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Industry joins to find skilled labor solutions

Events at IBS and KBIS in Las Vegas raising funds for next generation of skilled labor.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Industry forces will join together at Design and Construction Week in Las Vegas to address the lack of skilled labor in the residential construction industry.

The Skilled Labor Fund is partnering with SCG Horizon, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) Feb 19-21 for a series of events at the International Builder’s Show (IBS) and the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS).

NKBA is hosting a panel of experts on its KBISNeXT Stage, located in the South Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center, on Feb. 19 at 3 p.m. The panelists include Norm Abram and Jeff Sweenor from This Old House; Kate Campbell, host of HGTV’s Customer Builder and Nathan Gilbert, also from This Old House. Following the panel discussion, a reception titled Cheers for Trade Careers will be held from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. to continue the discussion and networking.

“As we continue to see the impact of labor shortages throughout the kitchen and bath industry as well as the larger macroeconomy, the NKBA is committed to collaborating with our partners to address this problem head-on. We will work together to build programs for the next generation that lead to viable career paths in skilled labor, design and the many related and important professions,” Bill Darcy, CEO of NKBA.

On Feb. 20 at the Professional Builder Show Village Silver Lot just outside the main convention center doors, a Skilled Labor Fund Fundraiser will be held from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Music, beer, prizes and an opportunity to meet students enrolled in trades programs across the country will be featured along with appearances from This Old House’s Norm Abram, Tom Silva, and crew members.

According to the Skilled Labor Fund, 100% of the $50 ticket price will go towards the next generation of skilled labor workforce. Attendees can register for the event here.

“The Skilled Labor Fund is committed to funding programs that train our youth to fill rewarding careers in residential construction,” said Ted Mahoney, chair-elect, National Housing Endowment. “Through fundraising efforts (with matching funds), we hope to continue this important work.”

Business to Business publisher, SGC Horizon (Professional Builder) along with NAHB, NKBA and NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) first launched the Skilled Labor Fund at the International Builders’ Show in 2016. Since then, it has grown to serve close to 1,000 high school students across the country with access to student programs, funding student fees and elements of the HBI (Home Builders Institute) Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT).

“The relaxed outdoor exhibit is a perfect environment for donors to hear how funds have benefited students entering the field and for potential donors to understand how their dollars will be used,” said Tony Mancini, group director and principal, SGC Horizon. “We look forward to seeing many of our valued partners and those associated with the industry at this important event.”

The non-profit Skilled Labor Fund is designed to address the lack of skilled labor entering the residential construction industry. The fund’s main purpose is to raise money, promote the fund, and distribute funds directly to accredited trade schools and training facilities within the U.S. It is administered within the National Housing Endowment/Skilled Labor Fund and operates as a separate entity.

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