The Official Online Weekly Newspaper of NAHB
Lester N. Shepherd, the senior vice president for program development for the Home Builders Institute (HBI) who spearheaded the growth of HBI Job Corps programs before retiring in 2001, died of natural causes at his home in Silver Spring, Md., on Oct. 18. He was 79.
Shepherd, who worked at HBI for 31 years, helped grow HBI’s partnership with the federally operated Job Corps from one training contract at a Job Corps center in Woodstock, Md., to 72 Job Corps centers nationwide that employ 175 instructors and train more than 2,000 students in the home building industry annually.
Under his leadership, the HBI Job Corps partnership became the largest such program to train and place young people in residential construction.
Born in New Orleans and reared in Oakland, Calif., Shepherd graduated from Contra Costa College, where he was selected for the Little All‐American Football Team by the Associated Press. He then attended the University of Nebraska and was drafted by the Green Bay Packers, but injuries curtailed his professional football career.
Shepherd is survived by his wife, Gloria; daughter, Debra Harvey of El Sobrante, Calif.; sons, Lester, Jr., of Pinole, Calif.; Jeffrey, of Takoma Park, Md.; and Roy, of Atlanta; and 10 grandchildren.