Industry organizations are working to help close the skilled labor gap

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While the slowing housing market, slowing sales, and affordability issues remain the industry’s top issues, labor remains an ongoing issue facing the homebuilding industry. In a survey of NAHB members85% said worker availability and cost was one of the “biggest” challenges builders expected to face in 2022. Home Builders Institute (HBI) report released in June suggests that the number of construction workers needed to meet demand in the sector is 740,000 per year.

“Attracting a skilled workforce will remain a key objective for construction companies over the coming quarters and will become more challenging as the labor market strengthens,” said Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington, assistant vice president of NAHB for forecasting and analysis. “NAHB and the Home Builders Institute have calculated that the construction industry needs more than 61,000 new hires every month in order to keep up with both industry growth and the loss of workers, either by taking their retirement, or simply leaving the sector for good. From 2022 to 2024, this total represents a need for 2.2 million additional new construction hires. The NAHB expects job openings in construction to decline over the next few quarters, but the long-term skills shortage will persist and pose a challenge to an eventual rebound in housing.

Recognizing the need to attract workers to the industry and destigmatize careers in the trades, many industry organizations, including the NAHB, HBI, Building Talent Foundation (BTF), The Home Depot and the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), pilot programs, events and initiatives to encourage individuals to consider a career in the trades.

Build the Talent Foundation

BTF was created by 20 leading home building companies and is committed to building a sustainable home building workforce. The mission of the organization is to advance the education, training and career progression of young people and people from underrepresented groups as skilled technical workers and business owners in residential construction. Over the past year, the organization has entered into partnerships with the SkillPointe Foundation, the Southern Careers Institute in Texas, MT Copeland Technologies, the Painting Contractors Association, StrataTech Education Groupthe Floor Covering Education Foundation, Friendly House, NextWave Security Solutionsand Resideo Technologies provide professional mentoring and placement services to students involved in each organization.

BTF and its partners are focused on engaging one million young people and career changers to explore careers in construction by 2030 and have set a goal of attracting 100,000 new skilled workers into the sector, with a strong focus on women and people of color. Through the organization’s JobsToBuild career exploration and placement tool, BTF helped more than 500 students find business jobs in 2021. Among these placements, the percentage of female workers placed was more than double the average industry, and nearly 70% of those placed were people of color.

The organization released the 2021 Residential Construction Workforce Engagement Study highlighting the reasons why employees may leave their jobs in the construction industry. The study identified employee engagement as one of the keys to employers retaining employees and a way to address labor shortages by reducing turnover and quits in the construction industry. construction. As a result of the study, BTF has developed several initiatives aimed at improving employee engagement, including providing better access to training resources and career exploration through its JobsToBuild platform, facilitating the sharing of best practices and peer-to-peer learning, and providing career coaching to employees. .

In addition to its partnerships, resources and research, BTF held a pilot training and hiring event in June promote the recruitment of professional painter contractors. The training portion of the event included the Sherwin-Williams HomeWork program curriculum and trainers and educational video content provided by the Painting Contractors Association.

Home Builders Institute

In addition to publishing its seasonal Construction Labor Market Reportthe HBI trains skilled workers for the construction industry, providing pre-apprenticeship and advanced training, certification programs, assistance in obtaining an apprenticeship and placement services for students.

The nonprofit said it has seen a more than 300% increase in the number of schools laying off its U.S. Department of Labor-approved business skills program since the pandemic began. HBI programs are present in 240 schools in 37 states. According to the HBI, the organization’s Schools to Skills Grant Initiative has funded more than $1.7 million in business programs in 33 states at 159 schools since its launch in 2019.

NAHB

In order to meet the labor shortage in the industry, NAHB works with state and local homebuilder associations and vocational and technical education institutions, advocating that state and federal funds be used to invest in industry-sponsored and validated programs. The organization’s Student Chapters program offers high school and college students the opportunity to get involved in the industry.

The association also helps builder associations recruit to the industry through videos showcasing various trades in the construction industry. The NAHB’s library includes videos highlighting careers in drywall installation, welding, building systems, carpentry, electrical, painting, masonry, HVAC, and plumbing. According to the NAHB, videos can play an important role in spreading the opportunities available to skilled trades professionals in the home building industry.

National Kitchen and Bath Association

The research carried out by the NKBA illustrated that one of the biggest barriers to professional recruitment into the building trades was lack of awareness and education. A NKBA high school investigation students found the continued stigma associated with occupations in the construction industry, with physically intensive work, low pay, and unsafe conditions among the top concerns expressed by students. The Skilled Labor Fund, a collaborative partnership between the NKBA, NAHB, the National Association of the Renovation Industry and the National Housing Endowment, aims to address the labor shortage qualified work entering the residential construction industry. Funds raised through the collaboration are given to local industry associations or schools in the form of grants.

In addition to its collaboration with the Skilled Workforce Fund, the NKBA also encourages young people to consider careers in the industry through its NKBA NextUp initiative. Through this initiative, the NKBA is creating hands-on experiences that introduce high school students to design and construction, change the dialogue about career paths for the youngest, and connect interest to action through the association network.

The reception deposit

The Home Depot Foundation launched its Path to Pro skills training program in 2018 with a $50 million commitment to train 20,000 skilled tradespeople by 2028 and diversify the trades industry. Since August 2022, the trades-focused program and partnerships have trained more than 29,000 participants and introduced more than 126,000 people to the skilled trades, exceeding its original commitment six years ahead of schedule. After surpassing its goal, The Home Depot Foundation awarded an additional $3.7 million to industry partners including HBI, Construction Ready and the SkillPointe Foundation.

The SkillPointe Foundation, which provides scholarships for those pursuing skills training, entered into a partnership with the Home Depot Foundation in 2021. The organizations launched a scholarship program to prepare workers to thrive in the economy while filling the gap skills in the construction industry. The SkillPointe Foundation Home Depot Foundation Path to Pro Scholarship awarded $250,000 in financial assistance to seniors and high school graduates seeking vocational training.