HBI Helps Students Build Construction Careers

HBI’s training process features a unique, hands-on approach that combines technical and employability skills with core academics.

HBI’s training process features a unique, hands-on approach that combines technical and employability skills with core academics.

Washington, D.C.-based HBI, a national leader for career training in the building industry, is dedicated to the advancement and enrichment of education and training programs serving the needs of the industry. Through certification programs, HBI provides training, curriculum development and job-placement services for the building industry. Job-placement rates have remained at more than 80 percent for graduates during the last several years.

For nearly 50 years, HBI and its forerunner, the Manpower Development & Training Department of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Washington, have trained workers in construction, promoted the building industry as a career and helped address the need for qualified employees. Today, HBI is an independent, national non-profit organization and partner in the NAHB federation. HBI’s relationships with local home-builders associations have helped create opportunities for students.

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. Preparing students for success in the building industry is at the core of what HBI does across the country. At any given time during the year, HBI touches more than 13,000 students through its programs.

HBI’s training process, products and services are instrumental in the success of its programs, including Job Corps, Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training, Military and Veterans, and Building Careers Programs. Through each program, individuals are trained and ready to pursue careers in the building industry.

“We want our students to know what it’s like to be in this business,” says HBI President and CEO John Courson. “You can’t learn this business by only studying on a computer, from a textbook or in a classroom. They have to get out in the field and experience what it’s like to perform trades in all kinds of weather. I want the last day of training for our students to be just like the first day on a new job.”

A Unique Program

HBI’s Five Steps of Service model focuses on connecting, assessing, certifying, training and placing individuals in high-growth construction careers. The model is a soup-to-nuts process that offers students job readiness, certified training, career connections, hope, confidence and long-term success. HBI’s five steps support students at every stage of the employment continuum. Students are trained and certified in brick masonry, building construction technology, carpentry, electrical wiring, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, landscaping, plumbing, solar installation or weatherization.

HBI students can earn several industry-recognized credentials and put their skills into practice with contractors on community service projects.

HBI students can earn several industry-recognized credentials and put their skills into practice with contractors on community service projects.

Unique to the industry, HBI’s training process uses a hands-on approach that combines technical and employability skills with core academics; students work and learn how to be successful in the industry. Students’ trade skills are put into practice with contractors on community service projects. Students can earn several industry-recognized credentials, including an HBI Pre-Apprentice Certificate, OSHA 10-Hour Safety Training, CPR, First Aid and a National Occupational Testing Institute trade-specific certificate.

HBI training programs do more than just provide job skills. They build character and self-esteem, offering students the interpersonal skills they also need to succeed. Students learn leadership, a sense of responsibility, time management, team work and how to communicate effectively.

“As we work to build careers and change lives among the populations we serve, we want to be sure that our students are ready in every way to be successful at every step of the process,” Courson explains.

HBI’s Five Steps of Service integrates structured education and training with the world of work, including career exploration, job exposure and internships that lead to full-time employment. Each year, HBI recognizes top former students who have graduated from an HBI program and have achieved success in the building industry despite adversity they have encountered through their journey. HBI instructors from across the country nominate former students and the top two are selected.

Dawit Zengo of Alexandria, Va., and Kristy Stringer of Way Cross, Ga., were recognized for their leadership qualities, achievements and potential in the building industry at the 2017 NAHB International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Fla.

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Get Involved as the Alliance Celebrates 20 Years of Elevating the Roofing Industry

As it celebrates its 20th anniversary, the Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress remains steadfast in its mission. Its goals include supporting high-quality education programs, ensuring forward-thinking responses to major economic and technological issues, and enhancing the long-term viability and attractiveness of the roofing industry to current and future workers.

As it celebrates its 20th anniversary, the Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress remains steadfast in its mission. Its goals include supporting high-quality education programs, ensuring forward-thinking responses to major economic and technological issues, and enhancing the long-term viability and attractiveness of the roofing industry to current and future workers.

