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News Release: Investing in the homebuilding workforce: BIAW awards nearly $80,000 in scholarships and grants

August 14, 2023

OLYMPIA… For the 2023-2024 school year, the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) proudly awarded a total of $79,500 in scholarships and grants to 16 students and 13 construction trades programs across Washington.

“The residential building industry needs 723,000 new construction workers each year to meet our nation’s current demand,” said BIAW President Gary Wray. “Investing in our future workforce is crucial, and we are so proud of these students and programs for stepping up to fill such an important need.”

The workforce of tomorrow

Three students received the highest scholarship amount of $5,000 each:

  • Ava Stewart, Brush Prairie, Washington State University, Mechanical Engineering
  • Breann Briggs, Richland, Columbia Basin College, Project Management
  • Tim Colby, Enumclaw, University of Washington – Tacoma, Civil Engineering

The 13 remaining students received scholarships ranging from $4,000 to $1,000:

  • James Bacon, Spokane, Eastern Washington University, Construction Management Technology
  • Cesar Bedolla-Hertado, East Wenatchee, Washington State University, Civil Engineering
  • Jamie Bekel, Chelan, University of Washington, Architectural Design
  • Donovan Bishop, Elma, University of Washington, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Jake Eko, Chehalis, University of Washington, Civil Engineering
  • Edgar Gonzalez, Yakima, Perry Technical Institute, Construction
  • Emma Heeringa, Outlook, Washington State University – Tri-Cities, Architecture
  • Angel Arteaga Roman, Chelan, Wenatchee Valley College, Welding
  • Joshua Johnson, Spokane Valley, Spokane Community College, Business Management
  • Olivia LeCompte, Fircrest, Washington State University, Construction Management
  • Ethan Myers, Centralia, Saint Martin’s University, Mechanical Engineering
  • Sierra Rothlisberger, Chelan, Washington State University, Interior Design
  • Bryan Sheedy, Bellingham, Washington State University, Construction Management

Supporting construction-related fields of study

Along with the scholarships, BIAW awarded 13 local organizations with grants, in varying amounts, to support construction-related fields of study.

Washington Home Builders Foundation

The Washington Home Builders Foundation (WHBF) was founded in 2012 by BIAW as a way to address educational and workforce needs within the building industry through charitable activities.

The purpose of the Washington Home Builders Foundation is to empower and inspire the next generation of builders by advancing building-related education, unlocking academic opportunities and career possibilities while fostering a culture of innovation, enthusiasm and excellence in the building industry. Since its inception, the Washington Home Builders Foundation and BIAW have awarded over $830,000 in scholarships and grants.

The Washington Home Builders Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization as classified by the Internal Revenue Code. Your donations may be eligible for charitable contribution tax deductions. Donate today.


The Building Industry Association of Washington is the voice of the housing industry as the state’s largest trade association with over 8,000 member companies responsible for roughly 188,000 jobs.  The association is dedicated to ensuring and enhancing the vitality of the building industry for the benefit of its members and the housing needs of Washington.  Learn more at:

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