Prior to 2016, many industry insiders spoke confidently of this being “the year,” when the regional homebuilding industry would finally turn the corner and enter into a sustained period of growth. Well six months into this year, I think it’s safe to say that those insiders were right. Our industry is building and selling more new homes than it has in several years. In fact we are on pace this year to sell more than 500 more new homes than last year. The bottom line is that we are heading in the right direction.
However, while the growth we are experiencing is certainly welcome it also brings with it an issue that has been rearing its head every so often over the last couple of years: labor shortages. Following the recession, the homebuilding industry lost thousands of workers. Some of them moved to other cities to find employment, while others left the industry altogether. Now, with a burgeoning housing market, many in our industry are being forced to deal with an insufficient labor supply.
Enter Lennar Homes.
Just a few weeks ago, Lennar launched its Project Opportunity program, the goal of which is to connect high school juniors with internships in the building and construction trades. All told, 15 students from Sheldon, Laguna Creek, Luther Burbank, Whitney, and Cordova high schools are working closely with four different trade contractors to build homes in Lennar’s Highland Grove community in Rancho Cordova.
Participating students will spend six weeks framing the homes; installing the HVAC, plumbing, and fire sprinkler systems; forming and pouring the concrete foundations; and installing the electrical. In addition to the on-site training, students will have the opportunity to listen to daily presentations covering a host of industry-related topics.
The hope is that through Project Opportunity students will learn firsthand about what it takes to work in our industry – not just the tangibles, like knowledge and skills, but the intangibles like passion and dedication to one’s craft. The end goal is, of course, compelling these students to see that working in the construction industry is a viable and rewarding career path.
The North State BIA is in the process of further ramping up efforts to bring more workers into our industry, so stay tuned for some exciting announcements in the near future.
– Michael Strech, President and CEO, North State BIA
BIA HOME TOUR CONTINUES THROUGH SUNDAY
The 55th BIA Home Tour showcases communities in Sacramento, Elk Grove, El Dorado Hills, Davis, Rocklin, Roseville, Galt, Lincoln, Woodland and Granite Bay. Model homes on the tour will range from 1,144 square feet to 4,500 square feet, from two to seven bedrooms, and starting from the low $300,000s to the mid-$900,000s. All told, 180 new model homes in 55 communities comprise this year’s BIA Home Tour.
This BIA Home Tour is free to the public. During the tour homes are open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. One you have toured a new home and/or community, please visit biahometour.com, where you can vote for the “People’s Choice” Award. For more information, visit the tour website or call 916-677-5717.