HBA Skills-Building Event Attracts Future Workforce

Workforce Development
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Dallas Builders Association members face a familiar industry challenge. Members have too many job openings and too few qualified workers to fill them. To help motive and educate the next generation builders, the Dallas BA spearheaded a workforce development event at the Dallas Builders Show on Nov. 12. Phil Crone, executive officer of Dallas BA, said members spent a significant amount of time talking about labor shortages. More substantive local student events to promote careers in construction were sorely needed. The association previously invited students to attend the Dallas Builders Show, the region's industry trade show, to listen to a keynote speaker and explore the exhibits. While exposure to industry was inspiring, the association challenged itself to take student engagement at the Show to the next level. The BA tapped into their construction trades program partnerships and a cadre of dedicated Dallas BA members to develop a robust student-focused education track at the Show. Nearly 200 local high school students attended the show. The students participated in hands-on product demonstrations ranging from working on windows to painting. In addition to the construction demos, members volunteered to lead mock job interviews. Crone said inclusion of mock interviews added real-world experience, "developing soft skills is a big part of success in the industry." The on-the-spot mock interviews were a surprise to the students. Once the students overcame their initial anxiety at the start of the interviews, members were overall impressed. Crone recommends to executive officers pressed for time to leverage local community relationships and identify motivated members to help with careers in construction event planning. Members who were exposed to careers in construction programs as students are often the most willing to lend a hand. Crone views time dedicated to developing student programs as time well spent, "Invest in the future…they will be our members someday."

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