Philip Polivchak, HBI President and Founder, Dies at 74
Philip Polivchak, 74, president emeritus and founder of the Home Builders Institute (HBI), the workforce development arm of NAHB, died at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C. on March 20 of pneumonia, complicated by non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
For 33 years, prior to his retirement in 2000, Polivchak directed and managed HBI, the non-profit organization that trains and places youth into productive construction careers. HBI also enhances the professionalism of NAHB members through continuing education and certification programs.
Polivchak built a nationwide network of skills training programs in seven crafts that are offered through more than 100 state and local home builder associations and 65 federally-operated Job Corps Centers for “at promise” youth. HBI is this country’s largest craft training program serving the housing and light commercial building industry.
More than 250,000 young men and women have participated in these training programs since their inception in 1967.
Under Polivchak’s direction, HBI expanded its mission into international programs, including a builders trade association in Poland called the American Polish Home Builders Institute (APHBI). APHBI helped Polish home builders establish a private housing industry.
Also, in a joint effort with the Armenian Assembly and the American National Red Cross, HBI instructors taught Armenian masons how to build earthquake-safe homes following the devastating earthquake there in 1988.
In addition to international study tours, HBI was involved in training activities in the Dominican Republic, Russia and Slovakia.
In related activities, Polivchak served as advisor on national construction industry issues to the U. S. Departments of Labor, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services and Defense, the Federal Committee on Apprenticeship, the National Joint Carpentry Apprenticeship and Training Committee, Vocational Industrial Clubs of America and others.
Polivchak served on the President's National Committee — Jobs for Veterans Program, the President's Committee for Prisoners of War, the White House National Conference on Corrections, the Secretary of Commerce's Conference on Youth Career Development and the U. S. Chamber of Commerce's Education, Employment and Training Committee. He co-chaired the Department of Labor's National Job Corps-at-Work Competition/EXPO on the Mall in Washington, D.C.