- Housing First Minnesota enters a strategic partnership to address the workforce crisis.
- Members and their trade partners can post jobs on JobsToBuild platform.
- Today’s announcement is part of more than a year of work and outreach on behalf of Housing First Minnesota’s leadership.
There are two critical issues facing the members of Housing First Minnesota: housing affordability and the industry workforce shortage. For decades, Housing First Minnesota has led the movement for a well-balanced housing market. Today, Housing First Minnesota is announcing a new strategic partnership with Building Talent Foundation to address the workforce issue.
Building Talent Foundation is a national nonprofit organization founded by the Leading Builders of America, with a purpose to address the acute and persistent talent shortage across residential construction. Minnesota is the 20th market in which Building Talent Foundation has a presence. The partnership also was made possible in part through a grant from the Lennar Foundation.
“We talk a lot about building the Housing First Minnesota of tomorrow, and this partnership is an important part of bringing ever-increasing value to our members,” said James Vagle, CEO of Housing First Minnesota. “We’re grateful to the Lennar Foundation for their generous support of our workforce efforts.”
Building Talent Foundation’s mission is to advance the education, training, and career progression of young people and those from underrepresented groups, helping them develop into skilled technical workers and business owners in residential construction.
“Our collaboration with Housing First Minnesota is an exciting step toward reshaping the construction workforce, said Branka Minic, CEO of Building Talent Foundation. “By addressing the critical talent shortage, we are not only supporting the industry but also constructing a pathway of opportunity for the next generation. Together, we are fostering an inclusive environment where individuals of all backgrounds can thrive and contribute to Minnesota’s vibrant residential construction sector.”
“The next generation of our workforce will be presented an incredible opportunity to build a future with the homebuilding industry,” added Vagle. “Cultivating a skilled workforce is the cornerstone of an effective construction industry, and through this collaboration we will deliver the education, training, and networking opportunities to build a stronger future for Minnesota’s residential construction landscape.”
Partnering with Building Talent Foundation
Building Talent Foundation’s local engagement manager is Lauren Kunkel. Her work will focus on connecting with local organizations, promoting construction careers in schools, as well as providing career coaching, soft-skills training, job search assistance, referrals to educational institutions and employers, and post-hire support to candidates.
Through Building Talent Foundation’s JobsToBuild (J2B) platform, employers can post jobs. Students looking at the residential construction industry as a career option and experienced industry professionals seeking new opportunities can find and apply for jobs posted by our members on Housing First Minnesota’s J2B page.
Housing First Minnesota’s Workforce Efforts
Last year, Housing First Minnesota made significant investments in workforce development outside of its partnership with Building Talent Foundation. Your association formed the Center for Housing Careers, a new nonprofit to assist with workforce development efforts. Housing First Minnesota also created its Housing PRO Certified curriculum for workforce development partners in need of curriculum and training. The Workforce Development Committee was brought back and Kirk Van Slooten of City Homes was appointed as the chair and formed a workforce development speaker bureau.
Members with questions about Building Talent Foundation should contact Lauren Kunkel.
Members with questions about Housing First Minnesota’s efforts should contact Nick Erickson.