Tricounty News

Builders Association supports local technical industrial high school programs

Developing Future Builders is an educational project developed in 2004 by the Central Minnesota Builders Association (CMBA). Through involvement with schools and educators, CMBA hopes to promote the benefits of working in the building industry as a career destination and understanding about the wide variety of jobs associated with building and selling a home, skill levels required, wages and benefits offered and career paths available.

This year, CMBA presented $5,677 to area high schools to enhance their building technology classes. Eight area schools submitted requests for funding from CMBA’s Developing Future Builders program. The Tools for Schools money will help fund projects such as skill completion, and update/purchase tools for building storage sheds, playhouses, and carpentry projects. Gary Bechtold, president of the CMBA, stated, “This is a great opportunity for CMBA to enhance the learning experience for high school students, and provide information and direction on career options. The ultimate goal is to help address the building industry’s labor shortages.” The schools were awarded funding ranging from $400 to $1,000 in 2013. CMBA has contributed more than $42,500 to area high schools over the course of 10 years.

CMBA is a non-profit professional association, with more than 20,000 employees in the member companies representing all phases of the building industry. The CMBA strives to improve the Central Minnesota community and grow its membership base by promoting the association to the public, educating the community about building industry best practices, and advocating for the building industry at the local, state, and national level.

High school instructors and CMBA members shown are, seated from left, Gretchen Schleper, Upsala; Alan Waltz, Melrose; Tracy Nelson, Kimball; Bill Garceau, St. Cloud Tech; and Jeff Zimmer, Becker. Standing are CMBA committee members and teachers Keven Dunlap, CMBA; Warren Christie, Rocori; Pete Ehresmann, Albany; Mark Weimer, Apollo; and Gary Bechtold, CMBA. Submitted photo.