In each of my letters over the past few months, I have discussed the issue of attracting young people to the building professions. There is no doubt that we are experiencing a growing void of qualified people to fill the increasing need for workers to build homes in Lincoln. A strong housing market creating more jobs and the loss of current workers due to retirement and workers exiting the industry for a variety of reasons, are creating an ever-growing need for new to our industry workers.

As an association and an industry, we can continue to complain about the problem or we can choose to work on solutions. HBAL is choosing to be a positive force in developing our future workforce. For the past couple of years, we have worked with the Lincoln Public Schools high school industrial technology teachers to provide classroom assistance from HBAL members. We have also participated in a program to give students involved in the Lighthouse program opportunities to see home building first-hand through tours of jobsites and suppliers’ places of business. Finally, the past two years HBAL has helped sponsor the Spring Construction Career Day for local high school students. The key to these activities has been the face to face contact with HBAL members and their employees.

We are embarking on a new venture with the industrial technology program at Moore Middle School. Ben Carey and Kelli Fleek are heading up this effort in cooperation with Jane Edwards, the IT teacher, and Gary Zapla, Moore MS principal. It is a two-part effort, focused on getting accurate information about construction careers to middle school students. HBAL members will be involved in assisting with an after-school club and in 8th grade IT classes.

To continue all these efforts to inform and recruit future construction industry workers, we need volunteers. I am asking you to consider helping HBAL deliver these valuable experiences to students in our community. This is your opportunity to make a difference and to ensure workers for our industry now and in the future. Call the HBAL office if you would like to volunteer or e-mail Ben Carey at WE NEED YOUR HELP! As Franklin Roosevelt said: “We cannot always build a future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.”
Thank you to all our sponsors of the HBAL Family Fun Night. A special thanks to Matt Kinning, Justin Johnson and Matt Kleinschmit for sitting in the dunk tank. A big thanks to YBP for organizing and running the bean bag toss tournament. A fun night was had by all who attended.

Happy and Safe Building!