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HBAs Support Aspiring Home Builders at SkillsUSA Competition

Workforce Development
Published
Thousands of students aspiring to careers in the home building industry showcased their talents in local and state-wide SkillsUSA competitions this spring. Among the competitions happening across the country, several were supported by home builder associations that are investing time and money into the future of the industry.

North Carolina SkillsUSA State Competition

Students at the North Carolina SkillsUSA State Competition
Teamworks contest at the North Carolina SkillsUSA State Competition.
Students at the North Carolina SkillsUSA State Competition
Students from Jacksonville High School’s all-women team at the North Carolina SkillsUSA State Competition build.
Students at the North Carolina SkillsUSA State Competition
Students from Jacksonville High School’s all-women team at the North Carolina SkillsUSA State Competition work swiftly during the competition.
Students at the North Carolina SkillsUSA State Competition
Students from Jacksonville High School’s all-women team at the North Carolina SkillsUSA State Competition level surfaces.

In North Carolina, John Hoopes Jr., president of the Onslow County HBA, reached out to a rising team of all-women talent from Jacksonville High School to supply four students with fresh boots from Boot Barn.

The team — Kendall Kellum (carpenter), Kelize Velez Galan (plumber), Madison McClary (mason) and KJ Hennessy (electric) — earned first place gold in the teamworks competition for both their regional and state contests, setting them up for a back-to-back appearance at the SkillsUSA national competition in June.

“Their work area was neat and tidy, everything was measured right, it was precise,” said Hoopes. “They were done and cleaned up and just sitting there because they were done while other groups were hammering until the last second.”

The aspiring professionals routinely attend Onslow County HBA events, and Hoopes makes sure to update members on all their achievements during meetings. 

This kind of support from North Carolina HBAs is nothing new, as volunteers have been involved with SkillsUSA for more than two decades. Buddy Hughes, NAHB First Vice Chairman and a past North Carolina HBA president, was presented with a Champion Award by SkillsUSA NC this year in recognition of his years of service and support to the organization.

Colorado SkillsUSA State Competition

Students work on construction projects at the Colorado Skills USA competition
Students work on construction projects at the Colorado SkillsUSA competition.
Students work on construction projects at the Colorado Skills USA competition
A student works on a construction project at the Colorado SkillsUSA competition.
Students work on construction projects at the Colorado Skills USA competition
A student works on a construction project at the Colorado SkillsUSA competition.
Students work on construction projects at the Colorado Skills USA competition
A student works on a construction project at the Colorado SkillsUSA competition.

In Colorado, the HBA of Colorado Springs founded , a non-profit that believes students deserve choices for a sustainable, rewarding career and that the industry deserves a skilled workforce.

Through CICC, students have had engaging and rigorous work-based experiences inside and outside the classroom that have earned them certificates recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor, internships, and jobs right out of high school.

Enrollment has gone up rapidly since the program was established in 2015, with a record 63 high schools participating in 2024 and 2,669 students enrolled. Seventy percent of those students say they have interest in pursuing a career in construction.

In April’s SkillsUSA Colorado state competition, CICC students came out on top, placing first, second and third in all skilled trade categories including teamworks, carpentry, electrical, cabinet making, plumbing and masonry.

“SkillsUSA gives these students an opportunity to showcase their skills firsthand in front of industry members by themselves,” said Marlo Asher, operations manager for CICC. “They can’t lean on an instructor. It’s an opportunity for them to show themselves that, ’Hey, I am good at this, and I am going to have a successful future based on my skillset.’”

NAHB encourages industry professionals to get involved and help attract budding talent in residential construction to take part in SkillsUSA activities. Members are also encouraged to attend a regional, state or even the national SkillsUSA competition to see the next generation of workers thrive in a competitive setting.

Learn more about NAHB’s partnership with SkillsUSA at nahb.org.

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