Week of April 21, 2008
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Trustees Visit HBI Programs at Work in New Orleans

In New Orleans last week for their annual planning meeting, the Home Builders Institute Board of Trustees took a first-hand look at how two HBI programs are scoring success and making a contribution to the community.

The first stop on the itinerary was Operation Reconstruct New Orleans, which was launched by HBI’s Workforce Training and Employment (WTE) in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to help the city’s displaced residents find jobs and actively participate in local rebuilding efforts.

Now in its second year, Operation Reconstruct is training local residents ages 18 to 21 in the skilled trades and placing them in jobs in the home building industry. HBI’s partner, the Paxon Group, provides critical GED and employability skills instruction.

Since it was established in New Orleans, HBI has opened two new Operation Reconstruct programs in Gulfport and Jackson, Miss.

“Operation Reconstruct is a great program because it makes an impact on both the macro and micro levels,” said HBI Chairman John Moffitt. “It trains individuals with skills to give them employment, and with their new trade skills these New Orleans citizens are on the front lines of rebuilding efforts for the city.”

Trustees next visited Delgado Community College, which was damaged during the hurricane, forcing many students to transfer to new schools or temporarily suspend their education. Membership at Delgado’s NAHB Student Chapter dwindled to three, but chapter advisor P. Victor Mirzai and students were on hand to show the trustees how the group has made a strong comeback, working with the local HBA, volunteering in the community and recruiting new members.

Delgado took home second place in the Outstanding Student Chapter competition awarded at the 2008 International Builders’ Show in Orlando.

“HBI is the workforce development arm of NAHB, which means that it has a great influence on the future of the building industry,” said Moffitt. “The upcoming generation of builders, architects and trades people, among others, are already involved in HBI programs. Now we need to ensure that the current generation is on board as well,” added Moffitt.

For more information, e-mail Maria McIntyre at HBI, or call her at 800-795-7955 x8912.



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.

 
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