Greater Orlando Builders Association Welcomes HBI’s Latest Class

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 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.”