May Newsletter

Published March 23, 2020

“I’m here.” Student Maya Howe says referring to her career choice to enroll in the electrical program at the Tongue Point Job Corps Center in Oregon. “I’m actually building a strong foundation for my future—finally.”

We asked her what changed?

“I got sick of working dead-end jobs that I’m not going to go anywhere with, places where there wasn’t any room for improvement; minimum wage, just struggling to get by. A couple of my friends came here, some years back, and it worked out for them really well. They’re successful, and their stories are inspiring to me.”

Read more in Management & Training Corporation‘s site and watch a video about Howe here.

Published March 23, 2020

Major Radames Ortiz was stationed at Fort Campbell when his home in Puerto Rico was battered first by hurricanes and then earthquakes.

His mother’s home was destroyed and his grandmother’s home also was heavily damaged so he helped out the two ways he could from a distance – by sending money and enrolling in the Home Builders Institute Program that teaches transitioning Soldiers about the construction trade.

Read more in Fort Campbell Courier here.

Published March 23, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic continues to challenge all sectors of our economy and our educational systems. HBI, a national leader for career training in the building industry, announced complimentary access to online learning alternatives for local schools and training programs. This access comes in response to increasing K-12 requests across the nation.

Read more in NAHBNow here.

Published February 12, 2020

The Home Builders Institute (HBI) presented Habitat for Humanity of Citrus County with bird houses recently, at the Habitat Administrative Offices.

HBI students built the bird houses which will be presented to new Habitat homeowners at their home dedication. HBI is a national leader for career training in the building industry. HBI prepares students with the skills and experience they need for careers in the building industry through certification programs, mentoring, pre-apprenticeships and job placement services, which includes at-risk and underserved populations such as youth, veterans, ex-offenders and displaced workers.

Read more in Citrus County Chronicle here.

Published February 11, 2020

Home building firms that make it a priority to hire veterans can be recognized for their efforts under an award program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The Department of Labor is now accepting employer applications for the 2020 HIRE Vets Medallion Award. The award program recognizes all types of employers, from small businesses and non-profit organizations to large companies, for their leadership in recruiting, employing and retaining America’s veterans.

The application deadline is April 30, 2020.

WASHINGTON — July 30, 2019 — HBI (Home Builders Institute) officially opened its new skilled trades training program for transitioning service members in Norfolk on July 18. The cost-free, 12-week construction industry training, certification and job placement program allows active duty service members within 180 days of separation from the military to obtain critical training that enables them to pursue a civilian career in the skilled trades.

“Our standards and curriculum are designed and created by, what I think is one of our biggest strengths at the Home Builders Institute, professionals of the industry. Our instructors are industry professionals and our managers are industry professionals,” said Ed Brady, President and CEO of HBI, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new HBI facility. “[The curriculum and standards] give the skills and practical application needed to use the talents you possess to get on the site and be productive on day one.”

The Norfolk effort marks the seventh installation to join the collaboration between HBI and The Home Depot Foundation to train transitioning military members and other new tradespeople to help address the ongoing skilled labor shortage in the building industry. Fort Stewart, Fort Bragg, Fort Bliss, Fort Hood, Fort Carson and Jacksonville Naval Air Station currently have programs under way.

The skills training would not be possible without the community and students that are putting in the work. Throughout the program, service members spend 75% of their time in hands-on training, earn professional certifications, and receive job placement support so that they can find employment before their last day wearing a uniform.

Kelsey Peery, a current transitioning service member who is part of the first HBI Norfolk cohort, which graduates in August, spoke about how the program has impacted her life, as she prepares to join her husband – a sailor stationed in Sigonella, Italy. When speaking of the training, she said, “What I like most about this industry is that if one thing is not for you, something else may be for you. In the times we’ve thought ‘I don’t think I can do this,’ [the instructors] taught us and kept us on the right track.”


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A motto of HBI is to “Build new careers and change your lives.” This training program does that through five steps: connect, assess, train, certify and place. These steps are utilized to change the lives of the service members who have sacrificed so much for their community and country. Skilled trades jobs are in demand everywhere, so no matter if a transitioning Sailor or Marine decides to stay in Norfolk, move home, or move somewhere new, these skills can be put to work immediately.

A video of the ribbon-cutting event, with speeches from HBI CEO Ed Brady, City of Norfolk Military Affairs Liaison Doug Beaver, current students and more, can be found here.

