Volvo, 5 dealers sponsor AEM Construction Challenge

Volvo Construction Equipment North America dealers Aring Equipment Company, ROMCO Equipment Company, Strongco, and The G.W. Van Keppel Company, along with Volvo Construction & Equipment Services (VCES) will be sponsors of the 2011 Regional Rally Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) Construction Challenge on Jan. 15, 2011.

Volvo is the exclusive, official presenting sponsor of the AEM Construction Challenge competition through 2014.

The Construction Challenge sponsored by Volvo Construction Equipment is a joint effort by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and Destination ImagiNation (DI). The Construction Challenge offers a chance for students, teachers, parents and community leaders to learn more about the relationship between construction, infrastructure and quality of life, AEM notes. The association also says the Construction Challenge also draws attention to the industry’s need for skilled employees to tackle infrastructure problems such as crumbling bridges, overcrowded roadways and aging water and wastewater systems.

“We are very excited that sponsors such as these Volvo dealers and stores are taking part in this opportunity to educate and engage young people in construction careers,” said AEM president Dennis Slater in a written statement.

The sponsorship through these Volvo dealers connects people working in the industry today with student participants to reinforce real world experiences and inspire them to explore and pursue careers in the construction industry.

Although the construction industry is expected to create more than 1 million new jobs by 2012, the industry still faces a severe shortage of qualified workers to meet future needs, according to AEM.

Students who participate in the nationwide competition will learn about rewarding and lucrative careers in the industry, from engineering, project management, and service technical support, to sales, marketing, systems and related jobs.

Aring Equipment Company and VCES are cosponsoring the Milwaukee, Wis., regional rally competition. “Investing in people and products to provide equipment to contractors is one thing,” said Jack Hock, president of Aring Equipment. “But it takes on a whole new dimension when you consider that an investment and partnership in the youth of today is also an investment in our future as these high school students gain exposure to construction and the possibilities they have within this industry.”

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ROMCO Equipment Company and VCES are cosponsoring the regional rally in Dallas, Texas. “We know that many young people don’t consider career opportunities in mature industries such as ours,” said Charlie Clarkson, president of ROMCO. “I believe it’s important for us to help them see that there are exciting and rewarding jobs available in the construction industry. The Construction Challenge is one way to do that.”

“We at Volvo believe that participation in a program like this can inspire these young people, help them prepare for careers that will benefit all of us, and develop industry leaders,” said Hugh W. Harvey, regional vice president of Volvo Construction & Equipment Services, cosponsor of the Dallas and Milwaukee Regiona Rally competitions.

The regional rally in Toronto, Ontario, is sponsored by Strongco Corporation. “We’re proud to be a part of the Construction Challenge,” said Anna Sgro, vice president, Multi-Line Division of Strongco. “It’s a fun-based teambuilding program that challenges young minds while helping them to collaborate and complete difficult tasks. We know that the inspiration fostered in young people today through this program can help prepare them for careers that will benefit all of us in the future.”

The G.W. Van Keppel Company is sponsor of the Enid, Okla., regional rally competition. “We are extremely grateful to those who came before us and laid the foundation for our future success,” said Bill Walker, president and chairman of the board of Van Keppel. “We are proud to be able to help build and support a possible foundation and show an optimistic future within the construction industry to the students involved in this competition.”