Washington, D.C. – The following statement was issued by John Courson, president and CEO of the Home Builders Institute (HBI), in response to pending non-defense discretionary program budget cuts resulting from the Budget Control Act. Courson is available for interview and comment.
“The prospect of mandatory federal budget cuts will stymie the demonstrable growth in the residential building sector, where skilled worker shortages are already impacting production schedules for our nation’s home builders and remodelers. Now is not the time to curtail the progress the residential building sector has seen, including an increase in housing starts and with builder confidence at its highest level since 2006.
Any cuts to training programs will force workforce providers to reduce or cancel trainings, as well as cut back on services for employers seeking skilled workers. According to the National Skills Coalition, if the sequesters go into effect, critical workforce development programs are estimated to lose at least another $630 million in 2013.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI), which tracks housing markets that show signs of improving economic health, expanded to 125 markets in November – the third monthly gain for the index. Furthermore, 40 percent of single-family home builders reported plans to hire or contract skilled laborers during the next year, according to a national survey released this summer on behalf of HBI by the National Association of Home Builders.
HBI urges President Obama and congressional leaders to find common ground in order to keep our economy and the residential building sector moving in the right direction. The focus should continue to be on keeping and enhancing programs intended to get people trained and certified for quality, growing jobs in the residential building sector.”
About the HBI
HBI is a national nonprofit that provides training, mentoring, curriculum development and job placement services in support of the building industry. With an 80 percent job placement rate for graduates, HBI training programs are taught in local communities across the country to youth, adults, veterans, ex-offenders and displaced workers. Visit www.hbi.org for more information.