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Funds will enhance workforce development initiatives combating Spokane’s housing crisis

On Oct. 25, the Spokane Home Builders Association’s (SHBA) Frame Your Future program was awarded $1 million to enhance its workforce development programs. Spokane County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to allocate funds from the Federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act to five organizations, including Frame Your Future, under the Economic Impact Assistance subcategory.

“We’re thrilled to have the Commissioners’ support of our industry-driven solutions to the housing crisis and construction worker shortage,” said Brian Burrow, Frame Your Future’s director of workforce development. “These funds will boost our efforts to expose more students to the trades at a time when school districts are cutting shop programs from their budgets.”

Frame Your Future (FYF) is SHBA’s collaborative solution between construction industry leaders and local schools that was launched earlier this year after raising $200,000 from building industry partners.

The mission of the program is to build a worker training pipeline for residential construction in Eastern Washington, which is sorely needed to tackle Spokane’s housing crisis.

Eight out of 10 families can’t afford to buy a home in Spokane, and that’s partly due to a lack of skilled construction workers. To solve the worker shortage problem and close the housing affordability gap, FYF has rolled out several innovative programs:

  • FYF is partnering with Innovation High School to pilot a two-year Trades Training program. Students are learning engineering concepts and sustainable building practices while getting hands-on experience building a structure from the ground up.

  • FYF, together with the Inland Northwest AGC, will host the inaugural Careers in Construction Workforce Breakfast on Wed, Dec 7th as a means to highlight the pathways into careers in construction.

  • FYF conducts al Workforce Development Camp annually in May. This year nearly 30 high school students from Mead School District teamed up with 15 construction industry leaders and received hands-on training while building garden sheds.

  • FYF collaborates with local schools to host events that expose students and parents to construction trades, including career fairs, classroom visits and Trades Nights.

  • In 2023, FYF will launch two job training programs for adults interested in working in the construction industry.

“Frame Your Future is taking real, meaningful action to address our housing challenges. We’re excited to have those efforts recognized and eager to see how this investment by the County impacts our community,” said Burrow. “More trades exposure, more job training, more housing. That’s a win, win, win.”

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