Housing First Minnesota and Building Talent Foundation Join Forces to Tackle State’s Construction Workforce Challenges

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In a state where the demand for housing is soaring, Housing First Minnesota, the state’s foremost advocate for the housing industry, and Building Talent Foundation, a national nonprofit committed to advancing the education, training, and career progression of youth and underrepresented individuals in residential construction, have joined forces to confront a critical issue: the shortage of skilled workers in the construction industry. 

This strategic collaboration, supported by funding from the Lennar Foundation and Housing First Minnesota, is a crucial step toward building a diverse and skilled talent pipeline in response to Minnesota’s rising housing demands. Despite year-over-year growth in Minnesota’s construction talent force, reaching nearly five percent, a critical shortage of skilled workers persists, threatening the industry’s ability to meet the demand for new housing.

Housing First Minnesota and Building Talent Foundation will collaborate to promote careers in construction at job fairs and career events, guide high school students towards exploring careers in the industry, and connect Housing First Minnesota Association members and other local employers to qualified candidates through BTF’s construction-only platform JobsToBuild.

This partnership between Housing First Minnesota and Building Talent Foundation has been instrumental in opening BTF’s 20th market. BTF Engagement Manager Lauren Kunkel will serve the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, 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.

“The next generation of our workforce will be presented an incredible opportunity to build a future with the homebuilding industry,” said James Vagle, CEO of Housing First Minnesota. “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.”

Branka Minic, CEO of Building Talent Foundation, shares her enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, “Our collaboration with Housing First Minnesota is an exciting step toward reshaping the construction workforce. 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.”

For Minnesota’s homebuilding industry, this partnership offers access to a diverse pool of skilled prospective employees as well as opportunities to support the growth and sustainability of the workforce by participating in collaborative events and programs that support talent development. For youth and underrepresented individuals, it provides the coaching, training, employment opportunities, and guidance necessary to forge promising careers in residential construction.

Housing First Minnesota and Building Talent Foundation invite stakeholders, community organizations, and industry leaders to join them in promoting careers in construction and supporting talent development to build a stronger foundation for the future of Minnesota’s construction workforce.

The partnership is supported by funding from the Lennar Foundation and Housing First Minnesota.

Media Contacts: 

Housing First Minnesota: Katie Elfstrom | 651-697-7567 | katie@housingfirstmn.org

Building Talent Foundation: Terri Sue Monark | 303-947-5585 | terrisue.monark@buildingtf.org

Housing First Minnesota, the state’s leading voice of homebuilders, remodelers, trade partners and homeowners, seeks to provide the opportunity for homeownership for everyone, everywhere. Its over 900 member builders, remodelers, developers, and suppliers throughout the state are dedicated to building safe, durable homes at a price Minnesotans can afford. For more information, visit housingfirstmn.org or follow Housing First Minnesota on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Building Talent Foundation (BTF) is a national non-profit organization founded by the Leading Builders of America, with a purpose to address the acute and persistent talent shortage across residential construction. Building Talent Foundation’s mission is to advance the education, training, and career progression of young people and people from underrepresented groups, helping them develop into skilled technical workers and business owners in residential construction. For more information visit www.buildingtf.org and follow Building Talent Foundation on LinkedInFacebookTwitter, and Instagram.