Before the Building Industry Association (BIA) rolls out its Parade of Homes event July 13-28 at Evans Farm in Lewis Center, the builders hosted Trades at the Parade on Friday to give area career center students a first-hand look at the homebuilding process.
The schools invited to the construction site included the Delaware Area Career Center (DACC), Ohio Hi-Point Career Center, Fort Hayes Career Center and the YouthBuild Columbus Community School.
“It’s a great day to be in the construction industry,” said Bob Skinner, owner of Sierra Custom Homes. “Here at the Parade of Homes, you’re seeing the best of the best in Central Ohio builders.”
Skinner said in recent years, the construction industry has seen a shortage of skilled labor. He told the DACC students, who stopped at one of his home projects, that the average starting wage in the construction trades is $30.54 per hour.
“We’d take you today right after school lets out if we could,” said Jim Wright, a Residential Design Solutions architect.
Skinner said the homes need to be finished by July 9. He added the weather has been “brutal” at times, but construction has continued through it all.
“Every single trade is looking for people,” Skinner said. “Tradewise, there is a huge lack of youth right now.”
Gene Scott, the DACC Construction Technology teacher for the past 26 years, told Skinner that in the past three years, he has seen his class size grow from 12 students to 20-plus.
Scott told his students to ask all the questions they could think of because this kind of opportunity doesn’t come along very often.