Dozier Academy Sees First HBI/Project CRAFT Graduates
Continuing its efforts to prepare Florida youths for careers in the home building industry, the Home Builders Institute has graduated 57 young people this summer from its award-winning program for adjudicated youth — Project CRAFT (Community, Restitution, Apprenticeship-Focused Training).
Ten students were members of the program's first graduating class from the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, where HBI operates Project CRAFT in partnership with the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice and Washington County Schools.
Completing Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT) in one of three trades offered by HBI on the campus — carpentry, plumbing or facilities maintenance — the graduates are now fully prepared to enter their formal apprenticeships.
While enrolled in the program, the students completed a variety of educational projects in preparation for jobs in residential construction. Much of their training took place at the Dozier School, where rehabilitation projects keep students busy pouring sidewalks, expanding a training center and applying carpentry and landscaping skills to campus beautification efforts.
Students also pursued their education off-campus, completing a number of community projects — from building park benches and signs to working with Habitat for Humanity.
Bill Paul, a Tampa area builder/developer and HBI's immeidate past chairman, made the trip to the state's panhandle to attend the event.
"Graduations are important to our Project CRAFT programs. They give all the people involved a sense of accomplishment, and our guests can see the strides that each one of these young people has made," said Paul.
“This graduation was a particularly emotional event as some of the students shared their stories with the audience. Many said they changed their entire outlook on life over the course of their training, and it’s inspiring.”
Paul has been instrumental to the success of Project CRAFT in Florida, working tirelessly with local legislators to highlight the program’s lengthy list of benefits to its students and the community at large.
The day after the ceremony, Ethan was the first graduate to officially leave the school. He is working in the maintenance department at Mandarin Pine Apartments in Jacksonville, earning $12 an hour. In October, he will be eligible for benefits and an apartment in the complex, at a reduced rent.
HBI, the workforce development arm of NAHB, operates Project CRAFT training programs at nine sites in Connecticut, Florida and Tennessee. The program has been recognized by members of the U.S. Congress as a model intervention for adjudicated youths, with graduates averaging an 85% job placement rate.
For more information on Project CRAFT, e-mail Dennis Torbett at HBI, or call him at 800-795-7955 x8908.
Home Builders Institute Offers New Program to Teach English to Spanish Speakers
Sed de Saber™-Construction Edition is an easy-to-use, take-home learning tool created by Home Builders Institute (HBI) to improve job site communication, construction quality and safety by teaching English to Spanish-speaking workers, who make up 25% of today’s construction industry workforce.
Sponsored by Lowe’s Commercial Services, Sed de Saber™-Construction Edition was developed by a team of subject matter experts — including superintendents, craft skills experts, remodelers and builders — to ensure that its contents was relevant to today’s home building workforce. HBI also created a seventh book based entirely on the NAHB-OSHA Job Site Safety Handbook to address job site safety issues related to the language barrier.
Sed de Saber™-Construction Edition uses proven LeapFrog technology to allow learners 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 about five months. Learning at home, on their own time, also eliminates scheduling conflicts.
NAHB members can purchase the learning system, all seven books and a skills assessment to chart progress for $395 per kit. The non-member price is $495. Order today at www.seddesaberconstruction.com or at www.lowesforpros.com.