A skilled and capable workforce is essential for meeting our nation's housing demand. To help bolster residential construction education across the country, The National Housing Endowment (NHE) and the Skilled Labor Fund currently provide $578,000 to 90 home builders associations (HBAs) by directly sponsoring or supporting workforce development initiatives such as skilled trades training programs, local career fairs and construction management education. The funding commitments run through 2021 and beyond.
Given the challenges of navigating workforce development programs in a COVID-19 environment, NHE is calling on local HBAs within the Federation to reach out for support. As more funding becomes available, NHE will continue to provide financial resources to workforce programs organized and sponsored by HBAs.
Among the HBAs that NHE has supported are the Bay Building Industries Association (BBIA) and the Housing & Building Association of Colorado Springs.
BBIA presented checks to Rutherford High School Construction Academy and Arnold High School Construction Academy at a recent school district board meeting. The monies will be utilized by each school to purchase tools and materials for the classrooms.
"BBIA mentors students in the classroom and some of our members offer on-the-job training for students," said Gloria Feeney, executive officer of the BBIA. "Techniques learned in the classroom and on the job site are providing students with the skills needed to succeed in the construction industry."
The Careers in Construction Colorado (CICC) program has grown and flourished, thanks to the support of NHE, says Renee Zentz, CEO, Housing & Building Association of Colorado Springs. Since the program's inception in 2015, more than 2,300 students have taken CICC courses, 1,007 Pre-Apprenticeship Certified Training (PACT) certificates have been earned and over 500 individuals have been OSHA 10 certified. With several years of the program now complete, CICC is noticing more students express interest in entering the construction industry after high school and more than 250 students have found jobs in the industry.
"While NHE's generosity has supported us, we are proud to be able to say we are making a difference in the workforce that is available and to aid the residential construction industry to support their goals and needs," said Zentz.
The transformation of residential construction education programs across the country is due in part to the generosity of NHE donors. To help support worthy workforce development programs consider donating to NHE at nationalhousingendowment.org. An investment in NHE today is an investment in the industry leaders of tomorrow.
For more information about NHE's grants, contact Mark Pursell.