HomeAid Houston, a 501 (c) (3) charity of the Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA) is working to help change the growing lack of skilled labor within the homebuilding construction industry. HomeAid has launched their HomeAid WORKS program, a comprehensive workforce development program that is designed to help provide job opportunities within the construction industry for at risk community members.
Through HomeAid WORKS, qualified students are able to enroll in industry specific classes that will provide the necessary training and certifications they will need to join a productive workforce. HomeAid works directly with certified training program applicants as well as many of their agency partners, to offer the opportunity to those who have met the qualifications enter a mentorship with a builder or trade partner in their field of study. This mentorship includes assisting with field trips, as well as training and some financial assistance. The students receive scholarships to take classes through WorkTexas, the Home Building Institute (HBI), and Houston Community College (HCC). Once they have completed their certification, all participants will be able to introduce their resume to GHBA partners through the HomeAid website.
The classes conform to nationally recognized industry standards. They include: carpentry, electrical, Building Construction Technology, HVAC, general construction, plumbing apprentice, drywall, foundation and trim work.
“The lack of skilled labor is impacting the expansion of home construction, housing inventory and affordability,” said Nicole Jacob, president of HomeAid Houston. “Skilled labor represents approximately 30 to 40 percent of the cost of a typical new home. Through the HomeAid WORKS program and other programs being offered, there is potential for new growth within the skilled labor arena.”
HomeAid WORKS and other programs ultimately help students build character and self-esteem while empowering them to develop what they need to succeed on the job and in life. And the benefits to the construction industry means recruiting more women and training and placing minority, lower income, and under- served youth into job opportunities to fight against social inequity. The programs also provide trade skills and education for veterans and transitioning military.
Students will also have the opportunity to apply for assistance for training through a new fund that supports workforce development, thanks to a generous member of the GHBA, Past President Mike Manners, of Anglia Homes. Manners is the first donor to a newly established “LAUNCH” fund. The fund, housed in the GHBA’s Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)(3), provides much needed support to students and alumni who have already taken steps to work with workforce partners. In addition to HomeAid WORKS, this program supports Texas A&M University’s Master of Land and Property Development Program, the University of Houston’s real Estate Center, Houston Community College, WorkTexas at Gallery Furniture, Habitat for Humanity and even a number of high school and school district partners.
To start this program off, Manners has committed $12,000 from the Manners/Coole Foundation as matching funds for any donations to the LAUNCH fund. With these funds, the residential construction industry will help grow and sustain the next generation of home builders, remodelers, developers, and trade partners.
For more information on HomeAid and HomeAid WORKS visit www.homeaidhouston.org or call HomeAid at the Greater Houston Builders Association at 281-970-8970.