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By guerrieroale

Those who say young people are not interested in the trades have not seen the over 440-person waitlist for a home building school in Alabama. The successful launch of the Alabama Home Building Academy proves that students are not forsaking the trades by choice: They just need exposure to see that a fulfilling future in building is possible. The Huntsville-based academy provides free, interactive training for students to start a career in the trades, and after one month of opening, its waitlist grew to over 440 people. Those who are in the program will learn not only construction skills but also career-oriented skills such as resume writing and how to ace an interview. There is still a long way to go to get students interested in the trades and address the labor shortage, but this hands-on, proactive approach may be the ticket to success.

One month after opening, the North Alabama Homebuilding Academy in Huntsville, Ala., already had more than 440 students on a waiting list for the free, hands-on training aimed at opening the door to a career in the building trades.

The school, funded through a partnership between the Huntsville Madison County Builders Association and the city of Huntsville, teaches students, 18 and over, a solid foundation of home construction skills; provides exposure to the different career opportunities within the home construction field; gives each student a free set of starter tools; and offers career support, including resume writing and interviewing skills.

NAHB CEO Jerry Howard, who attended a Feb. 20 open house at the facility, said it was “a template for success that should be duplicated across the country.” NAHB 2020 Third Vice Chairman Alicia Huey, a custom home builder from Birmingham, was also in attendance at the event.

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