The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) today announced a new agreement with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to introduce more of America's youth to a future career in residential construction. The announcement was made at a press conference held during the NAHB International Builders' Show (IBS) in Orlando, Florida. 

The announcement comes as the residential construction industry continues to struggle to overcome the lack of available skilled trade workers. In fact, a recent survey of NAHB members showed nearly two thirds rank this issue as the most significant challenge they faced last year.

"As a builder myself, I'm keenly aware of the lack of available, skilled workers in our industry," said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke, a custom home builder from Tampa, Fla. "That's why workforce development has been a top priority for the association, and for me as chairman this past year."

Working together to promote construction career pathways, NAHB and Boys & Girls Clubs of America will connect young people to individuals in the industry, providing them with work-based learning activities and access to essential skills development programs to further their career exploration.

NAHB CEO Jerry Howard and Boys & Girls Clubs of America President & CEO Jim Clark signed a proclamation at IBS in honor of their Workforce Readiness Agreement, emphasizing their shared commitment to building stronger communities by recruiting the next generation of skill laborers in the housing industry.

"The skilled labor shortage in our industry translates into housing affordability challenges and lower economic growth," Howard said. "By working with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, we can address these potential future employees of our industry and build the workforce necessary to address our nation's housing demands."

"Boys & Girls Clubs, with the support of NAHB, can help teens recognize the opportunities available in the residential construction business and work with them to develop the skills necessary to succeed," added Clark.

To kick off the pilot program, 10 local home builder associations (HBAs) will work with local Boys & Girls Clubs to mentor young men and women, showcase the multiple career opportunities available in the home building industry and help guide them to choose a career in residential construction. The local HBA chapters will host events, including career panels, jobsite visits and job shadowing.