The Home Depot Foundation is funding the program to help create a skilled labor pipeline to support the future of the building industry. The foundation is committed to working with HBI to set up training sites at additional U.S. bases this year and in subsequent years.

Giving back to service members exiting the military is personal to The Home Depot as more than 35,000 of our associates have served in the military. Last year, The Home Depot Foundation made a commitment to work alongside HBI and train 20,000 skilled workers to help combat a major issue within the trades industry. This new program will further that effort and we look forward to training and serving the service men and women of Norfolk,” explained Executive Director for The Home Depot Foundation Shannon Gerber.

About HBI

HBI is a national nonprofit that provides training, curriculum and job placement services for the building industry. With overall program job placement rates at over 85 percent for graduates, HBI training programs are taught in local communities across the country to at-risk youth, veterans, transitioning military members, justice-involved youth and adults, and displaced workers. Visit www.hbi.org for more information and follow us on TwitterFacebookLinkedInYouTube and Instagram.

About The Home Depot Foundation

The Home Depot Foundation works to improve the homes and lives of U.S. veterans, train skilled tradespeople to fill the labor gap and support communities impacted by natural disasters. Since 2011, the Foundation has invested more than $315 million in veteran causes and improved more than 45,000 veteran homes and facilities in 4,300 cities. In 2018, the Foundation pledged an additional $250 million to veteran causes taking the total commitment to half of a billion dollars by 2025.

To learn more about The Home Depot Foundation, visit homedepotfoundation.org and follow us on Twitter @HomeDepotFound and Facebook + Instagram @homedepotfoundation.

WASHINGTON — September 17, 2019 — The Greater Orlando Builders Association will host HBI Norbord Orlando Career Center’s graduation on September 18, 2019. Including this latest cohort, 53 students have graduated from the center since the first class began in December of 2018 with a current certification rate of 95 percent. The GOBA-hosted event signifies the warm reception the center and its students have received from the area building community—a critical education-to-employment pipeline for a region responding to a 2018 peak in homebuilding, as a result of more than a half million-resident population growth in the last decade.


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This graduation perfectly illustrates the workforce-training and placement success achievable through HBI partnership with a philanthropic leader, like Norbord, and a local home builders association, like GOBA. In this way, we can collectively support the industry and community in providing training and placement to fill the over 340,000 open construction jobs nationwide,” said HBI President and CEO Ed Brady.

We congratulate the graduates for their commitment and wish them success as they embark on the great opportunities in homebuilding. Our partnership with the HBI and our current nationwide #BECOMEAFRAMER campaign reflect Norbord’s ongoing vision of supporting communities and the home building industry by training young people for careers in the construction trades. We are pleased to see our goal to help train more workers come to fruition and we look forward to many more classes from the two programs we are sponsoring,” said Norbord’s Vice President, North American Marketing and Product Management, Ross Commerford.

As president of GOBA, I am introduced to many program and initiatives throughout our area. None have impressed me more than the HBI program that is coordinated here locally. I’ve spent time at the training center and had the opportunity to address the need of a skilled workforce to the group of engaged and excited students all seeking their opportunity to make an impact in our industry. From my initial visit, my company hired five HBI trained graduates and have plenty more future HBI graduates who have my number and call me about openings at our company,” said John Riddle, president of the Greater Orlando Builders Association and Vice President of Turning Leaf Construction. “This is a program that is needed in our community and one that truly benefits our home building industry. We are proud supporters of these students and their career goals.


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The Orlando center offers certifications in OSHA-10, carpentry and Pre-Apprenticeship Core Training (PACT).

[Home Building] has been one of the few trades I’ve seen brought back to a city in which we do have a lot of construction going on, of course, in the Mickey Mouse capital,” said HBI Orlando Regional Placement Coordinator Derrick Perry. “There are a ton of jobs, but [jobseekers] being trained is part of the problem that I’ve always heard. I think, this area is a wide open for the construction field.

Students from this latest graduating class have already been hired into Orlando-region companies, like Kresge Construction Inc., American Builders Supply, Wayne Automatic Fire Sprinklers and Riddle’s own company, Turning Leaf Construction. One such student is 21- year-old Herby Hertilien, originally from Irvington, New Jersey, who heard about the HBI program from his pastor.

Hertilien was recently hired by GOBA’s own president, John Riddle, as an apprentice, installing insulated concrete form (ICF) wall systems for Turning Leaf Construction. According to Hertilien, his coworkers already feel like family, supporting him in a way that he feels confident will help him achieve his own career goals, like one day, owning his own business.

