Education

Home Builders Institute opens Orlando BuildStrong Academy to meet huge demand for skilled labor

November 12, 2021
Home Builders Institute opens Orlando BuildStrong Academy to meet huge demand for skilled labor

With new home sales outpacing construction, a pressing need for skilled workers is a key limiting factor for improving housing inventory and affordability, according to the Home Builders Institute’s (HBI) Fall 2021 Construction Labor Market Report released on Nov. 4

“The construction industry needs more than 61,000 new hires every month if we are to keep up with both industry growth and the loss of workers either through retirement or simply leaving the sector for good,” said HBI president and CEO Ed Brady. “From 2022 through 2024, this total represents a need for an additional 2.2 million new hires for construction. That’s a staggering number.”  

To help meet this demand, HBI recently opened an Orlando, Florida, based training center that aims to enroll approximately 500 new trainees by year-end 2022.  The BuildStrong Academy of Orlando’s training program, HBI announced, will guide participants through a step-by-step process designed to take them from beginners, with little-to-no trade skills, to tradespeople who are sought after by employers. Instructors will use HBI’s industry-recognized curriculum, which is one of only three pre-apprenticeship programs recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor. 

HBI, a grantee of the Charles Koch Institute, also funded the program with help from The Home Depot Foundation, West Fraser, a diversified wood products company based in Vancouver, Canada, and CareerSource Central Florida, the State of Florida’s workforce development agency.  

BuildStrong Academy of Orlando says its trades training program includes an introduction to the construction trades, the core Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT) course and Carpentry Certification. The courses are taught by experienced carpenters – including skills for wall, floor and roof framing along with installing doors and windows – through a mix of hands-on training and classroom instruction.  

And best of all – the classes are free. Trainees, who must be 18 years of age or older, graduate with no debt and can make use of job placement help.  

According to HBI, The number of open construction sector jobs currently averages between 300,000 to 400,000 each month. Half of the payroll workers in construction earn more than $50,460 annually and the top 25% make at least $71,000. In comparison, the U.S. median wage is $49,150 while the top 25% make at least $67,410. 

“As openings in construction jobs increase and people are rethinking their careers, the times demand that we take an inventive approach to creating the skilled workers so badly needed in the building industry,” said HBI’s Brady. “Students at the BuildStrong Academy of Orlando will be exposed to the full spectrum of their opportunities in the construction trades.” 

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