ROCKFORD, Mich. – Dec. 1, 2016 – According to construction trade organizations such as the Home Builders Association of Michigan and the Construction Association of Michigan, the state is facing a shortage of qualified tradesmen and women, which presents a drag on the state’s economic growth. To help create interest in the building trades, on Monday, Nov. 28, Sable Homes offered a local high school student the chance to job shadow team members and observe the home-building process and gain hands-on work experience.
Jordan Duchon, 17, of Ada, a senior at the West Michigan Aviation Academy, shadowed Sable Homes construction superintendent Sean Moody. Duchon observed the work of several contractors on a house nearing completion in Ada Township’s Sable Valley neighborhood and had a chance to assist with the installation of items in the master bathroom. Duchon is considering attending Michigan Technological University for its construction management program following his high school graduation next spring.
“Residential construction is a viable career path that is overlooked by many students as they prepare for their future. At Sable Homes, we believe exposing young people to the home-building process can help reverse the skills gap our industry is facing,” said Moody. “The building process requires teamwork and many skilled professionals are needed to complete a house.”
Sable Homes President John Bitely hopes these outreach efforts not only prepare students for a career, but will also help meet the future demand for skilled workers in West Michigan, a real estate market where there is a high demand for new housing.
“We have been active supporters for the Home Builders Association’s development of the next generation of housing industry professionals,” said Bitely. “We recognize the need to build the pool of future tradesmen and women and are always excited when students want to learn more about the housing industry.”
In addition to job shadow opportunities, Sable Homes hosted a Grand Rapids Community College Workforce Training class in August at a worksite in Caledonia. The class introduced sixth to eighth grade students to careers in skilled labor and is a collaboration with the Home Builders Association of Greater Grand Rapids, the Associated Builders & Contractors of Western Michigan and the Construction Workforce Development Alliance.