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Focus – Construction Education – Spreading the word

image Byron Parffrey, Builder’s Academy, Houston, TX

HOUSTON – Builder’s Academy has come a long way from its humble beginnings of just five students as a consumer advocate training for owners in 1994. Now the education center has over 85 students taking a 40-hour, six-week class.

“It was a part-time, six week homebuilding course and now it’s a full-blown career changing entrepreneurship with internships available,” founder Bryon Parffrey said.
    The classes allow students to obtain licenses for home inspection and commercial properties. The students also learn home building and renovation in the different programs that are offered.
    “Today, thousands are quitting their jobs and building, not only homes, but townhome projects, pocketing $100,000 a year in home profits,” Parffrey said.
    Some of the challenges facing con-struction education are getting people involved and the correct education.
    “The I-don’t-have-time-for-classes type who think they can watch a TV program and become a pro builder or inspector watching TV,” Parffrey said. “Many end up here after a major problem on site. They need education and experience.”
    The Builder’s Academy has a mix of classroom and hands-on approach to give a complete education.
    “In class, online and onsite and in our building and inspecting offices, you learn, see and take part in the real deals and experiences like no other,” Parffrey said. “Ask any student and graduate; it’s an eye opener and life changer. High schools and colleges should have a course in building and basic knowledge for all.”
    Going forward, Parffrey wants more ways to connect with the students and different ways to learn.
    “We will be adding more radio shows, podcasts and tubes as well as webinars to help many build on solid foundations and careers,” Parffrey said.
    With all the construction projects and construction companies in Houston, graduates from the program have a chance to find jobs or start their own companies after graduating.
    “We had the greatest deal (in Houston),” Parffrey said. “Land and labor was cheap compared to rest of nation, not so much anymore. We do have a great supply of labor. We just weed through to find the quality.”–cs


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Chris Schoonover chris@constructionnews.net