Birmingham Builders Foster Growth Through Young Professionals

Young professionals in the Greater Birmingham Association of Home Builders enjoy a little networking.

There’s no doubt about it – the generation gap in the home building industry needs some serious attention. In response, young professionals councils and committees have been popping up in local HBAs around the country.

The Greater Birmingham Association of Home Builders (GBAHB) recently started its own council so the industry can continue to grow and thrive for many years to come.

Clint Lovette, GBHAB president for 2017, turned to Joshua Dean to chair the council. Dean jumped right in, planning a number of events along with a small group of other GBAHB young professionals.

“Our mission statement is to promote involvement and growth in the home building industry through education, networking, leadership and service opportunities,” said Dean. “Our goal this year is to have all our events that touch on that mission.”

The council has already hosted three hugely successful events.

“One was called the PB&J event, which stood for Personal, Business and Jokes,” said Lovette. “Five of our more experienced members sat on a panel, and you could ask personal questions, business questions, or just have them tell a joke. We had a really strong turnout of almost all young professionals who came to pick the brains of the more experienced members.”

Another event was Game On: The council rented a slew of arcade-style video games, ski ball, ping pong tables and more to give members an easy, enjoyable way to meet new people and network. The event was free, and the council even awarded prizes to the top scorers for each game.

GBAHB members and their guests give a thumbs up to the latest event.

“We try to make all of our events fun,” said Dean. “We want to make it as easy to access and as helpful as possible. We wanted people to have a good time, so they left saying, ‘Wow, this was actually really fun. I have to come to the next one.'”

The council also co-sponsored a fishing tournament and is planning to partner with local NAHB student chapters for a Habitat for Humanity Building Blitz later this year, touching on its mission statement of providing service and leadership opportunities to members.

“The goal is that at least once a year, students are working shoulder to shoulder with the young professionals group,” said Dean. “That way, when they graduate, they already have some connections within the industry.”

Lovette agrees that engaging students, both in high school and community college programs, is crucial.

“There’s a direct tie between the student groups and the young professionals,” he said. “We try to reach out as much as possible so students not only know about the local association, but they know that once they graduate and get a job, there’s a place to hang their hat as a young professional and get some support.”

Members are excited to keep that momentum going and hope that council events show young professionals how much they can gain from belonging to a trade organization – from sharing best practices, to gaining new clients or even finding new job opportunities.

“You owe it to yourself and you owe it to your industry to get involved,” said Dean. “If you want to be known in your industry and your region, you need to brand yourself. Get involved in a local association so people know you. If I didn’t already have a plan, I would have no hesitation that I could find a job because of my involvement in the association.”

Taking the time to give back to your industry and connect with other professionals will only benefit you in the end.

“It’s important to understand all the work that’s done to help promote the industry and keep the industry strong,” said Lovette. “It’s like anything else; the more you put in, the more you get out of it.”

If you’re interested in starting a Young Professionals Council in your HBA, contact Sahrah Zarei at 800-368-5242 x8431.

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