The Tennessee Road Builders Association has a primary goal of supporting and advancing all aspects of the road building industry in Tennessee. One facet of this support is to encourage students to consider a career in engineering and highway construction. Through its scholarship program, TRBA seeks to financially support selected students who choose to pursue a degree in either Civil Engineering or Construction Management/ Construction Services, with primary consideration being given to those individuals who demonstrate a desire to work within the highway construction industry in the state of Tennessee.
For over 60 years TRBA has been supporting Tennessee students achieve their academic goals by awarding approximately 75 scholarships annually. Awards are not solely based on academic performance, with any student who maintains a 2.0 GPA or better having equal consideration. In addition to the financial aid, scholarship recipients are offered summer employment with TRBA member firms where they can enhance their education through “hands-on” experience. Many past TRBA scholarship recipients have been instrumental designers, inspectors, and constructors of some of the largest and most complicated road and bridge projects in the state. The Tennessee Road Builders Association takes immense pride in the accomplishments of its scholarship winners and is confident that this tradition of excellence will continue for generations to come through its steadfast commitment to the support of young professionals via the scholarship program.
Tennessee Road Builders Association History
The Tennessee Road Builders Association is a statewide organization comprised of over 300 firms that represent the entire spectrum of the highway construction industry. TRBA members include asphalt and concrete paving firms, bridge builders, grading contractors, aggregate producers, specialty contractors, equipment and material manufacturers and suppliers and associated members. It was founded on January 18, 1928 by representatives of 22 highway construction firms who were concerned about the future of the road-building industry in Tennessee at the time.
Prior to the Association’s formation, Governor Austin Peay had launched a massive highway construction improvement program and by 1928 concerns over the financial stability of “fly-by-night” firms along with the need to standardize construction standards and materials came to the forefront of the burgeoning industry. Because of the steady decline in standard practices and the uncertainty affecting contractor operations caused by misunderstandings between contractors and project engineers, a group of contractors decided to organize an association whose sole aim would be to promote better contracting and engineering conditions; to raise the personnel standards of the contractors and state engineers; to clarify specifications and to secure the full cooperation of all Federal, State and Local Government agencies in the design and construction of the best transportation facility per tax dollar spent.
For over 90 years, the Tennessee Road Builders Association has worked hard to meet the goals of its founders and address current challenges to continuously improve the future of the highway construction industry in Tennessee. Training engineers, as well as industry leaders, is a vital part of that commitment.
Then, as now, TRBA is convinced that good roads save lives, time and money.
Scholarship Program Guidelines
The scholarship program currently provides funding for UNDERGRADUATE students who are U.S. citizens and who are enrolled in a full-time civil engineering, construction management, or construction services curriculum (or on an approved co-op program) at an accredited four-year college or university at the time of the receipt of their award.
Selection criteria include consideration of career goals that include employment in the civil engineering or highway construction fields and probability of remaining in Tennessee post-graduation, past academic performance, current grade point average of 2.0 or better, demonstration of some financial need, work experience and evidence of leadership. The student will write an essay describing how they encompass these criteria. In addition, they may include any additional aspirations, goals and unusual personal or family circumstances they wish to have considered. Two references, not including parents, should be provided. Previous experience in the highway construction industry is preferred.
Applications will be collected and submitted to the TRBA Education Committee, which is composed of TRBA members, either by the university or college’s school of engineering, or school of construction management, or via an on-line submission by the applicant. The application deadline is MARCH 6, 2023. Applicants will receive in-person interviews prior to the announcement of recipient winners.