was open for two weeks, with Tanner Duron being selected as the winner of the $750 award. A junior at Brigham Young University, Duron wrote an enticing essay regarding the future of construction. In his essay, Tanner mentions the harsh reality of people looking down on the construction industry as a career choice, and how he plans to get involved with local elementary and secondary schools to teach students the importance of the industry.

Upon graduation, Tanner plans to work in residential construction - starting at a major homebuilder company to gain further experience before starting his own homebuilding company. His advice for those looking to pursue a career in construction management is "Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Hands-on experience has been the best resource for me to understand the real-world applications of the materials I have studied—they’re no longer vague concepts and theories taught in class, but are now real problems that require real solutions."

If you know of a future contractor entering or currently attending college/university, encourage them to apply to our current CCIS Future Contractors Scholarship at

Read Tanner's essay below:

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.