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Nonprofit looks to fight shrinking homebuilder workforce

Skilled to Build Michigan Foundation is partnering with schools to promote the benefits of a career in skilled trades.

The number of homes being built across the state has decreased for the past two years, in part due to a shrinking workforce. With retirements and the aging demographics in the industry, many builders and contractors can’t find enough skilled workers to fill the jobs needed to expand or maintain current production levels.

“In order to sustain and increase growth in the state, our industry must grow its workforce,” said Bob Filka, CEO of the Home Builders Association of Michigan. “More emphasis and effort must be put into training and attracting individuals to good-paying jobs in the construction sector.”

HBAM predicted single-family home production in the state may shrink below 17,000 units in 2019 even though economic data would suggest that this number should be 40% higher.

“While other factors are impacting this decline, lack of labor is the most significant,” Filka said.

The Skilled to Build Michigan Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit founded by HBAM, is aiming to draw greater attention to the demand for workers in the industry. The foundation is taking a multifaceted approach. In the short term, the foundation is partnering with schools, counselors and parents to promote the benefits of a career in skilled trades.

For the whole story, pick up a copy of the Grand Rapids Business Journal, or find the story on their website. 

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