Internships Give Students Practical Exposure to Home Building

Filed in Labor, Safety and Health, Student Chapters by on August 21, 2018 0 Comments
Two interns and their mentor work on a house

Two interns and their builder mentor work on framing in the 2017 program. Photo courtesy North State Building Industry Foundation.

Over the course of the summer, 62 high schoolers and recent graduates in Northern California each spent a month on the jobsite as a part of an internship program designed to give students hands-on experience in several home building disciplines.

The internship program is managed by the North State Building Industry Foundation, the charitable extension of the North State BIA.

Participating Builders and Associates – totaling 24 in 2018 – receive partial reimbursement for the wages of interns for their first 160 hours, or four weeks, of work. Most internships in the program last one month and give students the opportunity to work in trades including plumbing, framing, painting and HVAC.

The student interns earn $11 per hour and gain valuable experience: not just resume fodder but a foot in the door: The North State BIA noted that 90% of 2017 interns were hired in the home building industry.

Student internships provide a valuable opportunity for home builders and their trade partners to find skilled labor in a difficult hiring environment and to strengthen relationships with good sources of talent: namely, high schools and technical and community colleges.

While summer is nearly over, members are urged to join or create an internship program through their state or local HBA for the fall or beyond. NAHB offers valuable resources to help builders understand how internships work and how to get the most out of the programs. Look under Internship Resources on the Skilled Workforce Development Resources page on nahb.org.

In addition to helping fill a labor need, most high school and college students are far more tech savvy than your average home builder. They may be able to help with digital marketing or resolve software issues.

Interns are a valuable resource to help companies in the home building industry find quality workers in a tight labor market. Taking on interns also inspires the next generation of home builders to seek employment in this rewarding profession.

For more information on interns in construction or NAHB’s Student Chapters program, contact Greg Zick at 202-266-8493.

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