Construction Career Exploration Moves Online

Disaster Response

Home builders associations are teaming with members and their local school systems to keep construction career exploration available to students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Home Builders Association of Greater Des Moines and the Fredericksburg Area Builders Association (FABA) shared how they continue to adapt in order to reach the industry’s next generation of workers.

Prior to the pandemic, more than 3,000 students were expected to attend a Build My Future event April 15 in Des Moines. The popular annual event provides students hands-on learning opportunities to explore careers in the construction and design industry. The HBA of Greater Des Moines and participating partners quickly shifted the in-person event to an online format. A short video directed students to follow Iowa Skilled Trades on social media, where videos highlighting the construction industry were posted hourly.

The videos can be viewed on the Iowa Skilled Trades Facebook page.

The HBA of Greater Des Moines is exploring other ways to make career exploration accessible to students, including virtual industry professional roundtables with Q&A opportunities for students.

Brandon Patterson, who leads workforce development efforts at the HBA, advises other associations that are looking to launch virtual events to start with a Facebook Live event or Zoom meeting. “The summer will be here before we know it and we don’t want to lose those kids,” said Patterson.

FABA Executive Officer Maria Moore encouraged her members to submit videos to the Spotsylvania Career and Tech Center Virtual Career Days to show students opportunities in the construction industry. The center requested short videos of professionals sharing their career stories and what a normal day on the job looks like.

“We all have members we can ask to share their career story,” said Moore. “It’s easy to make a 3-minute video, especially now since we’re all accustomed to video calls, but it does take a personal call (for the request).”

Republic Home Builders, Halsey Homes, Universal Title Fredericksburg, and Home Builders Association of Virginia Chief Executive Officer Craig Toalson submitted videos for the Architecture and Construction Virtual Career Fair Days.

You can view their videos and others on the center’s Career Development Facebook page.

Learn more about NAHB’s workforce development resources on

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