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Building the Pipeline for Next-Gen Skilled Labor


Building the Pipeline for Next-Gen Skilled Labor

NAHB Housing Policy Briefing | How NAHB is working with the Home Builders Institute and the National Housing Endowment to introduce young workers to potential construction careers; top reasons why homebuyers are having trouble buying a home

By National Association of Home Builders March 1, 2021
Young construction worker working on HVAC
NAHB is taking steps to provide training opportunities for the home building workforce of the future. | Photo:

Home builders can't keep pace with the nation’s strong demand for new homes without a skilled and motivated labor force. That’s why NAHB is working with the Home Builders Institute (HBI) and the National Housing Endowment to provide training opportunities for young men and women who will become the home building workforce of the future.

HBI programs do more than just provide job skills. They build character and self-esteem, helping students with the interpersonal skills they need to succeed on the job and in life. This gives graduates a solid footing for becoming responsible citizens, valuable members of their communities, and great employees. Programs include pre-apprenticeship training and HBI's Job Corps, Residential Construction Academy, and veterans program.

A good example of the veterans initiative is the HBI carpentry outreach at the U.S. Army’s Fort Carson, in Colorado Springs, Colo. Funded by The Home Depot Foundation, the Fort Carson initiative is one of 10 such programs located near large military bases that provide transitioning military service members and their spouses with 12 weeks of free construction industry training through HBI and its proven curriculum.

NAHB’s philanthropic arm, the National Housing Endowment (NHE), and the Skilled Labor Fund are providing funding for local home builders associations, enabling them to conduct workforce development initiatives such as skilled trades training programs, local career fairs, and construction management education. 

The Housing & Building Association of Colorado Springs’ Careers in Construction (CIC) program is a good example of a local program made possible in part by NHE funding. Since the CIC program’s inception in 2015, more than 2,300 students have taken CIC courses, 1,007 Pre-Apprenticeship Certified Training certificates have been earned, and more than 500 individuals have been OSHA 10 certified.

NAHB, HBI, and the NHE are working hard to make sure young people see the potential for a rewarding career in the residential construction industry and can find the training they need to make such a career choice a reality.

More Homebuyers Are Being Outbid

In 2018, NAHB economists began asking people who were actively seeking to buy a home for at least three months why their efforts were not successful. For the first time in the three-year history of the survey series, the No. 1 reason during 2020's fourth quarter was because they were outbid by other offers (40%).

NAHB chart showing the top reasons why homebuyers can't buy a home


In fact, in the series' 12-quarter history, getting outbid has been the lowest of the four reasons in every poll compared with other responses such as “can’t find a home at a price I can afford” (33% in the most recent poll), “can’t find a home in the neighborhood I want” (33%), and “can’t find a home with the features I want” (31%). 

Responses add up to more than 100% because respondents can select more than one reason. Previously, the inability to find an affordably priced home was the No. 1 reason in 10 of 11 quarters.

When asked what they will do next if still unable to find a home during the next few months, 28% of those surveyed reported they are likely to give up until next year or later. Historical data show a steadily rising trend in the share of long-term searchers likely to quit looking for a home for now.


Written By

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing more than 140,000 members involved in home building, remodeling, multifamily construction, property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing, and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. For more, visit

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