NAHB First Vice Chair Dean Mon and several NAHB members spent a day with nearly two dozen high school students to give advice, share personal stories and field questions about working in the home building industry.
As a part of Careers in Construction Month, the Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School — a public school in Washington, D.C. — hosted a day-long program Oct. 3 for students to learn firsthand about what it’s like to work in the skilled trades.
Mon kicked off the program by underscoring the value of vocational training. "Education is very important, it can never be taken away from you," he said. He also read a proclamation from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser officially declaring October as Careers in Construction Month.
Following his rousing opening remarks, Mon moderated a panel of NAHB members, including:
- Tom Hyde, chief operating officer, Miller & Smith, Inc.
- A.J. Jackson, executive vice president of social impact, JBG Smith
- Alicia Skoug, division president, Drees Homes
Each panelist shared his or her own personal journey in the industry, described how his or her job is personally fulfilling, and provided candid advice on how to launch a successful career.
The students then had the opportunity to connect with each of the panelists in small groups over lunch. The breakout sessions allowed the students to openly discuss their fears and excitement about joining the industry.
The positive energy radiating from the students during the breakout sessions was palpable. "This is the most engaged I have seen some of these students," said Phelps High School principal Joshua Emmett.
Phelps High School is NAHB’s newest student chapter. NAHB will continue fostering a relationship with Phelps High School and supporting events throughout the year. For information on how to host a program at a school in your community, contact Greg Zick