The Greater Montgomery (Ala.) Home Builders Association (GMHBA), alongside Lowder New Homes, hosted a construction site field trip for local high school students this fall. Students from more than 16 schools throughout Central Alabama signed up for the day-long field trip.
“It is imperative to the future of our industry that we produce skilled laborers who are willing and able to carry on our trades,” said Chris Kimbro, GMHBA President. “We hope that by introducing these students to the construction industry in this way, they will be excited about their future career potential. There are so many opportunities for students who don’t want to follow a traditional four-year college plan, and we want to show them these opportunities.”
The day started with several GMHBA members who volunteered to discuss the details of their respective trades with the students. Ashley Rowe, GMHBA Workforce Development Committee Chair, who also led the planning for the event, shared her perspective and insight as a home builder with the students. In addition, GMHBA members Wade Hampton and Jeff Mallinson spoke about their work experience and how important hard work and personal drive are to succeed in any trade profession.
Following the guest speakers, the students had the opportunity to visit homes under construction at the Lowder New Homes Woodland Creek Development. GMHBA members Robert Fike and William Rhodes guided the students through the projects in various stages of completion.
“These students saw first-hand exactly what it means to work in the construction industry and what their potential for future employment might look like,” said Angela Allen, executive director of GMHBA. “A career in construction is more than just wearing a hard hat and steel-toed boots. The industry contains endless talented and creative individuals who can help build homes that strengthen communities.”
The value of careers in construction not only reached the students but also resonated with the community. During a local NBC news segment promoting the field trip, Marie Price, GMHBA publications director, spoke at length about the local skilled labor shortage and other key industry messages. In addition, Price invited students unable to attend the field trip to reach out to the association to learn about the construction management competition.
GMHBA plans to host more jobsite tours in the upcoming year.