Students view the home show as valuable career-building event

Emily Smith serves as a student ambassador for construction at her school. She’s a junior at Williamsport Area High School.

Smith was among the high school students working at the 60th annual West Branch Susquehanna Builders Association Home Show, which is at Lycoming College’s Keiper Recreation Center.

“We have built a kid’s playpen and swingset,” she said, standing next to the “house of cans,” also built by construction trades students as a repository for the non-perishable food visitors to the show donate each year.

Smith said she and other students in construction trades are working on two housing projects and consider getting to work at the show – helping set up and tear down exhibits – as an opportunity to mingle with skilled professionals and experts in their fields.

“The opportunities that arise from this show give students a real life feel,” Smith said.

The association is an active supporter of local student chapters, paving the way for the future, said Randy Williamson, association president.

The local chapter provides scholarships and sponsorships for students at Pennsylvania College of Technology and Williamsport Area High School to compete on national levels at the annual International Builder Show at the high school, two-year and four-year competition levels, association officials said.

Inside the show are dozens of exhibitors. Just a sample include: home builders, teams that can construct garages, sun rooms, pools and spas, remodelers, home cooling and heating specialists, television and satellite providers, kitchen and basement specialists, driveway pavers, dog fence products, carpeting and window installers, instrumental sales and trademen with skills to apply roofing and gutters.

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