PBC Design + Build recently partnered with Wilmington Cape Fear Home Builders Association(WCFHBA) in hopes to fill a labor gap in the construction industry. After spending some time volunteering as a “mock interviewer” with Step Up Wilmington, a local non-profit that helps people who have been affected by unemployment, it became very clear to Kyle Henry, CEO of PBC Design + Build, that there were other ways to help. Kyle had also been spending some time with members of WCFHBA, Cape Fear Community College, and fellow construction industry leaders to develop a two-week intensive training institute to help fulfill the need for entry-level tradespeople in the construction industry. A program that could help place anyone (willing and able) into the fields of masonry, carpentry, plumbing, or HVAC after just a two-week commitment to learning and a decent amount of dedication.
Kyle had valuable input to add: “CFCC had the idea of starting their Construction Institute in response to the demand our industry had shown for needing additional labor at all skill levels. Over the years, our industry has done a poor job appealing to the younger generation as well as the general population. Working with your hands, which can be very profitable and fulfilling, has gained a negative stigma. This program is a perfect example of finding someone who wants to work and learn a trade, and then helping them find a route to get there. Our industry is proud to offer second chances to folks that want to be involved.”
We are so happy to announce that CFCC successfully held their first two-week long Construction Institute this summer. Each course included entry-level skills such as safety, measurement, math, and how to use both power and hand tools. An eighty-hour course in one of the four trades by qualified instructors, real world experience in a respective field, and a certificate upon completion. Perhaps the best part of the program was on the last day of classes when the students were afforded the opportunity to participate in “hiring day”. Students were interviewed by prospective employers, providing them the possibility to go directly from learning to production. PBC is so excited to say that ELEVEN students have gained employment through CFCC’s first ever Construction Institution! We are just as excited to share that at least one of those eleven came through the Step Up Wilmington program… check out Sal’s journey…
A few of PBC’s next generation participated!