HBI Helps Youthbuild Grads Start Construction Careers
The first HBI Youthbuild graduates receive their PACT certificates.
Five young graduates celebrated a new chapter in their lives as members of the residential construction workforce on May 2 in the first student commencement ceremony for the Home Builders Institute's (HBI) Youthbuild program in Montross, Va.
Youthbuild, a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program, provides economically disadvantaged young adults opportunities to obtain education, employment skills and on-site work experience.
The Montross program, operated by Employment Resources Inc. (ERI), is the first to receive technical assistance from HBI under the institute’s partnership with Youthbuild.
Of the five graduates, four are already working in residential construction. Kevin Turner, 18 and Charles Jones, 21, earn $10 an hour as carpenter helpers with Consumer Building Services (CBS) Inc. Moses Johnson, 22, and Douglas Henry, 23, are making $8 an hour as masonry helpers at CMB Masonry and Johnson Masonry, respectively.
Students were trained using HBI’s six-month Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT) curriculum, which helped them acquire fundamental trade skills and their GEDs. Other key components of the curriculum include work-readiness, entrepreneurship and mental-acuity training.
“Kevin and Charles came to our company with a great foundation of skills and they have continued to learn at a rapid pace,” said Bill Moyer, owner of CBS. “In my 30 years in the industry, I have never seen young people with their positive attitude and hunger for hands-on knowledge. Honestly, everyone at CBS is ecstatic to have them here.”
“It was great to see their growth process,” said ERI counselor Verlane Mack. “They really learned how to mesh their learning styles and work together as a team.”
Mack said that a trip to Gulfport, Miss. to participate in Katrina rebuilding efforts by repairing damaged roofs and installing drywall was a catalyst for the young trainees. “All our students were humbled by what they saw when we arrived, and were appreciative of the opportunity to help and proud that they could put their skills to use,” added Mack.
For more information on HBI’s technical assistance efforts in Youthbuild, e-mail Steve Cousins at HBI, or call him at 800-795-7955 x8939.