“If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.” This simple statement by Steve Jobs reflects the sentiments of The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress’ diverse and dedicated forum of members, who have united to carry out the Alliance’s vision to influence, shape and advance the future of the U.S. roofing industry.

At 157 members strong, including 10 new members within the last year, the Rosemont, Ill.-based Alliance is in a unique position to unite roofing contractors, material manufacturers, distributors, service providers and industry professionals. To date, the group has committed more than $12.4 million to its endowment fund to help preserve and enhance the U.S. roofing industry’s success and performance.

As it celebrates its 20th anniversary, the Alliance remains steadfast in its mission and vision to serve as a valuable, effective and influential organization focused on three primary objectives:
1. Supporting high-quality education programs.
2. Ensuring timely and forward-thinking industry responses to major economic and technological issues.
3. Enhancing the long-term viability and attractiveness of the roofing industry to current and future workers.

PARTNERING WITH SCHOOLS

With a keen focus on enhancing college students’ experiences by exposing them academically and experientially to roofing as a career choice, the Alliance Board of Trustees approved ongoing project funding to continue advancing educational initiatives with three of the most well-known construction management schools in the United States: the Department of Construction Management at Colorado State University, Fort Collins; McWhorter School of Building Science at Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.; and M.E. Rinker Sr. School of Construction Management at the University of Florida, Gainesville.

The Alliance is focused on fostering its relationships with construction management schools by developing a faculty research program that includes identifying topics of interest and direct benefit to the roofing industry, as well as a systematic approach for connecting member companies with construction management schools nationwide.

“When a school needs a roofing expert to meet with students either in the classroom or on a job site, we want the Alliance to serve as that resource,” says Dennis Conway, NRCA chairman of the board and principal and vice president of Commercial Roofers Inc., Las Vegas. “Talking with students one-on-one about roofing fundamentals and career opportunities, in addition to exposing them to all the different roofing products, materials and systems, is invaluable.”

Former Alliance President Jim MacKimm, president of Beacon Roofing Supply, Peabody, Mass., says such partnerships are invaluable. “These partnerships are crucial for the roofing industry,” he says. “We know we need to do a much better job telling students about career opportunities in roofing and making sure they understand the importance of roofing even if they pursue other construction-related careers.”

During the International Roofing Expo in March, the Alliance also sponsored its third Construction Management Student Competition, a hallmark competition to promote careers in roofing industry management. In addition to providing a significant learning opportunity, the six-team competition fostered camaraderie, dialogue and team spirit among the students as they met the challenges of demonstrating their roofing knowledge of estimating, project management, safety and related areas for the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Teams represented were from the McWhorter School of Building Science at Auburn University; Department of Construction Management at Colorado State University; Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge; Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Ala.; University of Cincinnati; and the M.E. Rinker Sr. School of Construction Management at the University of Florida.

“As technology advances, government regulation grows, sustainability increases in importance and roof systems become more complex, it is imperative for us to attract professional, knowledgeable students to the roofing industry,” says Suzan Boyd, vice president of Academy Roofing, Colorado Springs, Colo. “The exposure our industry receives through our construction management school partnerships is invaluable because the future of our workforce is at stake.”

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GAF Education Center Debuts at 2017 IRE

The GAF Education Center will debut at the 2017 International Roofing Expo (IRE) , offering attendees a curriculum of eight condensed classes dedicated exclusively to roofing industry education, not product pitches.
 
Through eight, 45-minute sessions in the GAF Education Center, trainers will teach roofing industry strategies that will help attendees build skills, think critically and arm them with practical solutions to work smarter.
 
“The addition of the GAF Education Center adds another component to the line-up of show floor activities and educational offerings,” says Tracy Garcia, CEM, show director of the IRE. “These roofing industry educational courses will be beneficial to all attendees who want to gain knowledge and excel in their businesses.”
 
