The Greater Birmingham Association of Home Builders (GBAHB) recently held an event with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Alabama to help expose them to the opportunities in the home-building industry. More than 30 children, ranging in age from 12 to 17, were able to learn from the North Alabama Homebuilding Academy’s traveling trailer and other hands-on activities on-site.
GBAHB began the day with an overview of the activities, including the vocations being introduced and salary options within the home-building industry. Activities for the day included two stations in and around the trailer, where students received hands-on experience with plumbing, HVAC, electrical and framing skills, as well as drilling screws and hammer nails into a board through a power tool exercise.
Students also participated in a level tower building contest. Each team received wood blocks, dowels, shims and a level, along with instructions on how to build the tower and how to check if the tower was level. The team with the tallest tower, without falling over, was the winner.
“This event was incredible,” stated Karen Isaminger, GBAHB workforce development — Boys & Girls Club program chair. “The North Alabama Homebuilding Academy staff did an excellent job talking with the kids and leading them through the activities. The students truly enjoyed the afternoon and learned more about our industry.”
GBAHB began its partnership with the Boys & Girls Club following the 2022 Spring Leadership Meetings. Isaminger stepped in to lead the effort, which kicked off with an event in December 2022 in which the GBAHB explained all the vocations involved in the home-building industry and gave the students a building activity utilizing toothpicks, marshmallows and sample plans. Other activities have included a brick masonry session, during which the students got to brick up a wall, and an introduction to the heavy equipment used on jobsites.
“The things I have found that work well with my students is hands-on time,” Isaminger observed. “When we get to the hands-on part of the session, they are all in. They have great questions.”
Students will get additional opportunities to learn throughout the year, including two upcoming summer field trips to a construction site and countertop fabrication shop, and a park bench building activity.
“I truly love working with these students,” Isaminger added. “I think the most important part of organizing this partnership is passion. The students will feed off your enthusiasm and passion for our industry.”