Workforce Development Programs Provide Inspiration, Second Chances

Filed in Labor, Safety and Health by on July 18, 2017 0 Comments

As we previously reported, the National Housing Endowment (NHE) offers HBAs the Challenge/Build/Grow Initiative, a grant of up to $5,000 in matching funds for programs and projects addressing two of NAHB’s highest priority areas: education and workforce training.

This year’s winners are the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis (BAGI) and the HBA of Greater New Orleans (HBAGNO).

Sparking Inspiration in Indianapolis

BAGI volunteers are teaching a new generation of students about the rewarding careers in residential construction.

In 2017, BAGI piloted a program in partnership with a local school district to create awareness and excitement about the home building industry and its many related careers.

The six-week enrichment club rolled out across six elementary schools for students in grades 3 and 4. BAGI member volunteers and staff discussed various segments of the industry: land planning/engineering, plumbing, construction, foundations, roofing, landscaping, etc.

As a culminating event, all of the schools participated in a LEGO competition, with the students using the skills developed during the program to impress the BAGI builder member judges. Given the success of the pilot, BAGI plans to expand this program to other school districts throughout central Indiana. The grant will be used to to purchase additional LEGO supplies.

Providing a Second Chance at a New Career

HBAGNO is collaborating with New Orleans Education League (NOEL), the Louisiana State Penitentiary (LSP) and the judicial system in southeast Louisiana to develop a re-entry program for participants going through LSP’s trades training program. NOEL is a 501(c)(3) organization started by HBAGNO members who had a desire to give back to the community.

HBAGNO’s goal is to act as a liaison between employers and the judicial system so that when participants are released from LSP with certifications in various industry trades, employers are ready to connect with them and determine if they are a good fit within their company. HBAGNO will use the grant to assist with job placement assistance and continuing education at no cost to program participants.

Learn more about NHE’s Challenge/Build/Grow Initiative and other efforts to support workforce development at

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