Gulfport Mayor Praises HBI’s Operation Reconstruct
Following a March 12 “State of the City” report to more than 300 members of the Gaston Point, Miss. community on the 149 post-Hurricane Katrina construction projects now underway in their area, Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr praised the Home Builders Institute (HBI) and Operation Reconstruct for their contribution to the rebuilding effort.
Warr said that $663,000 in federal funding had been allocated to renovate the community center where he was speaking, and he also announced that the area would soon see ground broken on a large-scale affordable housing project.
“Mayor Warr is doing a great job engaging the community in these new rebuilding projects, and I commend him and Councilman Holliman for aggressively pursuing solutions to Gulfport’s housing needs,” said NAHB Past President Bobby Rayburn.
As chair of NAHB’s Home Building Industry Disaster Relief Fund, Rayburn and the committee have been instrumental in helping to rebuild the Gulf Coast. The fund helped launch Operation Reconstruct last year with a donation of $100,000 and a supplemental Freddie Mac contribution of $225,000.
HBI, the workforce development arm of NAHB, along with The Paxen Group, founded Operation Reconstruct in New Orleans and later replicated it in Gulfport to train eligible workers under the Workforce Investment Act in residential construction trades.
The free 10-week work-readiness and Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training program (PACT) provides job placement assistance in the home building industry.
Across the Gulf Coast, large-scale rebuilding and revitalization efforts are just beginning to take shape and Operation Reconstruct is among the programs leading the way.
As part of their training, students enrolled in Operation Reconstruct divide 35 hours each week between class time, onsite job training and community service. In the past several weeks, students have framed a new home on a lot where the original structure was destroyed by the storm, and have also renovated the home of a woman who was defrauded of her insurance claim.
“Operation Reconstruct has done terrific work in New Orleans and Gulfport,” said HBI Immediate Past Chairman Bill Paul, a builder from Tampa, Fla. “We are excited that the program continues to grow and assist as many people as possible obtain the skills they need to rebuild their lives and their communities.”
HBI will soon open a new Operation Reconstruct program in Jackson, Miss.
“Mississippi is fortunate to have a second Operation Reconstruct program coming to Jackson,” added Rayburn. “We fully expect it to have the same positive impact as the programs in Gulfport and New Orleans.”
For more information on Operation Reconstruct, e-mail Dennis Torbett at HBI, or call him at 800-795-7955 x8908.
Home Builders Institute Offers New Program to Teach Hispanic Adults English
Sed de Saber™-Construction Edition is an easy-to-use, take-home learning tool created exclusively for the construction industry by the Home Builders Institute to improve communication, quality and safety on the job site.
The product, now available at www.seddesaberconstruction.com, uses proven LeapFrog technology to allow workers to listen, record and play back their pronunciation of more than 500 vocabulary words and 340 phrases. Participants who practice 30 minutes each day will complete the program in just four months. Learning at home, on their own time, also eliminates scheduling conflicts.
Sed de Saber™-Construction Edition was developed by a team of subject matter experts assembled through HBI — including superintendents, craft skills experts, remodelers and builders — to ensure that the information is relevant to today’s home building workforce. To address worker safety issues related to the language barrier, HBI created a seventh book based entirely on the NAHB-OSHA Job Site Safety Handbook.
NAHB members can purchase the learning system, all seven books and a skills assessment to chart employee progress for $395 per kit. The non-member price is $495. Order today and empower your workers to learn English at www.seddesaberconstruction.com.