Homebuilding industry leaders are pledging to train more laborers as part of President Trump's executive order to put more Americans to work in high-demand industries. This marks an important step for the residential construction sector, which is struggling to find ample workers at a time when home inventory is low.
The National Association of Home Builders and the Home Builders Institute promise to train 50,000 in homebuilding careers over the next five years.
Guidelines for the creation of industry-led apprenticeship programs were issued by the Department of Labor on Friday as part of Trump's Expanding Apprenticeships in America (issued last year) to more effectively equip American workers with skillsets to fill existing and newly created jobs.
The National Council for the American Worker was established last week to develop a national strategy to address urgent workforce issues, and is tasked, alongside the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, with crafting a national strategy for training and retraining employees in affected fields.
The homebuilding industry continues to suffer with what have been referred to as the "four L's" — labor, lumber, law and land — which express industry challenges with shortage of labor, high costs for building materials, compliance hurdles and low availability of land. Bringing in more workers when construction employment is down will help ease labor burdens for a sector already plagued by a number of issues.
The housing market is also challenged with high demand outpacing limited supply, which is placing upward pressure on property values. An increase in homebuilders will put more inventory on the market and could lead to a softening of home prices for consumers.
The DOL's apprenticeship guidelines were issued in the form of a Training and Employment Notice. The TEN, which is pending rulemaking, sets the framework for expectations that certifiers will need to abide by, such as maintaining impartiality by ensuring that decisions and plans do not benefit one population over another.
The next steps for the organizations include obtaining a determination that their apprenticeship practices meet the criteria set forth by the DOL.