Celebrating Careers in Construction Month

Jennifer Keller Education, President's Message, Workforce Development, Young Professionals

Students at BuildStrong Academy of Houston learn the basics of building to prepare them for the workforce

October is for so much more than puffer vests, Halloween decorations and pumpkin spiced lattes…it is also Careers in Construction Month for homebuilders! This month, we’ll be celebrating students of local programs — in school districts, trade schools, community colleges and universities.

In September, we set the stage for this month of career and workforce celebration by taking our board of directors on a field trip to Houston’s new BuildStrong Academy, located near Harwin and Beltway 8.
Developed by industry leaders and powered by the Home Builders Institute (HBI), the BuildStrong Academy is a series of training programs that offer construction career education through hands-on learning, classroom teaching, and real-life experience with a focus on job placement, mentoring, and ongoing support for students and partners.

Though the official grand opening will take place on October 4, students are already utilizing the opportunity to attend introduction to homebuilding classes ranging from six weeks to 13 weeks, tuition-FREE!


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Students who complete the course have already gone on to enter home building careers with GHBA member companies.

The HBI curriculum was developed by home builders affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders, to help meet the unique needs of building our next generation of residential construction employees.

GHBA board members enjoyed the opportunity to tour the education facilities and workshop and hearing from Ron Peters, director of operations at the BuildStrong Academy. Our top Partner members also attended a post-meeting reception at the academy. The HomeAid Works committee is generously providing mentorship to all the students in the current cohort to help them obtain interviews and soft skills related to job seeking.

Councils and committees are encouraged to go visit the facility and help out on Thursdays, when the academy hosts guest speakers to provide the students with information about career paths in our industry. If you would like to take your group to visit BuildStrong Academy or support their students, please reach out to your council or committee liaison and they can get you scheduled with academy staff.

Jones Academy Students to Attend Product Expo

In honor of Construction Careers Month, we are looking forward to the opportunity to welcome 50 students from Jones Futures Academy in Houston Independent School District to the GHBA Product Expo on October 20.

At the event, we’ll welcome the students to meet with exhibitors and to join the residential construction family. We plan to present each student with a hard hat to commemorate the start of their journey toward becoming part of our industry. The students will have the opportunity to meet with members and learn about the diverse opportunities for career paths in home building, while exhibitors will get the chance to learn more about the students’ skills and interests.

This opportunity is underwritten by GHBA’s new LAUNCH Fund, which is working to connect students enrolled in career and technical education and higher education programs related to home building careers with our member companies.

Texas A&M Students Attend Texas Bash

In September, a dozen students from the Texas A&M University Land Development Program attended Texas Bash at Minute Maid Park. Their advisor, Tim Early, reports that the students had a great time meeting GHBA members and enjoying the game alongside them. The GHBA continues to work with the Texas A&M Masters of Land Development program to connect students and our members in a meaningful way.

About the Author
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Jennifer Keller

Article by 2022 GHBA Board President Jennifer Keller, president and COO of Hamilton Thomas Homes. Keller has more than 25 years of experience in home building, land acquisition, land development, and land development / water resources engineering. Keller is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Texas who holds a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Houston and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University.