Benjamin McEndarfer, a Northern Maine Community College Building Construction Technology student from Woodland, is this year’s Brian C. Thayer Memorial Scholarship recipient. The scholarship is made possible through money provided to the Maine Community College System by the Retail Lumber Dealers Association of Maine (RLDAM). NMCC hosted a meet-and-greet event for McEndarfer with Scott Dionne, RLDAM representative and Vice President of Operations at SW Collins.
Dionne took time to share advice that could provide enhanced possibilities for McEndarfer, such as keeping up his math skills, considering computer technology courses, and familiarizing himself with the other trades.
“It’s important to know how tools and systems can work together to understand what is required of one job when doing another,” Dionne said. “It is also important to know how one step can affect other aspects of the building process.”
Dionne also encouraged McEndarfer to think about a summer job at a lumber yard such as SW Collins to add to his educational experience.
“When I was 16, I was a delivery driver for SW Collins. Although I went away to college, life brought me back to Aroostook County. From that experience, I had a good understanding of the different career paths associated with the lumber and building industry,” said Dionne. “It also helped me get to know different people and make connections.”
McEndarfer is currently a first-year student at NMCC and says he has aspirations to work overseas for disaster relief in communities affected by hurricanes and other natural disasters.
“This has given me a lot to think about and ideas to consider for my future,” he said.
According to the Association’s website, RLDAM was established in 1933. Among other things, the organization exists to advocate and nurture the interests of those associated with the retail lumber and building materials industries. RLDAM promotes communication within all facets of the lumber retail network and helps to establish educational opportunities to keep younger generations engaged with career opportunities.
As Dionne said, “It’s so crucial to help students make connections that bridge the gap between formal education and a career.”