More than 3,000 university students and construction-industry leaders from 22 states, 55 universities, and 190 companies recently descended on Sparks, Nevada, for the annual Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) competition. Continuing what’s now become tradition, several leaders from Layton were there to take part and provide students with some real-world experience. In fact, we’ve been there for more than 20 years, and for the last 15 years we have sponsored a “problem” in the mixed-use category.

A cause Layton can fully stand behind, ASC is the professional association of construction educators and industry practitioners who work together for the development and advancement of construction education. The annual ASC competition brings students together to put their education and training to the test—working with industry leaders to tackle real-life scenarios.

What does sponsoring a ‘problem’ entail?

Students in the mixed-use competition are asked to respond to a request for proposal (RFP) for an actual commercial construction project, requiring them to create a project-specific schedule, estimate, project management plan, and safety management plan over a two-day period.

“In the first 12 years, we played the role of an owner, and the student teams took the role of the general contractor,” said HR Director Jared Smith, who oversees Layton’s participation in the yearly competition. “But the last three years we changed it up and said, ‘Hey, we are the Layton executive board. You guys are Layton employees, and you need to come in and show us why your group should be the ones to build this project.’”

“The students must show that they can build a job, which includes estimating, scheduling, mobilization, staffing, etc.,” Jared added. “Once the team has put everything together, they present their proposal to our panel of judges, which consists of six or seven Layton employees.”

This year, Layton’s team was led by EVP Tyler Dillon and Construction Manager Cory Rhodes, along with Scheduling VP Brandon Howell, PMs Janette Pais and Kevin Cruz, Superintendent Pierce Powers, Estimator Kelly Law, and APM Hope Stauffer.

Here’s what Tyler said about the event:

“Wow! We had a great experience at this year’s ASC Competition. The students were impressive, and the Layton team was proud to present the mixed-use challenge with a project from Southern California. I’m already looking forward to next year’s competition where we will not only continue with our sponsorship of the Region 6 mixed-use competition but also directly support three Southern California university teams.”

Who took home the prize?

Twelve schools from across the West competed in the mixed-use category, vying for the grand prize of $1,500. The results were close, but Utah Valley University topped Boise State for first place with Arizona State coming in third.

“It’s truly inspiring to witness the enthusiasm and dedication displayed by these students during the ASC competition,” said Ashley Hill, Layton HR director and event co-organizer. “Their ingenious solutions to our problem not only showcase their immense talent but also reflect the invaluable learning they gain from this process. I’m equally proud of our Layton employees who, despite their busy schedules, commit their time and energy to judging this competition. Their involvement truly embodies the spirit of Layton, demonstrating our commitment to nurturing the next generation of construction management professionals. This competition is a testament to the power of collaboration, learning, and innovation, and I am honored to be a part of it.”

Invested in the future of AEC.

“This event provides an opportunity for us to mentor the students through a real-world scenario and then see how they perform,” Jared said. “Our goal is to give them experience and to help them learn all that goes into a project, including what happens on a day-to-day basis. This competition also gives us the opportunity to recruit some of the best and brightest coming out of the top construction programs in the west. In fact, we have several leaders and employees who have participated in this competition in the past and came to Layton because of our involvement in the event.”



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