Skilled Labor Fund Grants Bring Shop Back to High Schools

The Skilled Labor Fund, designed to address the lack of skilled labor entering the residential construction industry, awarded more than $200,000 in grants to 42 local HBAs across the country to provide skills training to high school students.

“Working with local home builder associations, we can bring the shop back into our high schools and offer career fairs to change lives and create the future workforce for home building,” said Ted Mahoney, a member of the Fund’s Operating Committee and chairman-elect of the National Housing Endowment, the philanthropic arm of NAHB.

The Building Careers grant offers support for training programs provided largely by the Home Builders Institute and Career Connections funds career fairs and events. These programs will take place over the next two years and impact an estimated 24,000 students across the country.

“This initiative was made possible through a partnership with the National Association of Home Builders and the generous gifts of our donors and partners. It is a great start and we need to do more,” said Rick Judson, chair of the Endowment.

The Skilled Labor Fund, managed by the Endowment, is a partnership of NAHB, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, the National Kitchen & Bath Association, SGC Horizon and Hydrogen Advertising. The Fund focuses solely on skilled labor for the residential market.

Comments (7)

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  1. That is fantastic news! I wonder if it will be open to other young adults interested in this type of training?

  2. Darren Suggs says:

    This is a great start. That’s an average of $4760 per the 42 HBA associations. This won’t fund very much in materials needed for the training, much less the labor to pay someone to do this professionally or long term? Its a bandaid and a long distance call to 911 for someone with a life threatening chest wound? But its a start and greatly needed!

  3. Our local High School is working on restarting their Building Trades program.
    How would one go about applying for some funds to buy tools and materials for this class.
    Bruce Showalter, Housing Director, Newton Housing Development Corp., Newton IA

    • Mark Pursell says:

      Hi Bruce, send me your email and I will send you the grant application so we have it when we get to our next round of awards. I’m hoping that is in the fall as we are in fund raising mode right now.
      Have you reached out to your local home builder association/s? Iowa is very active. I’m at

  4. Gena Dillon says:

    I am currently running a non for profit called Build My Future. Our focus is to get kids interested in the trades as a life long career through the hands on activity of building a house from the ground up. We are an offshoot of our local HBA. Would there be monies available for a program such as this?

    • Mark Pursell says:

      Hi Gena, did your HBA apply for funds recently? We are now in fund raising mode and hope to making additional awards in the fall if we are successful. My email is

      • Maryse says:

        Our HBA is working closely with Lee County High School in Leesburg, Ga. They are forming a Student Chapter at this time. Their equipment is old and outdated in the carpentry classes. But they do have a wonderful and enthusiastic teacher.
        I need to apply for funding for them. We have 17 counties in our area. Maryse Cook. EO. HBA Of Albany
        & SWGA

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