5 Engagement Strategies to Attract Students to the Trades

Workforce Development
Contact: Greg Zick
AVP, Workforce Development
(202) 266-8493

students learning in a classroom
Elizabeth Gomez a remodeler and member of the BIA of Clark County (Wash.) taught three classes at a local high school for students interested in the trades and those enrolled in the construction program or woodshop class in 2023.

The best spokespersons for recruiting new talent to the residential construction industry are professionals in the field. And there is an urgent need to attract skilled labor. According to a recent report from the Home Builders Institute (HBI) the running annual average of job openings in construction is approximately 723,000.

To help raise public awareness about the numerous career opportunities in the industry, NAHB participates in Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month® each February. The CTE educational track encompasses a variety of fields such as residential construction, architecture and advanced manufacturing. Educational initiatives within CTE include classroom learning, certification programs and other work-based learning opportunities outside the classroom.

Home builders associations (HBAs) and members can participate in CTE Month in a variety of ways, including:

  • Participate in Job Shadow Week during the first week of February. Members can host students for a day at their place of business so that students can see real-world examples of careers in action. If you can’t get away from the jobsite, consider virtually sharing a “day in the life” of your career with a classroom. National Job Shadow Day is Feb. 2.
  • Host a Career Exploration Panel at your HBA's office. Highlight worthwhile job opportunities available in residential construction and rewarding lifestyles.
  • Donate equipment to a local trades education program. HBAs may be in a prime position to donate equipment or supplies that meet industry standards, ensuring that students in secondary and post-secondary institutions have access to appropriate instruments for the respective career fields they hope to enter.
  • Teach a middle school lesson plan. Engage students at the middle school level, creating excitement for technical career pathways. View sample lesson plans.
  • Start an NAHB Student Chapter at a school in your community to enrich students’ educational experience and exposure to the home building industry through national programming and connection your HBA. NAHB offers step-by-step guidance and best practices to help you get started.

Visit the workforce development resource section for various downloadable careers in construction promotional materials and videos. NAHB members are invited to share NAHB materials or career stories on social media using the hashtags #CTEmonth, #STEM, #WorkforceDevelopment, and #CareerTechEd.

NAHB members attending the 2024 International Builders’ Show® are encouraged to visit Central Hall Booth C19 to share your workforce development strategies and successes with the NAHB Workforce Development, National Housing Endowment, and HBI teams.

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