NAHB is partnering with educators, members and state and local HBAs to address the housing industry’s labor shortages and to develop a skilled workforce for the future.
A collaborative effort that reaches policymakers as well as local educators and high school students can be an effective way to address some of the issues that have contributed to chronic labor shortages and misperceptions of the industry. HBAs and members can help their communities grow and prosper, while educators can direct their students toward meaningful employment and career choices.
Access these resources to help raise awareness about the labor shortage issue, to educate the public about job opportunities in the trades and to recruit the next generation of skilled labor in the housing industry.
In 2023, NAHB Student Chapters and Workforce Development team launched its first-ever Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) Student and Faculty Leadership program. This new initiative, sponsored by Builders Mutual and Andersen Windows, aims to expand opportunities with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) students through leadership development seminars and networking opportunities throughout the year. This exciting new program will create more pathways for equitable opportunities in residential construction and increase diversity within the construction management pipeline.
October is Careers in Construction Month, an opportunity to increase public awareness about the opportunities available in residential construction trade professions. You can also choose to another month, week or day that works for you. The most important thing is to make a special effort to promote the trades each year.
Check out the Careers in Construction Month Toolkit for ideas to recognize the contributions of those professionals working in the field and to foster a positive image of construction careers.
Career and Technical Education Month, or CTE Month, is a public awareness campaign that takes place each February to celebrate the value of CTE and the achievements and accomplishments of CTE programs across the country.
- Career and Technical Education Month flyer
- Career and Technical Education Lesson Plans flyer
- Career and Technical Education Month digital banner (Facebook)
- Career and Technical Education Month digital banner Twitter and Instagram
- Career and Technical Education Month Facebook Ads
- Career and Technical Education Month Twitter Ads
- Career and Technical Education Month Instagram Ads
National Groundhog Job Shadow Day is a nationwide initiative that encourages professionals to provide job shadowing experiences for students. Inspire the next generation of professionals to pursue a career and create public awareness of the hard work and economic contributions you make to your community. View the flyer and download ads for your social media channels.
Access these marketing materials to encourage careers in the construction trades and management. Use them in guidance counselor offices, career centers and community centers; distribute them at college and career fairs; and promote them in your workplace.
Customizable PowerPoint Presentation
This presentation includes a video and national wage data for the construction trades. You can customize this presentation with your state data or examples of local partnerships.
- Careers in Construction Trades presentation
- Cheat Sheet for using the Careers in Construction Trades presentation
This series of posters will help promote residential construction careers at schools, career fairs, career exploration days, educational conferences and local community events.
- To print the posters in your office, we recommend using the 8.5" x 11" PDF files to use as handouts.
- For larger posters, we have provided separate high resolution PDF files that can be taken to a print shop to create posters that can be hung on a wall (22" x 28") or used as banners at recruitment fairs (33" x 80").
- Construction Management Poster 8.5" x 11" (PDF)
- Construction Management Poster 22" x 28" (PDF)
- Construction Management Poster 33" x 80" (PDF)
- Building Systems Poster 8.5" x 11" (PDF)
- Building Systems Poster 22" x 28" (PDF)
- Building Systems Poster 33" x 80" (PDF)
- Drywall/Ceiling Poster 8.5" x 11" (PDF)
- Drywall/Ceiling Poster 22" x 28" (PDF)
- Drywall/Ceiling Poster 33" x 80" (PDF)
- Electrical Poster 8.5" x 11" (PDF)
- Electrical Poster 22" x 28" (PDF)
- Electrical Poster 33" x 80" (PDF)
Reports and Studies
- State Wage and Workforce Demand Data – Access state-specific data, including the annual average wages for 19 construction trades and the projected workforce demand by state and for the top 100 metro areas.
- Residential Construction Employment Across States and Congressional Districts, 2017 – NAHB study shows steady gains in construction employment, but levels remain below peak.
