2018: A Year of Growth!

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With just over a week into the New Year, it’s a wonderful time to look back on what a wonderful year 2018 was for the Foundation. 2018 was without a doubt a year of immense growth for the Future Construction Leaders Foundation’s programs. We made huge strides in our efforts to provide youth with knowledge about the abundance of opportunities the construction industry continues to offer.

Our biggest growth came with Camp NAWIC and the Block Kids Building Program

For the first time in its 11-year history, Camp NAWIC hosted 50 high school girls! It was also the first year at the new facility thanks to the Associated General Contractors offering up their apprenticeship facility, which opened the program up to more opportunities. With more space to spread the girls out, the first year apprentices got more hands on training in welding, carpentry, plumbing, sheet metal, electrical, surveying and heavy equipment operation. With a large class of 13 journeywomen, camp instructors broke down the basic skills of estimating, project planning and print reading. All three skills would come together as each girl worked to complete their OWN individual projects. In one week, each journeywoman went on to construct their own doghouse. Some girls decided to keep their dog houses while others were donated to a local dog rescue and one was donated to a mini house village in Ventura County to honor a long time Camp NAWIC supporter who had recently passed. At the end of the week long camp, happy tears were shed at the annual Camp NAWIC graduation; 50 girls were sent off with more knowledge of the construction trades and more importantly, more confidence in themselves.

Block Kids 2018 also saw tremendous growth. The event chairpeople had a vision to host Block Kids at the San Diego STEAM Maker Festival in 2018, and on December 2, 2018 that vision came to life after months of planning. With 80 children competing, this was by far the biggest Block Kids event ever hosted in San Diego, and even more kids wanted to participate. Having been at a very large public event, more people stopped by our FCLF booth to learn about all the programs we have to offer and sign up for more information. The winner of our competition was a young girl who built an elevator with a pulley system. When she walked in she was devastatingly nervous and scared, but the smile on her face when she heard he name called said it all. A fun time was had by all the participants, judges and volunteers alike.

While 2018 was full of wonderful improvement, there is still room to grow. In 2019 we plan to grow our Design Drafting Competition and our scholarship programs. We hope to reach even more youth and show them the opportunities that await them post high school graduation. The Future Construction Leaders Foundation is determined to teach today’s youth that they can be the Future Construction Leaders the world needs.

Helen Panebianco