HBI, Youthbuild Prepare Youths for Housing Careers
Over the past few months, Home Builders Institute (HBI), the workforce development arm of NAHB, and Youthbuild have celebrated student graduations in Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, attesting to the early success of their collaborative efforts to train young people and prepare them for careers in residential construction.
HBI is providing technical support to Youthbuild through a grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Last September, the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) opened the Youthbuild Public Charter School (PCS) to help high school dropouts in the District of Columbia. The program’s educational curriculum combines academics with vocational training, employability skill-building and community service.
This July, 34 students received their Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT) certificates from HBI at the program’s first commencement ceremonies. “Youthbuild really supports its students and helps them get their GED and work that pays good money,” said honors graduate Henry Buruca. “They helped me with my employment portfolio and prepared me to dress and act like a working professional.”
On Oct. 19, 16 students at the Fulton Atlanta Youthbuild and Adult Basic Education were honored for completing the HBI/Youthbuild curriculum. HBI came on board last year to enhance the residential construction component of the program, which has been working to educate, train and rehabilitate students since 1993.
Among the Fulton graduates was Nigel Farmer, who came to Youthbuild with a high school diploma but lacked the focus and training to gain meaningful employment. Farmer responded positively to the HBI/Youthbuild curriculum and soon became a leader among his peers.
“I really enjoyed the building and designing aspects of my training,” said Farmer. “There were more difficult tasks, like measurement reading, but my instructors were very encouraging and patient and helped me to graduate.”
After completing the program, Farmer found a temporary job that enabled him to rent an apartment, and he continues to look for permanent work in the building industry.
For more information on the HBI/Youthbuild partnership, e-mail Steve Cousins at HBI, or call him at 800-795-7955 x8939.