Home Builders Care, the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona (HBACA), has announced the opening of the Home Building Academy located in Phoenix Arizona. The Academy is a new educational facility for training in skilled trades for residential construction.
At the Academy, students participate in a nine-week rapid worker training, resulting in industry-recognized certificates in either carpentry or electrical trades. The first four weeks of the training provide basic construction knowledge — such as reading a tape measure, using fasteners and hand and power tools, and safe work practices, including an OSHA 10-hour certificate. The remaining five weeks are trade-specific training.
The Academy is tuition-free for qualified students and students maintaining satisfactory academic progress will receive a weekly stipend for living expenses. In addition, successful graduates will leave with a set of tools, boots, work clothes, and personal protective equipment.
Given the severe labor shortage in Arizona and throughout the country, the academy aims to teach residential construction trade skills to qualified applicants seeking a new career path and place them into well-paying jobs.
“In creating the Academy, we wanted to ensure that we removed as many obstacles to getting training and going to work in the residential construction industry as we could” said Home Builders Care Board member Connie Wilhelm. “We want students who graduate on a Friday to be able to go to work the following Monday, that’s why we provide tools students need to go to work.”
The Academy is funded primarily by a workforce development grant through Maricopa County and an industry investment through the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona.
“One of the major challenges in the residential construction industry is the shortage of skilled workers” said Brad Schoenberg, chairman of the HBACA Board of Directors. “We are excited about growing the Academy, growing our industry, and helping individuals find well-paying careers in the residential construction industry.”
The Academy is also supported by The Home Depot Foundation through the Home Builders Institute (HBI).
HBI provides the curriculum, instructors, and staff through an operating agreement. The curriculum is designed to transform students with no previous construction experience into trained, pre-apprentices in this high demand industry. HBI’s curriculum is developed in conjunction with members of the National Association of Home Builders and approved by the U.S. Department of Labor. In addition, students have access to career counseling, job-placement support, and networking opportunities with top industry employers through the HBACA’s members.
“Older workers are retiring and not being replaced because the U.S. has not produced an adequate supply of construction labor for several generations,” said HBI CEO, Ed Brady. “By partnering with the HBACA, we have a great opportunity to help solve this problem for the industry in Arizona and, at the same time, provide a great opportunity for individuals to find promising careers in the residential construction industry.”