The Official Online Weekly Newspaper of NAHB
Eleven Nigerian business and government officials who want to establish construction training programs in their country toured the Woodstock Job Corps Center construction trades training center in Woodstock, Md., recently as part of NAHB’s International Visiting Education Delegation Program.
Joined by officials from the Home Builders Institute, the workforce development arm of NAHB, the delegation learned how students aged 16-24 live at a Job Corps campus and study one of six trades — brick masonry, carpentry, electrical, facilities maintenance, landscaping and painting — taught by HBI.
HBI instructors and students demonstrated their skills and answered questions in each of the trade workshops. They also told the delegation how the students’ skills are tested through the program, which also involves performing building repairs and renovations, grounds keeping and general maintenance duties around the campus.
“The delegates expressed great interest in HBI’s trades training programs because they wish to establish similar programming to train young adults in their nation,” said HBI Vice President Steve Kramer. “They were particularly impressed with the textbooks, training labs and methodologies HBI employs to teach students the skills they need to succeed in the workplace and in life.”
According to Kramer, the delegation saw many training approaches during the tour that can be used to boost construction training in Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa.
In particular, they noted that textbooks used in HBI’s Job Corps Residential Construction Academy Series are used in career and technical education programs throughout the United States, which ensures that HBI Job Corps students are learning critical workplace skills through industry-developed national skill standards charted by educators and NAHB members. A similar approach could create such a standard in Nigeria.
The delegation also appreciated that HBI instructors and placement coordinators work one-on-one with students to help them develop a plan to get a job and succeed once they learn their skills. The program includes budgeting for expenses, preparing resumes, job search techniques and presentation skills.
HBI has partnered with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Job Corps program for more than 35 years. The Woodstock center in suburban Maryland is the first Job Corps campus in the partnership, which has grown to 153 training programs at 73 sites across the country. HBI also is the largest trades training provider for the Job Corps.
In addition to the Woodstock center, the delegation visited the National Housing Center in Washington, D.C, and the NAHB Research Center in Bowie, Md. During their visit, the Nigerian officials learned about green building, land development, business management, regulatory and finance policy, workforce training and more.
For more information about NAHB International’s programming, email Giuliana Nava at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8182.
For more information on HBI’s training, email Steve Kramer, or call him at 800-795-7955 x8925.