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Career and technical education in action

February 29, 2024

It’s no secret that Washington’s economy has a skills gap with nearly half of all jobs requiring skills training beyond the high school level. These jobs don’t necessarily require a four-year degree. That’s where Career and Technical Education (CTE) comes in.

Every February, educators and skilled trades professionals team up to spotlight CTE Month. CTE programs start as early as middle school, then students can continue through high school and beyond.

Homebuilders and homebuilding associations across Washington, including BIAW, support CTE in a variety of ways, to help address the growing workforce shortage in the homebuilding industry.

Olympia Master Builders (OMB) connects with United Way on evening upskilling program

Prior to the pandemic, the United Way of Thurston County (UWTC) created the Education to Financial Stability Taskforce to break the cycle of poverty

in the county. They discovered the difference in earnings between a non-skilled job and one requiring a technical certificate can be as high as $750,000 over a person’s career.

Working with BIAW, OMB, South Puget Sound Community College, the New Market Skills Center and others, UWTC will soon be introducing an evening upskilling program where participants learn valuable trades skills using the National Association of Home Builders Home Builders Institute (HBI) curriculum and earn a pre-apprenticeship certificate.

Spokane Home Builders Frame the Future with Tiny Getaways

Spokane Home Builders Association’s Frame Your Future Program has partnered with three local schools and the Spokane Tribe of Indians to build “Tiny Getaways” in the Spokane area. Condron Homes and Kelly Construction added finishing touches to a structure being built in Wellpinit with students from the tribe.

Frame Your Future also partnered with Riverside High School’s advanced construction students to build a second tiny getaway, giving students hands-on experience they can use to pursue a career or just take care of their own homes in the future. The group currently has more projects underway.


Clark County builders present $120,000 to Vancouver Schools

In early January, Clark County builders gathered to break ground for the 2024 GRO Parade of Homes in Vancouver. At the event, the Building Industry Association of Clark County (BIACC) Building Futures Foundation presented a $120,000 check to the Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools. An anonymous donor provided the funds after attending the 2023 GRO Parade of Homes and learning how high school students needed more training programs to gain valuable construction trades skills. The funds will significantly enhance the construction program building at Hudson’s Bay High School.

BIACC and Builders FirstSource of Vancouver also donated framing hammers for the upcoming workforce development event at Battle Ground High School led by Elizabeth Gomez of Bridge City Contracting. BIACC has hired a new staffer specifically to support their Building Futures Foundation and its mission to build the future workforce in Clark County.

* Originally published in the January/February 2024 issue of Building Insight magazine.

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