14 Feb Florida Green Building Coalition Supports Local Future Builders of America at IBS
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Florida’s Bartow High School and Gadsden Technical College placed first and second at the 2023 NAHB Student Competition in the Architectural Design category for the high school division.
A Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) scholarship helped send the students to the International Builders Show in Las Vegas. For both teams, this marked their first time participating in a national competition.
“These students had to research the building codes for California…this can be parlayed into real world experiences should they decide to pursue careers in the construction industry outside of Florida,” said Cindy Hall, Future Builders of America (FBA) Program Director and FGBC board member. “It’s amazing how well our students did for their very first national competition.”
Florida’s green building certification program has been a longtime supporter and promoter of FBA, an educational program offered through the Home Builders Institute (HBI) designed to promote construction trades education to Florida’s youth.
“Most of the other NAHB student chapter teams have experience competing on the national stage,” said Jimmy Giles, who runs the Architecture, Construction and Engineering (ACE) program at Bartow High School. “Since this was our first time participating, I was just hoping we would place. I was speechless when we placed first.”
During the 2022 Fall semester, students formed teams and prepared written proposals to solve real-life construction management and design problems. The teams then traveled to IBS and presented their solutions to a judging panel of residential construction industry experts.
“In our rural community, we are trying to expose more students to the benefits and opportunities of the construction industry,” said Kerwyn Jones-Wilson, advisor to the Gadsden Tech team. “This experience was invaluable to the students, their hard work paid off.”
The 2023 NAHB Student Competition coincides with the start of CTE Month, which is held each February to raise awareness of the importance of career and technical education for students K-12, college and beyond.
“It is a mistake to think the current housing downturn might ease the shortage of construction workers,” said HBI President and CEO Ed Brady. “The severe worker shortage is intergenerational and directly affects housing affordability. Now is the time to invest in technical education programs that close the skilled labor gap and provide young students with great career paths. I am incredibly proud of these teams — the PACT curriculum has given them the foundation on which they can build their careers.”
Thanks to HBI Communications for the media release.