BuildStrong Academies Accelerating Skilled Trades Training

NAHB and HBI focus on closing the skilled trades labor gap through industry collaboration

March 28, 2022
construction training

The ongoing shortage of skilled trade professionals continues to delay projects and add time and costs. The latest employment data showed 380,000 open construction jobs, roughly 80,000 more openings than a year ago.

That’s why NAHB’s affiliate, the Home Builders Institute (HBI), is ramping up its efforts to increase training for the industry. Working with industry partners, foundations, private and public sector partners, colleges, and universities, HBI is changing misguided perceptions about careers in residential construction.

HBI continues to train the next generation of skilled workers by focusing on previously underrepresented communities, including women, minorities, at-promise youth, veterans, and transitioning military. They are also focusing on getting their curriculum into schools around the country. HBI’s curriculum is U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) approved and endorsed by the NAHB as an industry-recognized curriculum developed by industry experts.

Training Across the Country

HBI is helping to build a network of BuildStrong Academies across the country, providing training programs for youth and adults to meet the demands of the expanding residential construction industry.

The BuildStrong Academy of Colorado in metro Denver was the first of its kind. Backed by the Oakwood Homes Foundation and BuildStrong Education, the curriculum is developed with industry input, creating a training-to-placement model that gets qualified, skilled, and enthusiastic workers into the field where they are needed most.

construction training

Photo courtesy HBI

The BuildStrong Academy of Orlando opened in 2021 and is supported by The Home Depot Foundation, West Fraser, and other community and industry organizations. The BuildStrong Academy of Greater New Orleans is slated to open this spring and is fully supported by NFL quarterback Drew Brees’ the Brees Dream Foundation. More academies are expected to open this year in Houston, Phoenix, and Charlotte.

Meeting Demand with Ready-to-Work Graduates

The support from HBI and other private and public sector partners means the 12-week, hands-on intensive training programs are free to anyone 18 and older. Graduating with no debt, unlike a traditional college path, BuildStrong Academy graduates are ready to work from day one with employable skills that are in record demand.

Opportunities in the remodeling industry are endless, but we must all work together to connect the ready workforce of tomorrow in order to support a thriving economy. If you are a remodeler looking to hire focused, well-trained construction professionals, then HBI can help. Visit hbi.org/build-your-workforce for more information. 

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