Last September, the Flathead Building Association (FBA) in Northwest Montana began a Student Built Home (SBH) program. In this program, 38 high school juniors and seniors enrolled in Flathead High School are building a full-sized, two-story, four-bedroom home, with FBA-member oversight. This program could serve as a model for other the creation of similar programs nationwide as the industry faces a labor shortage with an aging boomer population workforce.
For example, in Northwest Montana home building is booming, with projects booked two years out. This has resulted in a labor shortage.
“Our primary goal with the program is to facilitate additional education for these kids and get them engaged in a vocation that can carry them throughout their lives,” said FBA Executive Director Renee Ewing. “We see this as one of the keys to help fill the skilled labor gap in our area where builders are continually challenged to find capable laborers.”