I was in this program in New Jersey, and they would take me to all different types of law firms and I wasn’t really interested in law, and so, my mind would pretty much be elsewhere, and I’d just see how these buildings were crazy—just like different types of buildings that I’d never seen before, the architecture was just amazing,” said Hertilien. “I told myself that one day, I [would] build one of these, and it’s crazy how just a couple of years later, I’m actually doing something with building houses. I’m proud of myself for actually doing something where I can see a future in four or five years within the company or even inspiring something of my own. That’s why I’m very excited for this graduation.

About HBI

HBI is a national nonprofit that provides training, curriculum and job placement services for the building industry. With overall program job placement rates at over 85 percent for graduates, HBI training programs are taught in local communities across the country to at-risk youth, veterans, transitioning military members, justice-involved youth and adults, and displaced workers. Visit www.hbi.org for more information and follow us on TwitterFacebookLinkedInYouTube and Instagram.

About Greater Orlando Builders Association

The Greater Orlando Builders Association (GOBA) is the authority, educator and promoter of the housing and building industry serving more than 700 members. Since 1953, GOBA has served the construction industry in Seminole, Orange and Osceola Counties including its cities. Our purpose is to represent and promote the building industry, encourage higher standard practices through education, monitor and take a proactive role in governmental and regulatory activities that impact the construction industry within Greater Orlando, as well as at the State and National levels. Our intention is to foster an environment within our association and within our neighborhoods to create opportunities for building relationships, businesses and communities while balancing economic, social and environmental needs of our members and the communities we serve.

About Norbord

Norbord Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of wood-based panels and the world’s largest producer of oriented strand board (OSB). In addition to OSB, Norbord manufactures particleboard, medium density fibreboard and related value-added products. Norbord has assets of approximately $1.9 billion and employs approximately 2,700 people at 17 plant locations in the United States, Canada and Europe. Norbord is a publicly traded company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “OSB.”

Effort part of the Foundation’s $50 million commitment to train 20,000 skilled tradespeople

WASHINGTON—September 24, 2019 —Today, as part of its effort to fill the growing skilled labor gap in the United States, The Home Depot Foundation announced it is partnering with the Home Builders Institute (HBI) to launch a youth trades training program.


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Our goal is to offer the best possible training program for people interested in exploring a career in construction, which is why we’re proud to partner with The Home Depot Foundation in our high school initiative,” said Ed Brady, President and CEO of HBI. “In order to provide the highest quality training, each program will be supported with a two-year PACT curriculum, classroom enhancement and updated tools and equipment for a hands-on training environment.

After a successful year of rolling out our military trades training program with HBI, we’re excited to announce the expansion of our joint program into high schools across the U.S.,” said Shannon Gerber, executive director of The Home Depot Foundation. “With the open job rate increasing every month, this work is important in the short- and long-term, and we’re proud to provide an on ramp for these students into a career in the trades.

Initially, the program and its industry-recognized curriculum will be available to 11th and 12th grade students in approximately 25 high schools with a focus on underserved communities across Colorado, Florida, Virginia, Alaska, Texas, Alabama, Tennessee, New Jersey and Massachusetts. Upon completion, participants will earn a pre-apprenticeship certification—endorsed by the National Association of Home Builders and recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor—provided at no additional cost to students and their families. The program will expand to more high schools in 2020.

The curriculum is very hands-on and offers industry certifications that are really going to guide these students from high school into valuable, post-secondary opportunities in the trades,” said James Payne, the Curriculum Supervisor for career technical education (CTE) for Broward County Public Schools—the sixth largest school system nationwide. “We truly appreciate the leadership and partnership of The Home Depot Foundation and Home Builders Institute.

In 2018, The Home Depot Foundation officially launched its joint trades training program for separating military members in partnership with nonprofit, Home Builders Institute (HBI). The program currently serves men and women on eight bases across the U.S.


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About HBI

HBI is a national nonprofit that provides training, curriculum and job placement services for the building industry. With overall program job placement rates at over 85 percent for graduates, HBI training programs are taught in local communities across the country to at-risk youth, veterans, transitioning military members, justice-involved youth and adults, and displaced workers. Visit www.hbi.org for more information and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

About The Home Depot Foundation

The Home Depot Foundation works to improve the homes and lives of U.S. veterans, train skilled tradespeople to fill the labor gap and support communities impacted by natural disasters. Since 2011, the Foundation has invested more than $315 million in veteran causes and improved more than 45,000 veteran homes and facilities in 4,300 cities. In 2018, the Foundation pledged an additional $250 million to veteran causes taking the total commitment to half of a billion dollars by 2025.

