Disaster Mitigation Course Debuts in New Orleans
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Home Builders Institute (HBI) has expanded its Residential Construction Superintendent (RCS) designation curriculum to include disaster mitigation.
Operating in conjunction with the five-part RCS Concrete Specialization Curriculum, “Disaster Mitigation for Residential Construction” will join RCS’ existing eight-course designation and three-track advanced superintendent curriculum.
Recognizing the benefit of the disaster mitigation courses on its community, The Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans volunteered to host the pilot course on June 13.
“We are extremely grateful to HBI, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and NAHB’s Concrete Home Building Council for bringing the disaster mitigation pilot to New Orleans,” said HBA of Greater New Orleans Executive Vice President John Luther. “The students here represented various sectors of the industry and each received a great overview of the construction techniques and building materials necessary to protect against natural disasters.”
Twenty-one students attended the pilot program, which was led by instructor Steve Skalko of the Portland Cement Association. The initial course focused on building techniques for residential construction projects in areas prone to hurricanes, floods, wildfires, earthquakes and tornadoes.
“We are in a rebuilding process and the disaster mitigation curriculum emphasizes the exact type of education that superintendents need as we work to revitalize New Orleans,” added Luther.
Last year, the HBA and HBI collaborated to set up Operation Reconstruct, a model skills training program with more than 60 graduates now working to rebuild their city.
Following the pilot, “Disaster Mitigation for Residential Construction” is in its final phase of editing and it will be ready to be hosted by home builders associations and companies by the end of July.
For more information about disaster mitigation and the entire RCS designation, e-mail Kevin Thorn at HBI, or call him at 800-795-7955 x8928.
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.