Construction Palooza – May 13

May 3, 2023

Join Horry Georgetown Home Builders Association, the Academy for Technology and Academics, and Habitat for Humanity for a Celebration!

Saturday, May 13, marks the culmination of a seven-month program in which students from Horry County’s Academy of Technology and Academics (ATA) have combined classroom learning with hands-on experience. It’s called Construction Palooza, and according to Rose Anne O’Reilly, Executive Director of the Horry Georgetown Home Builders Association, “it’s a celebration of the student’s accomplishments, a successful partnership, and recognition of the skilled trades—all rolled into one.”

Since October 12, ATA students have worked cooperatively with Horry Georgetown Home Builders Association and Habitat for Humanity in building a home for Green Sea native April Collier and her five children.

The partnership between HCS, Habitat for Humanity, and Horry Georgetown Home Builders Association (HGHBA) stemmed from a need for HGHBA to create a real-world experience that would teach all aspects of the building trade. “When we learned about the Building Construction program at ATA, we brainstormed how these students, members of HGHBA’s student chapter, could build a house. We wanted to increase interest and participation in the building/construction program and give them something to be extremely proud of,” said O’Reilly.

“Over the last five years, the building industry nationwide, and here in Horry County, has seen a need for additional skilled labor in the construction trades. Through programs like this, we are preparing young builders for a successful career and ensuring that the number of skilled workers is prepared to meet demand,” she said.

According to research, a lack of public education about — and exposure to — construction and trades is a major cause of the labor shortage. This assessment sends a clear message: The construction industry desperately needs qualified, skilled professionals.

An added concern is the decline of construction workers ages 25-54, which fell 8% over the past decade. Additionally, the share of older workers exiting the workforce soared. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the industry’s average retirement age is 61, and more than one in five construction workers is older than 55. It is predicted that during 2023, the industry will need to bring in nearly 590,000 new workers on top of normal hiring to meet industry demand.

“Now is the time to consider a career in the building trades,” said O’Reilly. “The vocation offers competitive wages and opportunities to both begin and advance in an industry that builds the places where we live and work. It is a trade that builds our homes, our businesses, and our communities.”

Following the May 13 Palooza, the home built by the students will be moved from the building site at ATA to its permanent location, where it will become the Collier’s home.

“We couldn’t be prouder,” said Rose Anne O’Reilly, Executive Director of Horry Georgetown Home Builders Association. “This partnership/building project has been so successful that we hope to continue it for years to come,” she concluded.

Join Us for the Construction Palooza

The Construction Palooza will take place on May 13 from 11 am – 2 pm at the Academy of Technology and Academics located at 5639 US-701 in Conway, SC. This family-friendly event features food trucks, games, vendors, and door prizes, including a 65” Smart TV and the latestXbox/Series X. South Carolina’s Mobile Workshop, “BePro Be Proud,” will be on hand for the festivities.

About ATA’s Building Construction Program

The Building Construction program at ATA prepares students to perform entry-level construction tasks under the supervision of experienced professionals. After completing their training, students can intern with local construction companies, potentially leading to employment directly after graduation. Graduates of this program are also eligible to obtain several certifications needed to pursue a career in the construction industry.

About the Horry Georgetown Home Builders Association

The Horry Georgetown Home Builders Association is a non-profit professional trade association representing residential and commercial builders, subcontractors, suppliers, and many other service providers to the home building industry throughout Horry and Georgetown Counties. These members, and the organizations they represent, are the foundation for the building trade. They embrace the interaction, commitment, professionalism, education, community service, and environmental responsibility necessary for a professional association.