Young participants of UNCW's Youth Entrepreneurship Program will get to learn about the home construction industry because of a new partnership with the Wilmington-Cape Fear Home Builders Association.
The program is a partnership of the Cameron School of Business and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Program director Cheryl Sutton said in a news release that participants are encouraged to implement their entrepreneurial skills within their community.
“The program introduces students to fields and trades that are important to the local community and its growth,” Sutton said in the release. “Community engagement and building partnerships to increase community and regional impact are key components of UNCW’s Strategic Plan.”
According to a news release, the program’s theme for this year is “Construction: Beyond Brick and Mortar.”
The program began Sunday and will run all week. Participants ranging from ninth and 12th grade will visit Kids Making it, a nonprofit woodworking mentoring program, and Cape Fear Community College, where they will see the high-tech side of construction.
They will also work on a project and present it to a panel of judges at the end of the program, all with the goal to learn about the physical and technological characteristics of home construction.
While the program only lasts a week, WCFHBA Executive Officer Cameron Moore said they hope the program will make a lasting impact on the participants and encourage them to pursue the construction business in the future.
“It’s engaging young adults and really opening their minds towards the conduction industry,” he said. “The average worker in our industry is about 40 years old and we are trying to find young leaders and talent.”
Moore said the association decided to partner with the program because it gives them the opportunity to introduce the construction business to kids at a young age, it also goes along with their initiative to promote the industry.
“We want to open their minds to construction and I think it’s very important for the home-builders association to look at these initiatives and really engage these types of programs,” he said.
In the news release, WCFHBA President David Spetrino added that the program fit into the association’s workforce development initiatives by engaging young entrepreneurs to see all sides of the construction industry.
“National statistics show that by 2020, much of the construction workforce in America will be replaced, engaging our youth early and introducing them to the many facets of construction is paramount as they are the future of our industry,” Spetrino said.