Adobe Stock / zinkevych

The Home Builders Institute (HBI) opened a new facility, the BuildStrong Academy of Houston. The Houston academy will use HBI’s curriculum designed to help students develop into trained, pre-apprentices sought after by home builders.

The latest training center is part of a nationwide initiative by HBI to help fill the “severe” worker shortage affecting the housing industry. According to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nation’s construction industry has been short approximately 300,000 skilled workers every month in 2022. HBI’s Spring 2022 Construction Labor Market Report indicates the U.S. will need an additional 2.2 million net hires for construction between 2022 and 2024 to keep up with demand. The Houston location is the fourth BuildStrong Academy, joining facilities in Denver, New Orleans, and Orlando, Florida. HBI has pledged to open 15 more training academies by 2027.

“Economists now expect we will see an increase in unemployment over the coming months, as the Federal Reserve continues taking steps to rein in inflation. Now is the time to prepare with programs that will offer the underemployed or unemployed the opportunity to develop new, marketable skills,” says HBI CEO Ed Brady. “Over the next few years, the BuildStrong Academy of Houston will help create great career opportunities in the building industry for thousands of those living in the Houston area.”

The BuildStrong Academy of Houston offers programs that are available tuition-free to individuals 18 years or older, and no previous construction experience is necessary. Through participation in the curriculum, students can earn industry credentials, including the OSHA-10 safety certification. Students will also have access to career counseling, job-placement support, and networking opportunities with industry employers. The HBI training curriculum is developed in conjunction with members of the NAHB and approved by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Ed Brady
Ed Brady

“While housing demand will slow during a downturn, there will remain a severe shortage of skilled construction workers now and after the economy recovers,” says Brady. “Shorter-term unemployment numbers, combined with persistent shortages of construction workers, are the reasons why boosting skills training now will help the local economy to be better prepared for both the coming months and the years to come.”

The Houston academy has produced its inaugural class of seven graduates, who entered the first program in July. Currently, 40 students are enrolled in the Houston program. The BuildStrong Academy of Houston is funded by The Home Depot Foundation, WoodNext Foundation, West Fraser, and Perry Homes. Trade sponsors include Klein Tools, American Standard, and RWC.

“The Perry Homes Foundation is proud to support the Home Builders Institute,” says Armando Perez, vice president at Perry Homes. “Our core values guide us to positively impact the communities we serve, and we are passionate about efforts that educate and prepare individuals for a career in the building industry. Learning the skills to build and improve our communities creates wonderful opportunities for individuals and the Greater Houston community.”

In addition to the grand opening of the BuildStrong Academy of Houston, HBI announced the Texas Education Agency approved HBI’s pre-apprenticeship certificate training programs for secondary schools. Beginning in 2022, Texas high school students will have access to the HBI curriculum, exposing them to different forms of trade work and a variety of construction skills, including carpentry, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, weatherization, and landscaping.

More about Home Builders Institute
Find products, contact information and articles about Home Builders Institute