To learn more about The Home Depot Foundation, visit homedepotfoundation.org and follow us on Twitter @HomeDepotFound and Facebook + Instagram @homedepotfoundation.

Half of a Million Dollars for Youth Trades Training Program

Effort Boosted by an Additional $200,000 from National Housing Endowment

Las Vegas, NV – The Home Builders Institute (HBI) today announced The Home Depot Foundation (THDF) will commit up to $500,000 to fund student training in home construction careers in high schools across the country. Additionally, the National Housing Endowment (NHE), the philanthropic arm of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), has pledged $200,000 in support of the effort. This combined $700,000 will provide training to thousands of students for construction trades skills.

The funds will allow HBI and THDF to provide a hands-on curriculum for high school students nationwide, along with instructor training and materials. Upon completion, students will earn a pre-apprenticeship certification endorsed by NAHB and recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor. The programs will be available at no additional cost to students and their families.

Industry data shows there are an estimated 311,000 open jobs, like carpentry, electrical, plumbing and others in residential construction.


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Residential construction growth will continue in 2020 and thereafter, supported by low interest rates, solid economic growth and a lack of housing inventory,” said Robert Dietz, chief economist of NAHB.

At the same time, the home building industry faces a skilled trades gap,” said Ed Brady, HBI President and CEO. “As a result, opportunities for well-paid, rewarding careers in residential construction are tremendous.

Education and the construction industry continue to evolve and present new challenges and opportunities for the skilled trades workforce,” said Shannon Gerber, Executive Director of The Home Depot Foundation. “This year is expected to hold pivotal moments for each sector, and we’re excited to help bring fresh trades opportunities to our youth, as well as be on the forefront of the positive changes to come.

THDF’s $500,000 commitment is part of a $50 million partnership with HBI, launched in 2018 to train 20,000 tradespeople over 10 years.

The latest announcement was made in Las Vegas at NAHB’s 2020 International Builders Show. At a news conference, Brady also announced that HBI has received the additional commitment of $200,000 from the National Housing Endowment to support this latest work by the organization in secondary schools to create career technical training in the building industry.

THDF and HBI will work with the nearly 650 state and local home builders associations (HBAs) to reach out to teachers, parents and students. “It will be HBAs and their members who will help us coordinate directly with high schools in their communities to put these new funds to work,” Brady said.

HBAs represent home builders, remodelers and contractors in every corner of the country and are critically important partners in the success of this initiative,” said Mark Pursell, NHE President and CEO.

Former Florida HBA President Mike Hickman was influential in the Polk County School Board decision to adopt the HBI curriculum its six high school construction academies. “We are reaching nearly 800 students with an effective, industry-vetted program,” Hickman said. “This will serve them well, as they move on to higher education and enter the workforce.

To apply for program funding, educators should visit: www.hbi.org/SchoolsToSkills.


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About HBI

HBI is a national nonprofit that provides training, curriculum and job placement services for the building industry. With overall program job placement rates at over 85 percent for graduates, HBI training programs are taught in local communities across the country to at-risk youth, veterans, transitioning military members, justice-involved youth and adults, and displaced workers. Visit www.hbi.org for more information and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.


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About The Home Depot Foundation

The Home Depot Foundation works to improve the homes and lives of U.S. veterans, train skilled tradespeople to fill the labor gap and support communities impacted by natural disasters. Since 2011, the Foundation has invested more than $315million in veteran causes and improved more than 45,000 veteran homes and facilities in 4,300 cities. In 2018, the Foundation pledged an additional $250 million to veteran causes taking the total commitment to half of a billion dollars by 2025. To learn more about The Home Depot Foundation, visithomedepotfoundation.org and follow on Twitter @HomeDepotFound and Facebook and Instagram @homedepotfoundation.

About National Housing Endowment

The National Housing Endowment is NAHB’s philanthropic arm that supports the home building industry through education, training and research programs focusing on residential construction. The Endowment is dedicated to helping the housing industry develop more effective approaches to home building, enhancing education and training for future generations of leaders in residential construction and increasing the body of knowledge on housing issues.