Trustees Visit Construction Training Programs in Tucson
Members of the Board of Trustees of the Home Builders Institute (HBI), the workforce development arm of NAHB, traveled to Tucson, Ariz. last week for their annual planning meeting. Included on their itinerary was a visit to HBI’s training programs at the top-rated Fred G. Acosta Job Corps Center, where HBI provides training in facilities maintenance, plumbing and electrical wiring.
The center is also an active partner in the Department of Labor’s “Building Today’s Workforce for Tomorrow” grant to HBI, and home to one of nine Job Corps NAHB Student Chapters.
HBI instructors work closely with the center’s director, Joe Altamirano, to ensure that students receive quality trades training and have significant opportunities to utilize their skills in work-like situations. HBI has developed a unique program with Pratte Building Systems, an exclusive subcontractor to Pulte Homes, that enables students to intern as “superintendents-in-training” as a step to a permanent entry-level assistant superintendent position. One student was hired last year and six are currently enrolled in internships.
On their tour, the trustees got a first-hand look at the positive influence of dedicated HBI instructors, center staff and other local grant partners such as the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association (SAHBA), Pima County Schools and Pima Community College.
“The involvement by industry, educators and county leaders offers graduates a seamless transition to school or a career” said Michael Sivage, HBI chairman and a builder/developer from Albuquerque, N.M. “While in Job Corps, the students see what we are seeing today, a vivid image of an industry that needs them and a community that cares.”
As a partner in HBI’s grant under the President’s High Growth Job Training Initiative, SAHBA is one of 10 builders asociations in as many states to spearhead “Building Today’s Workforce for Tomorrow” for the home building industry.
Trustees also had a chance to meet several members of the program’s new advisory board, including Dr. Linda Arzoumanian, superintendent, Pima County Schools; Dr. Johnson Bia, president, Pima County Community College District; John McCaleb, with McCaleb Construction and SAHBA president; Gregory Miedema, with Dakota Builders; and the group’s chairman, Brian Forstall, director of the Tucson Unified School District's Career and Technical Education.
“It’s very encouraging to see this type of partnership and collaboration,” said Sivage. “HBI and Job Corps established their partnership decades ago and we constantly look to expand the scope of the programs we offer.”
The grant calls for HBAs to work with local public school districts, community colleges and the workforce investment community to offer students the chance to gain craft skills training and earn an associate’s degree.
For more information on HBI’s Job Corps programs, e-mail Keith Albright, or call him at 800-795-7955 x8911. For information on “Building Today’s Workforce for Tomorrow” contact John Shortt, x 8924.