History

HBI has been training and educating America’s home construction workforce for decades. Our proven business model has helped countless individuals create long-term career opportunities. Over the years we have continued to build out our program offering and expand our footprint in the construction industry. From innovative initiatives to creative partnerships, we remain committed to building careers and changing lives. Learn more about our rich history in home construction.

1947

NAHB begins educational programming by holding seminars for its members.

1967

NAHB establishes its Manpower Development & Training Department to solve construction labor shortages in the home building industry.

1968

The NAHB Manpower Development & Training Department launches its Craft Skills training program with funding from the U.S. Department of Labor. Local home builders associations operate the pre-apprenticeship training program to help youth and unskilled, underskilled, unemployed and underemployed individuals enter the home building industry with training in carpentry, electrical wiring, plumbing, painting, landscaping, heating and air conditioning, building and apartment maintenance, rehabilitation, remodeling and the masonry and trowel trades.

1970

Operation Transition provides more than 5,000 returning servicemen with training in brick masonry and job referrals in their local communities until the program ended in 1974.

1971

More than 9,000 construction industry jobs were referred to veterans through the Veterans Construction Job Clearinghouse, NAHB Manpower, administered until 1974. NAHB Student Chapters start organizing at colleges and universities to give students first-hand exposure to the real-world of the home building industry through NAHB membership.

1974

HBI, then known as NAHB Manpower, signs its first agreement to train individuals through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Job Corps Program, the only national residential education and training program serving disadvantaged youths ages 16-24. HBI trains 150 individuals in seven construction trades at one Job Corps Center that first year. Today, HBI is the largest residential construction career technical trainer in Job Corps, operating programs on 73 centers nationwide, placing more than 2,000 new workers in the industry annually.

1979

The Native American Apprenticeship program trains individuals in entry-level construction skills and subcontractors and contractors in improved technical and managerial skills for employment in the building industry until 1981.

1983

HBI is founded when NAHB merges its Manpower Development & Training Department, Education Department and Education Foundation to create the non-profit corporation. HBI designs construction and training employment programs that help major cities train their unemployed to become construction rehabilitation specialists while they rehabilitate community-owned housing stock that is part of Community Revitalization Projects.

1986

HBI creates the Graduate Builders Institute, a comprehensive certificate program that presents the basic principles of building management and technology. The program is sponsored by HBI and home builders associations and hosted by leading universities. The NAHB Education Department now oversees the GBI credential.

1987

HBI begins a hands-on training program that prepares offenders for work release by providing them with entry-level building skills for employment in the industry. American builders travel to China, Japan, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, Spain and Scandinavia to meet fellow builders, inspect residential and commercial construction projects and compare technology and building techniques through HBI International Study Tours.

1991

HBI responded to a demand for its services in Russia, Armenia, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and the Dominican Republic. It worked with the Armenian Assembly and USAID (Agency for International Development) to deliver construction craft training to Armenian workers. In Poland, it helped Polish home builders establish a private housing industry.

1994

HBI creates the Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT) when its 26-year-old longstanding U.S. Department of Labor Craft Skills grant ends in this year. HBI PACT is an industry-validated curriculum and off-the-shelf training package based on the Craft Skills model. HBI continues to deliver the PACT program. HBI launches Project CRAFT (Community Restitution Apprenticeship Focused Training), a program that targets adjudicated youth and uses a comprehensive education approach to assist troubled youth turn their lives around and gain sustainable employment in the building industry. The program continues today as HBI PACT for Youth.

1995

Project TRADE (Training, Restitution, Apprenticeship Development Employment), a program designed to train and place adult ex-offenders in employment in the home building industry begins as a demonstration project. The program goes on to train and place thousands of ex-offenders in 10 states. The program continues today as HBI PACT for Adults.

2001

HBI founds the Residential Construction Academy (RCA) to bridge the skills gap between secondary and post-secondary classrooms and the construction job site.

2002

HBI assembles industry subject matter experts from the NAHB federation to develop the first sets of National CRAFT Skill Standards for Residential Carpentry and House Wiring. They are the foundation for a growing set of HBI programs and resources including the Residential Construction Academy Series of textbooks and educational materials. Standards and textbooks for facilities maintenance; green/energy efficient building; heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC); masonry; plumbing; and solar follow.

2003

HBI begins offering the Residential Construction Superintendent designation, a series of eight courses on subjects NAHB members identified as critical to a field supervisory job. An Advanced RCS and special designations for concrete construction superintendents and log home construction superintendents follow.

2004

HBI and Lowe’s Home Improvement establish the HBI/Lowe’s Building Careers Scholarship, providing financial assistance to qualified graduates seeking careers in the industry. HBI develops partnerships with HBAs and their employer members, high schools and community colleges to create a systematic approach to construction industry workforce education and training through the U.S.

2005

The United States Congress recognizes Project CRAFT’s efforts “as a model among youth intervention programs… and strongly advocates the continued replication of the program.”

2006

Operation Reconstruct Jefferson Parish–now known as HBI PACT for Youth–launches to put people back to work in the rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. HBI introduces Make It Happen, a career recruitment and awareness campaign for the 21st Century. Make It Happen informs students, parents and educators about the variety of careers in the home building industry through posters, brochures and multimedia.

2007

HBI ships the first units of Sed de Saber, a self-paced English as a Foreign Language learning system to help some of the industry’s 2.5 million Hispanic workers learn to speak English. HBI created Sed de Saber to address job site communications and safety challenges presented by the language barrier.

2009

HBI aligns all of its training and resources to the new National Green Building Standard™, the green building rating system for all residential construction.

2010

HBI inaugurates an industry-sponsored mentoring program for youth ages 13-18 with promise and untapped abilities with HBI Mentoring, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. The program will match youth with mentors recruited from home builders associations, NAHB Student Chapters, other business organizations and local communities.

2012

HBI partners with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to offer returning Florida veterans with free training, certification and job placement in the state’s home building, remodeling and light commercial construction sectors. HBI PACT for Veterans programs begin in Jacksonville, Tampa and Miami. HBI introduces “Building Careers” as its tagline, underscoring its leadership in career building in the construction industry.

2014

HBI receives a grant from the Bob Woodruff Foundation to offer its PACT curriculum to soon-to-transition active duty military serving at the U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Stewart.

2015

HBI develops PACTWORKS curriculum. HBI establishes official CORE values – Excellence Integrity, Safety & Service

2016

PACT licensing expands via partnership with YouthBuild USA. American Institute for Research conducts independent third-party evaluation of HBI, showing positive outcomes in juvenile offender employment and reduced recidivism.

2017

HBI Celebrates 50th Anniversary. HBI launches a pilot trades training program for separating military members at Fort Stewart and Fort Bragg. HBI receives $1.1M to support construction training to rebuild Texas and Florida after hurricanes and flooding cause severe state-wide damages.

2018

HBI announces new President & CEO Ed Brady. Home Depot Foundation makes substantial donation to support skilled trades training for separating military members. U.S. Department of Labor awards HBI a new five-year national Job Corps Program contract.

2019

HBI hosts first annual Industry Workforce Roundtable. HBI receives Washingtonian Magazine’s “50 Great Places to Work” Award. HBI Receives grant from the National Housing Endowment (NHE) to support new Schools to Skills Program. HBI’s Job Corps Program Launches first Advanced Training Program in Florida.

2020

HBI and NHE team up to provide grants totaling over $200,000 to support Schools to Skills Program. City of Houston awards HBI $1.2M Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to support economic recovery associated with Hurricane Harvey. HBI’s Job Corps Advanced Training Program expands with four new program locations in Kentucky, Massachusetts, New