GHBA Selected for the 2021 Association Accomplishment of the Year Award

Terry Swenson Awards, Featured, Workforce Development

The Greater Houston Builders Association is proud to announce they have been awarded the 2021 Association Accomplishment of the Year Award by the Texas Association of Builders’ (TAB) for the association’s outstanding contributions to the housing industry at the state, local and national levels with special emphasis on their commitment to workforce development.

Over the last few years, the GHBA has spent much of its time and resources focusing on workforce development as they have recognized a need for a new way to help ensure that the building industry has a steady pipeline of skilled workers to fill the critical shortage of trade professionals.

The GHBA has identified a group of builder members to plan and execute construction hiring events in a partnership with HomeAid Houston, WorkTexas, the Home Building Institute (HBI), Houston Community College, The Building Talent Foundation and Habitat for Humanity. WorkTexas is a program started by Jim McIngvale, owner of Gallery Furniture and responsible for opening Premier High School at the I-45 Gallery Furniture location.


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“What a tremendous tribute to the work of our members on a critical issue facing our industry,” said Aimee Bertrand, executive vice president and CEO of the GHBA. “I am extremely impressed by our members and am full of appreciation for the recognition of TAB for their efforts.

“Our GHBA workforce working group gathered at the behest of Ron Rohrbacher of Perry Homes and our GHBA President Keith Luechtefeld of Shea Homes, to set GHBA up to succeed in efforts with local workforce partners,” added Bertrand.

“The committee not only succeeded in hosting a successful construction careers hiring event at WorkTexas, but they have laid the groundwork for us to collaborate with school districts, community colleges, workforce organizations, and our own members. GHBA will continue to provide opportunities to identify, educate and employ our next generation of homebuilding industry professionals, thanks to this foresight,” she concluded.

The construction hiring event held in 2021 at the WorkTexas Premier High School was also in partnership with HBI. GHBA developed flyers for job seekers and potential employers, and a QR code to drive job seekers and employers to register. The HBI and other builder partners helped to distribute flyers and register attendees.

The GHBA registered more than 300 job seekers and 25 construction industry employers – mostly associate companies – offering over 300 jobs for the event. More than 90 job seekers attended the event and many reported obtaining interviews and/or job offers.

The GHBA has also provided its workforce development member advocates with a wealth of materials that they can present to students, organizations, and other interested groups and has also brought together the Houston Community College (HCC) System, the largest community college system in Texas, the HBI to provide the curriculum, and Houston Habitat for Humanity so that students will get hands-on experience building actual homes from start to finish.

The cost of materials has been covered through contributions to Houston Habitat, removing the burden from HCC to find funding to build a lab and pay for materials and equipment. In addition, Houston Habitat pays students $10/hour while on the job site. The Texas Builders Foundation joined the partnership to cover the HBI curriculum and certification fees. This collective partnership is the first of its kind in the nation.

“The Association Accomplishment of the Year Award is a testament to our organization’s tireless efforts to advocate for our industry,” said Keith Luechtefeld, president of the GHBA. “Through their hard work, at-risk young adults will have opportunities to build not only a career but homes that will ensure our future homebuyers can purchase new, attainably-priced housing.”

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Terry Swenson

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A writer and a photographer, Terry Swenson is GHBA's Director of Public Relations. She is also the founder of the PictureThis Project, which puts cameras in the hands of Houston's homeless and allows them to share their story, through their lens.