- Construction Trades: A Step on the Path Toward Higher Paying Jobs – NAHB study discusses how hands-on experience in the construction trades can be a step on the path toward some of the higher paying positions in construction businesses, including executive positions.
- Immigrant Workers in the Construction Labor Force - NAHB study shows how immigrant workers remain an important source of labor to the construction industry, particularly in some of the trades needed to build a home, like carpenters, painters, drywall/ceiling tile installers, brick masons, and construction laborers.
The Housing Industry is Hiring. During the pandemic, the home building and remodeling industry have remained relative bright spots for the overall economy. And, with residential construction deemed an essential business across the country during COVID-19, there were few layoffs in the construction sector.
Strong Earning Potential. The home building industry offers more than just another job, it is a pathway to earning a great salary. The top 25 percent in most construction trades professions earn at least $60,000 annually. Women in the construction industry earn 97 cents for every dollar a man earns, compared to 80 cents in other industries.
A Solid College Alternative. In 2019-20, the average amount borrowed by bachelor’s degree recipients who took out loans to pay for college was $28,400, according to the College Board’s Trends in Student Aid 2021 report. The skilled trades offer an alternative to the 4-year college track without the burden of sky-high student loan debt.
A Variety of Training Programs Available. HBAs across the country can connect students to apprentice programs or other job training programs.
A Strong Sense of Accomplishment. Working in the trades brings a sense of satisfaction for completing high-quality work that contributes to home building and ultimately helping to fulfill the American Dream.
The Student Internship Resources for NAHB members guide focuses on how home builders can engage with three different talent resources to meet these needs: secondary (high school) students in career and technical (CTE) education programs, community college students, and university students.
This guide can also assist the home builder in understanding how secondary schools, colleges and universities may offer work-study student-learning opportunities and deciding which type of student resource best fits the company’s needs.
Middle School Lesson Plans Promoting Careers in Construction
NAHB partnered with the Department of Construction Science at Texas A&M University to create lesson plans that building professionals can use to encourage interest in construction careers at the middle school level (5th-8th grades).
The goals of each lesson plan are to engage the students, fit in a teacher’s required curriculum and be applicable for schools across the United States. Each lesson plan includes a hands-on activity where students apply the math and science principles being taught.
To facilitate a building professional entering a classroom and teaching a class, these lesson plans were written to fit within the specific curriculum that is covered in each grade and to be applicable in as many states as possible.
The broadest set of education standards are found in the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI). The CCSSI has produced core standards in math and language arts that have been adopted in 48 states. The CCSSI were used for the math lesson plans. For science, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) were used, which have the broadest adoption across states for science curriculum.
Since each state and the school districts in those states will vary in how their curriculum is developed, building professionals seeking to offer a lesson should consult with the school principal to identify where a lesson will be most appropriate.
In addition to the lesson plan, a detailed script of what a builder would want to say and do during the lesson also is provided, along with the necessary student handouts.
- Lesson Plan: Creating a Complete Electrical Circuit – 5th Grade
- Lesson Plan: Collaboration and Communication in Construction – 5th Grade
- Lesson Plan: Residential Home Expense – 5th Grade
- Lesson Plan: Green Building – 5th Grade
- Lesson Plan: Tiny House Design – 5th-6th Grades
- Lesson Plan: Cost of Building a Home – 6th Grade
- Lesson Plan: Energy Consumption in Home Building – 6th-7th Grades
- Lesson Plan: Marble Roller Coaster – 6th-7th Grades
- Lesson Plan: Home Design – 7th-8th Grades
House That She Built Elementary School Lesson Plans
The House That She Built is a children’s book featuring women with careers in the building industry based on a real home built in Utah by an all-female team. The lesson plans include all the information you’ll need to incorporate The House That She Built into a hands-on classroom activity.
Help policymakers understand the real-world impacts of the labor shortage issue by personalizing these sample op-eds with examples from your community.
