Skilled Labor Campaign Kicks off 2nd Year at IBS

careers logoNAHB and the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) are ramping up efforts to narrow the skilled labor gap by kicking off the second year of the This Old House Generation Next and the SGC Horizon Skilled Labor campaigns to encourage and empower young people to join the skilled trades.

During Design & Construction Week, the co-location of the NAHB International Builders’ Show and NKBA’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), the associations  will host several events supporting the initiative.

NAHB will co-host a Jan. 9 event with This Old House and SGC Horizon in the Professional Builder Show Village, just outside the Orange County Convention Center.

From 4-5 p.m. Jan. 10, the NKBA and KBIS will co-host a ‘Beers for Trade Careers’ fundraising event with This Old House and its television personalities in The Backyard.

All dollars raised from donors that week will go to the Skilled Labor Fund, an industry-wide effort to raise funds to address the shortage of skilled labor entering the residential construction market.

The This Old House crew will be in attendance during Design & Construction Week to support and raise awareness for the Generation Next campaign.

During the Design & Construction Week opening ceremonies on Jan. 9, This Old House master carpenter Norm Abrams will speak to builders, designers, contractors, architects and manufacturers about why the skilled labor gap is so wide and how to bridge it.

“Raising awareness of the building trades as a rewarding career path and mentoring a new generation of tradespeople has been an extremely gratifying experience this year,” said Abram. “I’m looking forward to continuing our effort to reinvigorate interest in our industry among young people and closing the skilled jobs gap.”

The NKBA is committing $10,000 in scholarship dollars to the effort, while also dedicating communications throughout 2018 through its skilled labor initiative aimed at changing traditional perceptions about vocational careers. NAHB and SGC are each contributing an additional $5,000 to the fund.

“Addressing our industry’s labor shortages is the No. 1 issue for NAHB members,” said NAHB CEO Jerry Howard. “Joining forces with our trade partner organizations on this shared initiative allows us to direct even more focus on reaching all sectors of the industry and work together to build the future workforce of the residential construction industry.”

“Closing the skilled labor gap is critical to the future health of our industry,” said NKBA vice president of industry relations Suzie Williford. “Without an army of skilled tradesmen and women, all construction projects will take much longer and cost much more. Design & Construction Week is the perfect place to bring attention to the career opportunities in a growing industry for well-paying trade professions, and avoiding the burden of college debt.”

A silent auction Jan. 9-10 will feature products and experiences donated by brands supporting the This Old House Generation Next campaign to raise even more funds and reach more indsutry professionals. Brands looking to donate products can contact Claudia Jepsen. Visit to learn more.


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  1. We are working hard to train be the future and close the skills gap. We welcome a visit you our shop in Paramus NJ

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