HBA Creating a Career Path for Students in Colorado Springs

youngfemalebuilderTo help address the shortage of skilled labor in its market, the HBA of Colorado Springs (CSHBA) created a unique program that will help its members find the labor they need and provide a valuable career path for local high school students.

The CSHBA is partnering with area school districts to provide training programs that will introduce students to the basics of residential construction, beginning this fall.

“We are very excited about how our pursuit to put ‘Tools back into Schools’ is progressing,” said CSHBA CEO Renee Zentz.

Zentz noted that the program grew through the HBA’s strategic planning process in 2014. Interest increased as member focus groups revealed their level of concern about the labor shortage. The program was then adopted into the HBA’s board-approved 2015 business plan. A new Workforce Development Committee was created, chaired by George Hess, of Vantage Homes, to help make the program a reality.

The first program will open this fall at a high school in Harrison School District Two, with 10-15 students. The school hired an instructor, who will be trained by HBI, the industry’s career development arm. The classes will follow HBI curriculum and students will be introduced to the tools and skills for basic plumbing, electrical and carpentry.

After the first academy opens this fall, another school district plans to open a program in spring 2016, and a third district plans to get started in fall 2016.

“Our long-term vision is to help the students build a home onsite, then move the home to another site and sell it,” Hess said.

The goal is to use the proceeds from selling the house to expand the program.

“The schools have had an extremely positive reaction,” Hess said. “They understand that there is a need; that not every student will be following the traditional college career path.”

And now these schools also understand that the residential construction industry can provide solid careers for students who are ready to work hard and learn new skills.

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  1. Congratulations George, Renee and the HBA!
    This labor force program is an excellent program to be modeled throughout the country!
    ONwards and UPwards!

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