“Our focus is education and we have assembled speakers who are experts in their field,” says Paul Bromfield, CMO at GAF. “We want to provide practical learning that helps our customers to build their business.”
 
Beginning on March 1, classes include “The Importance of a Roofing System,” “Commercial Roof Maintenance,” “Common Sense Approaches to Reducing Condensation Problems Associated with Reflective Roofing on Western Wood Framed Decks,” and “Impact Resistance – What the Hail is Happening?” 
 
Concluding on March 2, classes include, “Impacting In-Home Selling with Technology,” “Home Design from a Worldwide Perspective,” “Redesign Your Business by Starting Over: Start With a Blank Sheet and Redesign for Positive Impact,” and “Thriving on Alphabet Soup: How to Benefit From the New Age of Green Rating Systems.”
 
Classes are free with all registration packages. Seating is available for up to 55 people on a first-come, first-served basis. For specific class times, descriptions and speakers, visit here.
 
“The addition of the GAF Education Center reinforces the International Roofing Expo as a partner in education for roofing contractors,” says Reid Ribble, CEO of NRCA, the show’s official sponsor. “I encourage our members to attend these free classes designed to foster knowledge through idea-sharing.”  
 
Taking place March 1-3, 2017, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, the show will offer roofing contractors of all sizes and specialties a preview of the entire roofing construction and maintenance industry.

IRE Trade Show Floor Is Sold Out

The 2017 International Roofing Expo (IRE) trade show floor has completely sold out, topping out over 131,000 square feet and 465 exhibitors.
 
Taking place March 1-3, 2017, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, the International Roofing Expo is a roofing construction and maintenance event where roofing professionals gather to experience face-to-face interaction, product review, education and networking.
 
“The commitment from so many industry manufacturers and suppliers demonstrates trust in the International Roofing Expo brand and its ability to deliver qualified buyers from every segment of the industry,” says Tracy Garcia, CEM, IRE show director. “The IRE has experienced a 41.6 percent growth in net square feet since 2012.”
 
Exhibiting companies will feature products and services spanning 40 categories, including adhesives, built-up roofing, coatings, fasteners, gutters, metal roofing, modified bitumen, roof/ decking materials, roof pavers, shingles, skylights, slate, spray polyurethane foam, tile, vapor retarders, ventilation, walkways/ballast, waterproofing, and much more.
 
“The U.S. roofing industry is in a strong position this year, and that’s reflected in the banner support we see for the IRE in terms of attendance and exhibit space sold,” says Reid Ribble, NRCA’s CEO. “NRCA is excited to again hold its annual convention in conjunction with the IRE.”
 
The trade show floor is just one aspect of the three-day event. Other highlights include an educational conference program consisting of 122 education hours and 44 sessions, a variety of special events and show floor education, as well as networking opportunities and more.
 
The show was founded in 1955 by the National Roofing Contractors Association as the NRCA Convention and Trade Show. On May 18, 2004, Hanley Wood Exhibitions acquired the show and rebranded it as the International Roofing Expo [IRE]. The IRE is now owned and produced by Informa Global Exhibitions, who acquired Hanley Wood Exhibitions in December 2014. 

Soprema Scholarship Is Available for 2018 School Year

In an effort to continue its commitment to the success and growth of the industry, SOPREMA is proud to offer the SOPREMA scholarship to architecture, engineering, building construction management and building science students for its second year.

In its first year, the SOPREMA scholarship was awarded to seven students who each received $5,000 to go towards their graduate or undergraduate studies. SOPREMA is currently accepting applications for the 2018 scholarship year. The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2017.

“We’re proud to be offering this scholarship to students,” says Sara Jonas, marketing manager, SOPREMA. “By investing in the next generation, we are pledging our commitment to continuing the advancement of the industry.”

