HBI, HBA of Greater Columbia to Continue Training People with Disabilities

November 20, 2008

COLUMBIA, SC – November 20, 2008 – As a result of Project HOPE’s success training persons with disabilities in Columbia, South Carolina, Home Builders Institute (HBI) and the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greater Columbia received a five-year US Department of Education Project With Industry (PWI) Grant to continue program implementation.

Project HOPE (Homebuilding Opportunities for Positive Employment) was established to offer trades training and job placement services to people with disabilities.  The program opened in South Carolina in 2005, funded originally by a three year PWI grant.

Project HOPE’s partnership with the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greater Columbia remains a key component in the program’s success and the local HBA will play an even larger role over the next five years.
The HBA serves as Project HOPE’s door to the industry offering access to members, job leads and work based learning opportunities.

“Project HOPE has made a powerful impact on the disability community and our industry,” said HBA of Greater Columbia Executive Officer Earl McLeod. “We are proud to partner with HBI on this initiative and look forward to continuing these positive outcomes in the future.”

The $1,800,000 grant will provide Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT) and job placement assistance for 75 students annually.  When filling the classrooms, HBI will focus on bringing in veterans, youth and those in community corrections. HBI will relocate to a new training facility in downtown Columbia.

Accompanying the PWI grant renewal will be establishing a Business Advisory Council composed of HBA members and builder trades subcontractors and members of affiliated industries, workforce development and rehabilitation services systems representatives.

Additional grant partners include South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department, the South Carolina Department of Corrections, the Watkins Prerelease Center, the Richland One School District and the Lower Midlands Workforce Center/One Stop.

Since its inception, Project HOPE has assisted more than 600 people with disabilities find industry related jobs and careers. HBI has previously operated Project HOPE programs in Columbus, Ohio and Denver, Colorado.

For more information on Project HOPE, e-mail Dennis Torbett at [email protected], or call him at 800-795-7955 x8908.