Home Builders Association of Northern Kentucky receives grant to address workforce gap

05/29/2017 10:08 AM

ERLANGER – The Home Builders Association of Northern Kentucky (HBA) has been awarded a $2.69 million grant from the Kentucky Education & Workforce Development Cabinet as part of the states Work Ready Skills Initiative to address the workforce gap in the construction trades in Northern Kentucky.

The HBA operates the Enzweiler Building Institute, the longest running and one of the largest post-secondary apprenticeship training programs under the auspices of the National Association of Home Builders in the country. The program provides a well-trained workforce for the local construction industry.

Brian Miller, executive vice president of the HBA, says that the need for skilled workers in his industry is near an all-time high.

“Workforce shortages in skilled trades across the nation are our builder’s number one issue,” Miller said. “It’s slowing down contracts, it’s slowing down build times, in many cases, contracts to build are being lost as a result of the lack of skilled trades.”

The Enzweiler Institute, now in its 50th year of existence, offers classes in carpentry, electricity, heating and A/C, facilities maintenance and remodeling, masonry, plumbing and welding which are taught by professional trades’ people.

“We answer to our employers in our economic sector as to what they need,” Miller said. “So, when they come out of our program, they have a finished product. They have somebody that’s ready to sit for their licensure exam in HVAC, electrical and plumbing which, are the licensed trades in our state, and we have about four or five other courses which we also teach.”

The grant money will be used specifically to expand the Enzweiler Institute in Erlanger as well as remodel an old elementary school in Campbell County so that classes can be offered in that county as well.

“It addresses brick and mortar, it addresses capacity,” Miller said. “We’re currently filled to the gills right now with our evening adult students in the Enzweiler Building Institute. We’ve launched a high school program in conjunction with Boone County high schools, Ludlow Independent Schools and the Northern Kentucky Cooperative Educational Services.”

Miller says that the grant, which should result in more people going through the training program offered by HBA, is not only a win for prospective workers, but the home building industry as well.

“We are literally getting multiple calls a day form employers looking for people,” Miller said. “Right now, our adults in our evening trades program are a hundred percent employed.

To learn more about the Enzweiler Building Institute, contact Shawn Cox, Director of Professional Development, at 859-331-9500, by email at scox@hbanky.com

Interested high school students wanting to learn more about the introduction to trades programs should contact Boone County Schools, the Kenton County School District, Ludlow Independent Schools, or the Northern Kentucky Educational Cooperative Service for the 2017-2018 school years.

The program should be available at the Campbell County campus for the 20-18 20-19 school year.

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at donald.weber@charter.com.

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