Building Dreams at Construction Challenge

Fri May 01, 2009 - National Edition

For the second year, the American Rental Association (ARA) sponsored the Construction Challenge. This event, developed by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and Destination ImagiNation Inc., is an effort to attract the best and brightest people to the construction industry. The top 54 teams from the regional rallies will compete in the championship finals in Knoxville, Tenn., May 19 to 23, 2009.

Team ARA is a group of seven middle school students from St. Therese School in Kansas City, Mo. The students, John Perlik, Adam Phillips, Mariah Ramirez, Jill Kallenberger, Mitchell McDonald, Alex Carlisle and Maggie Lanham, are led by Sara McDonald. Together, the team must collaborate and compete in three exercises including:

1. PR Campaign — Each team will organize a campaign about a local infrastructure issue

2. Free Flow — Use the team’s modular, remote-controlled piece of equipment to move materials and direct 300 gal. (1,136 L) of gushing water to specific sites

3. Piling It On! — Use the team’s modular, remote-controlled piece of equipment to move and stack building units in a head-to-head challenge.

“The ARA sponsorship and being able to work with the students from St. Therese is very rewarding. The Construction Challenge is one of the best industry career awareness programs that we have been involved in as it provides opportunity and benefit to these young adults and to the equipment rental industry,” stated Carla Brozick, director of education and training at ARA.

At the regional rally in Kansas City, Mo., Team ARA placed first in the presentation competition, second in the service technician competition and third place in the manufacturing competition, earning them first place overall. The championship finals will provide the opportunity for students to win many great prizes ranging from scholarships to computers to iPods and gift certificates.

“ARA is pleased to be part of the Construction Challenge event. This is an opportunity to raise awareness of the equipment rental industry and the concept of rental to future employees and educators. Our industry is full of exciting career paths for young adults to consider and for educators to recommend,” said Christine Wehrman, executive vice president and CEO of ARA.

For more information, visit