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People With Disabilities to Pursue Home Building Careers

Home Builders Institute (HBI), the workforce development arm of the NAHB, has partnered with South Carolina’s largest center for independent living — The Disability Action Center (DAC) — to help prepare people with disabilities for jobs in the residential construction industry in Columbia, S.C.

The center will be offering HBI’s Project HOPE training through a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Projects With Industry (PWI) program, under the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

Project HOPE (Home Building Opportunities for Positive Employment) provides people with disabilities with intensive training and employment and related services to connect them with jobs in the home building industry.

The DAC training program will expressly target adult offenders, homeless persons and veterans with disabilities, while retaining open space to train any interested adult with a documented disability.

There will be 91 students receiving Project HOPE training during the first year of the partnership, 182 in year two and 136 students in the third and final year.

“The focus of the partnership is to help our citizens with disabilities access high-quality employment through strong business and industry linkages,” said Stephen Maglione, DAC’s executive director. “We intend to create a seamless project system that will provide individuals with access to job openings and referral to training, retraining and career advancement opportunities.”

Project HOPE will offer students two courses exploring the array of careers in the home building industry:

  • A one-week “Careers in Residential Construction Industry” class examines multiple career options, reviews employer expectations and industry standards, develops employability plans and provides job placement assistance.

  • A 12-week Pre-Apprenticeship Training Certificate (PACT) course offers instruction in safety; tool identification and use; theory; math; plan reading; and basic plumbing, carpentry and electrical skills. Eighty percent of this course is comprised of hands-on training through community service projects, and those who complete the program receive industry-recognized certification.


Concurrent with Project HOPE’s trade skills training, DAC will assist participants through intensive case management, counseling, independent living skill instruction and transition assistance.

Recognizing the importance of training skilled workers for the home building industry, the Home Builders Association of Greater Columbia and the HBA of South Carolina played major roles in making the program a reality.

"Project HOPE provides hope for those that need it," said Earl McLeod, Jr., executive director of the HBA of Greater Columbus. "We are proud to support such a worthwhile program."

John Cone, executive director of the state association, added that, "Project HOPE is just the sort of effort NAHB needs to be involved with. It serves the dual purpose of providing training to a special group of people who badly need new skills and providing skilled workers to meet the ever-increasing demand in the construction industry."

For more information on Project HOPE, e-mail Dennis Torbett at HBI, or call him at 800-795-7955 x8908.

 
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