The SOPREMA Scholarship was founded to assist students pursuing a degree in architecture, engineering, construction management or a similar field at an accredited four-year college or university. The program is administered by Scholarship America, a designer and manager of scholarship and tuition reimbursement programs for corporations, foundations, associations and individuals.

ATAS To Host Building Envelope Education Event

ATAS International Inc. will be hosting Designing with Metal – Building Envelope Education, an AIA/CES education event at the Building Envelope Design Center in Mesa, Ariz. on Thursday, Feb. 9th and Friday, Feb. 10th.
 
In addition to four presentations by ATAS, and a plant tour of the manufacturing facility, four additional presentations will be given by other individuals in the architectural building envelope industry.  Umicore Building Products USA/VMZINC, Lorin Industries, Hendrick Architectural Products, and Roofinox America will also be sharing knowledge about zinc, anodized aluminum, perforated metal, and stainless steel.
 
Architect members of the American Institute of Architects are required to complete 18 LUs from registered AIA/CES providers each year.  Of the 18 LUs, 12 must be in the topic areas of health, safety and welfare (HSW).  By attending this entire event, a total of 9.5 LUs can be earned; more than half of the annual AIA membership requirements.

Lee Ann M. Slattery, Sales Support Manager, states, “ATAS has always provided a variety of educational opportunities on a multitude of topics.  Many of our staff have a long history of working within the industry and have held active roles in several of the industry-related associations, so we are fortunate to have a wide pool of experienced and respected resources from which to build valuable educational content.  By hosting this education event at our Mesa, Ariz., location, we are able to provide a tour of our facility which manufactures building envelope components from metal.  And, by holding the event in February, it is an ideal reason to pair the event with a warm getaway from the cold weather that many are experiencing at that time of the year.”

MBMA Releases 2016 Annual Report

The Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA) has released its 2016 Annual Report. This resource highlights the technical research, sustainability innovations, industry advocacy, safety preparations and educational programs the association has undertaken over the past year. The report provides relevant information for anyone who works with metal building systems, or who is involved in the low-rise commercial building market. It can be downloaded here.
 
“This last year was filled with growth and opportunities for our association and we are proud of all that has been accomplished,” says Brad Curtis, MBMA chair. “We have made strides in the areas of structural research, education, sustainability and fire protection. The tools we develop in these areas help designers to use metal building systems in new and exciting ways. These tools are what differentiate metal buildings as a durable building construction approach that produces economy, speed to market and single-source control.”
 
“For more than 60 years, MBMA has raised the bar for the metal building systems industry,” says Dan Walker, MBMA’s associate general manager. “MBMA members and various committees spearhead research, create innovative tools and resources, and improve industry practices and standards.”
 
The 2016 Annual Report details recent accomplishments made by MBMA, some of which include:

  • developing college capstone courses on metal building design
  • producing several new technical manuals
  • influencing code changes
  • creating educational webinars, videos and podcasts
  • completing three industry-wide Environmental Product Declarations
  • adding a new membership category to include architects and engineers

 
Also, in 2016, MBMA played a role in instituting a new Founders category in the Metal Construction Hall of Fame, which pays tribute to early industry trailblazers.
 
“The leadership that our association provides is bar none. MBMA’s members work alongside other industry experts and organizations to improve the safety, quality and durability of low-rise construction for future generations,” Walker adds.
 
MBMA’s membership represents more than $2 billion in annual shipments and accounts for nearly half of the total non-residential, low-rise construction market in the United States.
 
MBMA also provides engineering leadership through the many research programs it sponsors annually, often in coordination with universities and engineering schools throughout North America. This research is used to improve the performance, efficiency and quality of metal building systems—and serves to elevate the technology used to produce them.

OSB Manufacturing Plant Construction Continues

Work continues in Corrigan on an oriented strand board (OSB) manufacturing plant, the first such facility in the Lone Star State for RoyOMartin. Due to open in fall 2017, the plant represents a $280 million investment, is situated on 158 acres, and adds 165 direct jobs. The Corrigan OSB LLC greenfield OSB plant will ship products throughout the U.S. OSB is primarily used for roof and wall sheathing in construction.

