Associate Members are Looking to the Future

Workforce Development

The Associate Members Committee held a Finding Your Future Workforce shop talk last month to discuss ongoing efforts to inspire and engage young people in the residential construction industry.

Six panelists explained different programs and best practices for engaging the next generation of the workforce:

  • Brandon Patterson, Workforce Development with the Home Builders Association of Iowa and Home Builders Association of Greater Des Moines (DSMHBA), shared his work with the Iowa Skilled Trades Build My Future event, a hands-on career day and industry showcase. This year, the event hosted 5,200 students from across Iowa.
  • Cassandra Halverson with Lennar discussed Project Opportunity, a program that seeks to connect high school juniors with internships in the building and construction trades.
  • Edwin Williams, founder of Zenhammer, volunteers with the Johnson City Area Home Builders Association (JCAHBA) to put on a Battle of the Build. This competition is a grassroots workforce development outreach that seeks to build connections between local students, teachers, employers and those who have established careers in manufacturing, trades, and supporting businesses. Area high schools compete by planning and building a project, and then present their completed entry to judges from the building industry across the nation. JCAHBA members act as mentors to their assigned school during the process.
  • Amanda Reynaud, executive officer for the North State Building Industry Association (NSBIA), spoke about the North State Building Industry Foundation. Its mission is to provide workforce development and community service to youth and adults, as well as conduct meaningful industry research in the Sacramento region in partnership with and support of the home building industry.
  • Nicole Feenstra, founder of the DNA Agency, worked with Amanda Reynaud and the NSBIA to target 18- to 35-year-olds for a free construction class through Sierra College. Nicole determined that the core messages that would resonate with non-traditional students in this demographic would be:
    1. Have fun.
    2. Get paid.
    3. Work outdoors.
    4. Work with your hands.
    5. Work with a team.
    By using these messages on Google ads, Facebook videos, Tik Toks and display ads, they increased the rate of sign-ups by 25%.
  • Jessie Spradley is executive officer for the Northeast Florida Builders Association, whose Emerging Leaders Program is designed to provide personal and professional development opportunities to rising leaders in the building and land development industries. Participants in the program gain knowledge in a wide variety of skills, including time management, communication, marketing, personal branding, financing and budgeting. Participants also learn about the building and development industry from leaders in the field and have opportunities to network with those same leaders.

This shop talk highlighted the importance of bringing new people into the residential construction industry, and finding ways to engage and develop their skills as they continue their career path. to show commitment to their success through further development.

Thank you to ECI Software Solutions, Inc., Dominion Energy and Lima One Capital for supporting Associate Member Appreciation Month.

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