By Cari Boyce
Northeast Florida Builders Association
The Northeast Florida Builders Association is accepting applications for the Arnold Tritt Scholarship to be awarded for the 2007 spring semester.
NEFBA established the scholarship in 2005 to assist students enrolled in the University of North Florida Building Construction Management program.
The scholarship is named for longtime executive vice president Arnold Tritt, who now serves as the association’s executive advisor. It is funded by member donations and NEFBA fund-raising events and benefits juniors and seniors in the program who demonstrate a financial need.
Since its inception, the Arnold Tritt Scholarship has awarded $26,000 to 12 students. Scholarships are awarded twice each year to qualifying students to be used toward tuition, books and other expenses related to the pursuit of a degree in building and construction management. Scholarship awards are made for the spring and fall semesters.
Jennifer Statlick is one of two students to receive the scholarship last spring. Statlick, a senior in the UNF program, developed an interest in a career in construction while taking a drafting class in high school. Soon, Statlick was seriously pursuing a career in the industry as a participant in her school’s Academy of Construction and Design.
As a student member of NEFBA, she has been involved in several Builders Care projects. Builders Care is the non-profit community outreach program of NEFBA that focuses on restoring substandard housing for area residents.
When asked how the scholarship helped in pursuit of her degree, Statlick said educational expenses are a challenge for many students, and the scholarship money helps defray those costs.
While offering students financial benefits the Arnold Tritt Scholarship program can serve as a link between students and industry professionals. Dr. David Dubbelde, a professor with the UNF Building and Construction Management Program, believes the relationship between UNF and NEFBA will result in long-term benefits within the industry.
“Through NEFBA, our students can make a connection to the building community,” Dubbelde said. “We need good builders, and developing a strong relationship between UNF and NEFBA helps foster a bond between students and builders giving students access to experiences that are invaluable in their pursuit of a career in the industry.
“We want builders to come to the classroom and talk with students. We want students to attend board meetings to become familiar with the system and the builders. We encourage students in the program to get involved and contribute to the community through community service activities such as participation in Builders Care projects.”
Glenn Layton, chair of the Arnold Tritt Scholarship committee and vice president of construction at Woodside/North Florida Builders, believes a strong relationship between the UNF Building Construction Management program students and NEFBA can only be of benefit to the students and the industry.
“The Arnold Tritt scholarship helps motivated students in need continue to access the educational opportunities they require to achieve their goals within the industry,” said Layton, who is also a graduate of UNF’s BCM program. “The bond with NEFBA allows graduates of the UNF program to join the local building community with a good grasp of area market conditions and a connection to successful members of the local building and construction industry.”
NEFBA members interested in contributing to the scholarship may forward a tax-deductible donation to the Arnold Tritt Scholarship Fund, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, at 103 Century 21 Drive, Suite 100, Jacksonville 32216-9256.
Students can obtain applications for the scholarship through the Northeast Florida Builders Association by calling 725-4435 or by contacting Dr. David Dubbelde at UNF. The deadline for scholarship application submission for spring semester awards is Oct. 2. Applications can be downloaded at the NEFBA Web site, www.nefba.com.