CRAFT Students Complete Pre-Apprenticeship Training
Seven students enrolled in the Home Builders Institute's (HBI) Project CRAFT training at the South Pines Academy in Pembroke Pines, Fla. received their Pre-Apprenticeship Training Certificates (PACT) and graduated from the program last month, three with their GEDs.
Project CRAFT (Community, Restitution, Apprenticeship-Focused Training) is an industry-sponsored construction trades, skills training and job placement program for adjudicated youth.
Among the well-wishers attending the commencement ceremony was state representative Matthew Meadows, who spoke eloquently about a young boy who worked in the orange groves on weekends, going up and down a ladder, dumping oranges in boxes from a canvas bag. When the boy returned home on Sundays, he would give his mother his $45 in earnings, and she would let him keep $5. “This young boy,” said Meadows, “was me. If I could make it, so can you.”
In recognition of the example he set for other students, his leadership abilities, his skills attainment and his kindness to classmates and staff, one of the graduates, Steven, earned the “HBI Gold Shirt,” which is the highest recognition an HBI trainee can receive at the South Pines Academy and one that conveys increased responsibilities instead of privileges. Steven also spent his time at Project CRAFT successfully studying for his GED test.
Steven thanked the South Pines Academy and HBI for their support in helping him make it through the program. Using sign language, he also thanked “the woman who means the most to me,” his mother, who is hearing impaired, and thanked his instructors for their encouragement.
Steven will start work with a garage door installation company in Port St. Lucie later this month.
“Some of you may be going back to school or may just not know what you want to do just yet,” Bill Paul, an HBI trustee and a Tampa builder, told the graduates. “One thing you should take away today is the knowledge that if you decide to go into the building business some day, you have learned the basics here with HBI.”
“And with more than one million new jobs forecast for the next decade,” Paul added, “your skills, talent and ambition will be welcome by our industry.”
Project CRAFT is funded in Florida by the Department of Juvenile Justice
(DJJ) at the Avon Park Youth Academy, the Thompson Academy and the South Pines Academy in Pembroke Pines. The award-winning program also operates as a DJJ community-based initiative in Orlando and Tampa, with another soon to open in Clearwater.
HBI, the workforce development arm of NAHB, has offered trades education, training and placement programs for the residential construction industry for more than 30 years.
For more information on Project CRAFT, e-mail Dennis Torbett
at HBI, or call him at 800-795-7955 x8908.