Company officials and the East Texas community celebrated the grand opening of the plant’s administration building, which marked the beginning of the transition from a construction site to a fully operational facility. Construction began in July 2015 and is nearly halfway complete. About 30 employees have been hired to date. Corrigan OSB LLC will complement RoyOMartin’s other OSB mill in Oakdale, La., in manufacturing RoyOMartin-branded OSB products that include Eclipse OSB Radiant Barrier, Eclipse OSB Wall System, TuffStrand, WindBrace, and Structwall.

“We believe East Texans share our passion for excellence and experience,” says Roy O. Martin III, president, CEO, and CFO of RoyOMartin. “We have sold into the Texas market for a long time, and now we look forward to becoming a proactive partner in the community.”

Named a 2016 Manufacturer of the Year by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, RoyOMartin brings more than jobs to the region. The company has also earned accolades for safety and employee development programs, including WoodWorks and RoyOMartin University. The former is a program in local high schools that trains students for careers in the wood products industry. The latter is an on-site training program that provides employees a perspective on the business and prepares them for advancement within the company. It also aims to teach behaviors and instill principles that make graduates valued participants in the communities in which they live.

“We’ll extend our philosophy of being ‘employer of choice’ and ‘vendor of choice’ to the region, while maintaining the stability of a company committed to its stakeholders,” Martin adds.

MRA Adds Two New Manufacturer Members

The Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) has announced the addition of two new manufacturer members to the organization.  CertainTeed joins the MRA to promote a line of architectural metal roofing products.  Also joining the MRA is DECRA, an innovator and leader in the stone coated metal roofing market.

After more than 18 years of growth, the MRA has proven success as a market-building organization. With an initial investment of $24 million in marketing programs, the MRA has tripled the roofing market share, from three percent in 1998 to 11 percent today.

“CertainTeed recognizes the importance of partnering with industry associations that support its membership in the promotion of their products and services,” says Dale Walton, product manager for CertainTeed Roofing.  “For this reason we are pleased to join the Metal Roofing Alliance, and we look forward to participating with the MRA to further strengthen our presence and position in the metal roofing sector.”

The MRA was formed to educate both homeowners and roofing contractors on the many benefits of metal roofing.  For the past 18 years, the MRA has been able to more than triple metal roofing’s market share by offering investment grade product that provides decades of protection for homes

“In 2017, DECRA will celebrate its 60th anniversary and as the original stone coated metal roof tile manufacturer, it is critical that we have a voice in the industry. We are happy to be re-joining the MRA and look forward to assisting the market and industry in the years ahead,” states Bobby Bloom, president, DECRA Americas.

 “The addition of CertainTeed and DECRA is an important development for the MRA, as it adds two manufacturers of building and roofing materials to our organization,” states Bill Hippard, executive director of the Metal Roofing Alliance.  “Our goal is to reach 20 percent market share by 2020 and manufacturers such as CertainTeed and DECRA are going to help us reach that milestone.  All segments of the metal roofing supply chain can benefit from additional growth, from raw materials suppliers and coil coaters to manufacturers and contractors.”

As new manufacturer members, CertainTeed and DECRA will participate in the MRA’s national consumer and contractor education campaigns. In addition, CertainTeed and DECRA’s metal roofing contractors are now able to join the MRA and begin benefitting from the leads generated by the alliance’s national consumer marketing campaign.

How to Deal With Winter Downtime

You worked hard all summer and made a lot of money. But now summer is over and winter is quickly approaching. With winter comes downtime.

When you’re young, temporary lay-offs can be fun: Parties, travel, music and sporting events make layoffs easier to handle. When you’re older, with bills to pay and mouths to feed, layoffs can be very worrisome. There are a few basic steps you can take to help deal with temporary layoffs.

