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The Home Builders Institute (HBI) opened its BuildStrong Academy of Charlotte, offering carpentry and electrical training for participants to help address the skilled labor shortage in the region.

According to the HBI, the skilled construction labor shortage “has reached critical levels” in Charlotte, challenging the local economy and infrastructure development. The shortage of qualified workers has led to timeline delays, increased costs, and hindered growth opportunities in the area.

The HBI says the development of the BuildStrong Academy will help provide accessible training opportunities for individuals interested in pursuing careers in the industry. The new facility is supported by the Fioretti Family Charitable Fund, The Home Depot Foundation, DeWalt, and the Truist Foundation.

“Older workers are retiring and not being replaced because the U.S. has not produced an adequate supply of construction labor for several generations,” Ed Brady, HBI president and CEO, says. “HBI is committed to training the next generation of skilled workers and ensuring the supply of construction labor.”

The HBI’s most recent Fall 2023 Construction Labor Market Report indicates the required amount of construction workers needed is 723,000 per year. Over the course of 2024 to 2026, this represents a need for an additional 2.17 million net hires in the industry. Surveys from the NAHB indicate that at least a third of builders report labor shortages across specific trades. The labor shortages are most severe for finished carpentry workers and rough carpenters.

The BuildStrong Academy in Charlotte offers participants the ability to learn the skills needed for entry-level roles in nine weeks at no cost. The training results in industry-recognized certificates in carpentry and electrical. The program includes basic construction knowledge training and trade-specific training.

“The Home Depot Foundation has been proud to partner with HBI to make trades training and pathways to lucrative careers in the trades a reality for more people,” Erin Izen, executive director of The Home Depot Foundation, says. “With more than 400,000 construction jobs open—and growing—the new Academy in Charlotte will further our joint mission to shrink the skilled labor gap and ensure a strong pipeline of qualified construction professionals for years to come.”

HBI is a nonprofit provider of trade skills training and education for the building industry. The organization provides pre-apprenticeship training and certification programs in middle and high schools, community colleges, technical institutes, and training academies. In addition to Charlotte, there are BuildStrong Academies in Orlando, Florida; New Orleans; Houston; Denver; Phoenix; and Sacramento, California.

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