Wood & Panel

John A. Courson

 Thursday, January 13, 2022

John A. Courson, who took over as the president and CEO of HBI, on January 1, 2012 gives in about the association’s working.

Congratulations on being elected as the President and CEO of Home Builders Institute. Please elucidate on this experience.

John A. Courson: I formally began my tenure as president and CEO of Home Builders Institute (HBI), the workforce development agent of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), on January 1. I have inherited a strong, productive, effective organization, and I look forward to building on an already formidable enterprise and taking it to new heights. It is exciting to have the opportunity to be part of an organization that provides training and job placement for at-risk populations, veterans and others seeking careers in the home building industry.

What are your plans for the organization?

John A. Courson: My goals for HBI include continuing to raise its visibility and highlighting its leadership in the workforce development arena. I believe HBI has an integral role in rebuilding the U.S. economy with its focus on training workers for skilled jobs in the residential construction industry as the Institute encompasses three key elements in that rebuilding: housing, workforce development and, most importantly, jobs.

In 2012, HBI will look for opportunities to expand its workforce training programs to serve new populations, so they can become skilled, productive members of the home building industry. I also will seek new sources of funding for HBI through foundations, partnerships and private capital support.

How much green building trend is affecting the market?

John A. Courson: A 2009 study by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) projected that green construction would contribute $554 billion to the national economy and that green jobs would increase fourfold to almost 7.6 million. HBI is in front of that trend as it has developed a series of training materials and programs that prepare instructors and students with the green building knowledge they need to progress in their careers. Career and Technical Education (CTE) and countless pre-apprenticeship programs across the U.S. already are implementing these HBI green materials.

HBI’s Residential Construction Academy (RCA) Series of textbooks incorporate key green building competencies students need to progress in their careers. In May 2010, HBI launched “Green Applications for Residential Construction,” a green compendia for each of the titles in the series. In the first quarter of 2013, HBI will issue three new textbooks on Green Building, Solar and Energy Efficiency. All RCA materials are developed to match the ICC700 National Green Building Standard™, the nationally-approved benchmark for green single-family and multifamily homes, site development and residential remodeling projects. The U.S. Department of Labor also recently approved solar and weatherization curriculum for HBI’s Job Corps programs nationwide.

How important a role does safety plays in the industry? What is being done to enhance workforce safety in the sector?

John A. Courson: Safety is foremost in the home building industry, and HBI takes teaching safety and keeping its employees and students safe in its classrooms and workshops and on the job very seriously. Because HBI values workplace safety and the health and wellness of our employees and students, the formally established HBI Safety & Health Board promotes a safe work environment through annual events, activities, reporting and safety resources.

Safety is the foundation of all HBI training, and all HBI programs use the HBI Safety & Health Handbook and the Institute Safety Talks provided by the HBI Safety & Health Board. The HBI Safety & Health Handbook contains policies, procedures, programs and forms about a myriad of safety topics including personal protective equipment, basic tool and equipment use and job hazard analysis. The Institute Safety Talks are a series of talks that can be used to facilitate construction safety meetings and can be used as quick reference guides on the job site.

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