If you’ve been laid off, you should file for unemployment insurance as soon as possible. The sooner you file, the sooner you can be deemed eligible and the sooner you can start receiving funds. The unemployment agency will verify with your employer the reason for you losing your job.

If you are not happy in the roofing industry you might be interested in retraining, not only to learn new job skills but also to keep your mind sharp. Consider the following:

  • Take some community college courses. Community colleges are relatively inexpensive and offer a wide variety of courses to improve work skills while earning valuable college credits that may lead to a possible degree.
  • Visit your local unemployment office. It will have lists of apprenticeship and training opportunities that can lead to a more secure position.
  • Select courses at a location vocational/technical school. These schools offer a wide variety of hands-on training at reasonable costs.
  • Purchase books or software to use on your own. There are many free and reasonably priced online training and education classes available.

See “Training Resources” below for some additional ideas.

If you love roofing and want to remain in the trade, there are steps you can take to keep your head above water—financially speaking.

John M. Grohol, Psy.D., writes in “7 Ways to Cope with a Layoff” that you need to take a realistic look at your finances and budget. Do not put this off longer than a week after you are laid off. Although we may not enjoy dealing with our finances, failure to do so could result in a far worse situation down the road (which always arrives sooner than you think). Dr. Grohol suggests: “Be creative in analyzing your budget for places to cut.” Most of us assume we need things like digital television and unlimited mobile calling plans. But most of us don’t. He adds, “Now’s the time to put aside your wants temporarily and focus exclusively on your and your family’s needs.”

Your savings, rainy-day fund and even your 401(k) may offer you some temporary financial relief. Borrowing from your 401(k), for instance, is usually less expensive than adding to your credit-card debt because you are paying back the loan with interest to yourself (not a credit card company). However, borrowing from your 401(k) and other retirement accounts is usually recommended only as a last resort.

Take care of your insurance. We often don’t think about insurance until we’re faced with a layoff and find out just how expensive insurance really is. Your employer will likely offer you COBRA, which allows you to continue your employer’s health benefits with one catch: You now have to pay what your employer was paying for your benefits. Be prepared for sticker shock. Most people are amazed that a family of four’s health insurance on COBRA might be as high as $1,000 or even $1,500 a month; for a single person or couple, it can be anywhere from $500 to $800 per month. When paying bills is already going to be a challenge, COBRA might be out of reach.

Shop around. With the Affordable Care Act, there are a lot more health-insurance plans available at a wide range of costs. You may find other health insurance coverage for your family that is less expensive and won’t cut your benefits in any significant way. Weigh the costs with what you can afford. For example, you may have to pay a higher deductible for inpatient hospital stays to achieve a lower monthly premium.

If you want or need to keep working, hit the classifieds. Nearly all classified sections now are online, so searching through them is far easier than it was 10 years ago. Although it might seem like nobody is hiring (and in the construction profession, that may very well be true), you should keep an eye out anyway. Jobs sometimes become available as people retire or a company’s focus changes. Extend your search somewhat outside your trade, as well, just to see what else might be available. Check out your “dream job”, too. Some people use a layoff as an opening for a new opportunity.

Use the unemployment resources available to you, whether through your ex-employer or through your local government. Libraries, too, often offer a great set of employment and career resources (such as résumé writing services). Don’t be afraid to network. Make your situation known, build connections and, soon, unemployment will be a thing of the past!

Training Resources

The following are examples of free or low-cost training opportunities you may want to consider when you are laid off:
Free
College courses from American Standard University
Solar training in New Jersey from Information & Technology Management
Your state may offer free training, like New York

Low Cost
Penn Foster Career School

More Ideas
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration provides information and services to assist workers who have been or will be laid off.

Search for apprenticeships and youth education/training programs, like one in New York.

Interested in the safety profession? Check out Free-Training.com/osha/soshamenu.htm and Free-Training.com.