The Home Builders Institute (HBI) recently announced that its curriculum for construction trade skills has been approved as an industry recognized certification by the State of Ohio. As a result, the state’s secondary schools can apply for a special grant program to support residential construction trade skills programs for the first time. The grants are funded by The Home Depot Foundation and the National Housing Endowment. The deadline for application is March 31.

Under HBI’s “School-to-Skills” program, eligible schools would receive funding to assist in creating or enhancing their construction trades programs with the inclusion of HBI’s Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT) curriculum.

HBI trains skilled workers for the building industry. It says its PACT curriculum is one of only three pre-apprenticeship programs recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor. The nonprofit organization’s programs are customized to meet the employment needs of the local building and construction businesses in the communities where they have been established. The new certification allows secondary schools in Ohio to license the PACT curriculum.

“The state’s certification of HBI’s curriculum means more opportunities for good paying jobs for young Ohioans,” said Ed Brady, HBI’s president and CEO. “The demand is huge right now for skilled labor in construction, across Ohio and the entire U.S., and it will continue to grow significantly over the next decade.”

With the national jobless rate just under seven percent at the end of 2020, the housing industry was a clear bright spot and job creator. According to government data, the home building industry is short more than 200,000 workers as 2021 begins. A recent study from the Brookings Institution projects that nearly half of all openings over the next decade will be for “middle-skill” jobs, those requiring more than high school but less than a college degree.

“As is true throughout the country, the Ohio building industry needs more skilled trade workers. The white-, green-, and blue-collar jobs in residential construction create good wages and bright futures for workers, which benefit their families and the communities in which they live.” said Mark Zollinger, president of the Ohio Home Builders Association (OHBA). “With the certification of HBI’s curriculum, more Ohio students will gain the skills and hands-on experience they need to build careers in construction and related fields.”

According to the OHBA, building one hundred new single-family homes creates 297 full-time jobs, generates $11.1 million in local, state, and federal tax revenue, and produces $28 million in business and wage revenue.

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