- It’s Time to Take Another Look at Career Opportunities in the Building Trades
- Local Builders Seeking Skilled Workers to Meet Rising Demand
- Home Builders Seek Skilled Workers to Build American Dream
Share these social media posts with your online communities to help spread the word about the impact of labor shortages in the housing industry as well as the rewarding careers the industry provides. In addition, download and share these social media ads promoting careers in construction.
Home building professionals can serve as mentors to students who are interested in the construction trades. By sharing your knowledge, experience and expertise, you can help foster the confidence and encourage the curiosity of students who want to pursue a residential construction career.
- The NAHB Student Competition gives students the opportunity to apply skills learned in the classroom to a real construction company by completing a management project/proposal. The competition takes place at the International Builders Show (IBS) each year, however, many schools have teams that complete the project without travelling to IBS for the competition.
- The Secondary Program is the best resource for industry members to work with high school students. Mentors can work with the 2019 problem statement materials to help students complete a management project.
The NAHB Picnic Table Competition and Build resource was developed as a hands-on activity/project for high school/secondary student chapters. Student Chapters and HBAs may use this resource to host a picnic table competition among chapters or for a classroom or community project.
The NAHB Playhouse was designed to be assembled by students in 5th through 8th grade using components that are prefabricated by adult volunteers or students enrolled in a high school carpentry program. The playhouse is 4’ x 6’ and designed for outdoor use. The design may be modified if it will remain indoors.
Recruiting, training, and supporting women in construction is part of the workforce shortage solution. Currently, women comprise only 10% of the current construction workforce. Please download, print, share these materials to increase women’s awareness and access to construction careers.
The Secondary Schools Construction Management Competition (SSCMC)
The Secondary Schools Construction Management Competition (SSCMC) was developed in 2016 by the NAHB Student Chapters to provide value to local home builders associations (HBAs) as well as to high school students interested in residential construction. The SSCMC was developed to be run by local HBAs, following a template that was developed and pilot-tested by consultants working with NAHB Student Chapters staff. The SSCMC is a 3-hour competition that involves residential plan-reading and quantity take-off skills. It is separate and distinct from the NAHB national competition for secondary schools and associate degree programs that is run annually at the International Building Show.
The objectives for the Secondary School Construction Management Competition are:
- To provide high school students with an opportunity to develop and showcase residential plan-reading and quantity take-off skills;
- To provide local HBAs a venue for identifying and interacting with high school students who may wish to enter the residential construction field; and,
- To expose high school students to the supervisory and management skills needed in residential construction.
- NAHB Secondary Schools Construction Management “Competition in a Box”
- This document provides a template for HBA staff to run an SSCMC for students in the local community or region served by the HBA. The appendices contain sample documents to assist in every phase of the competition.
The National Housing Endowment, in partnership with HBI and state and local HBAs, offers several scholarships to students interested in pursuing a career in the building industry. Learn more about the scholarship opportunities.
HBI is a national leader for career training in the building industry. Through certification programs, HBI provides training, curriculum development and job placement services. With job placement rates at over 80 percent for graduates, HBI training programs are taught in local communities across the country to at-risk youth, veterans, transitioning military members, justice-involved youth and adults, and displaced workers.
Established as the National Association of Home Builders Manpower Development and Training Department, HBI is currently an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and partner in the NAHB Federation.
ICC’s High School Technical Training Program
The International Code Council (ICC) is dedicated to developing model codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. The ICC offers a flexible High School Technical Training Program, which is divided into four parts: building, plumbing, HVAC (mechanical) and electrical.
This four-part structure enables a technical school to integrate one or more parts of the program into its current construction trade curricula to better provide students with a comprehensive knowledge of construction trades. Students completing one of the four disciplines and passing the final exam associated with their selected discipline will receive a nationally-recognized Certificate of Achievement (COA) from ICC. The program includes the necessary course materials, exams and certificates to ensure easy implementation.