Generation NEXT: Fort Stewart, Georgia
On a U.S. Army base, a novel program is minting freshly trained tradespeople
Given the importance of bringing people into the building trades, TOH is happy to spotlight programs that focus on doing just that—particularly one like the training program that the nonprofit Home Builders Institute (HBI) conducts on the Fort Stewart army base in Georgia.
Kevin O’Connor visited the base recently for a segment that will air this season, and he had a chance to talk to the HBI team as well as soldiers participating in the program, which is aimed at helping them transition from military to civilian life. “You have the gold standard of people in this program,” says Kevin. “They are motivated, disciplined, extremely trainable, and there are hundreds of them!”
The soldiers are typically in their last six months of service and they receive skills training in any number of areas, including carpentry, plumbing, electrical, masonry, building construction technology, landscaping, painting and finishing, and weatherization. “Best of all, the program has a 94 percent placement rate,” says Kevin. “That’s just phenomenal. The people coming out of the program are extremely valuable to employers because they are ready to work on Day One.”