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    NDI Gives Back Scholarship Program

    I’m really proud (and excited!) to announce the NDI Gives Back Scholarship Program! We hope these scholarships will encourage young people to choose residential construction as their career – or at least get them thinking about it. There are so many amazing opportunities in this field – learning a trade (electrical, plumbing, HVAC, etc), onsite project management, masonry, carpentry, owning your own company, etc. The possibilities are endless and these jobs are IN DEMAND.

    The labor pool for the construction industry has shrunk drastically over the last twenty years. Why? I’m no expert, but here’s what I think…

    The Recession(s)

    Indicators of the recession of 2008 started popping up in 2005. I know, I know. The financial markets didn’t react until the fall of 2008, but the housing market started feeling it three years prior. That’s fairly typical – the health of the housing market is a big indicator of the market as a whole. When new sales/starts fell off in the fall of 2005, it was only the beginning of what would be a long housing recession. Not only was it long, but it hurt a lot of people and business. Many builders and tradesman closed operations and got out of the building business. Labor also retreated out of the industry and never came back.

    And it wasn’t just the recession of 2008 (and beyond). Remember 2001? The tech boom/bust? The housing market takes a beating every time, and it puts a strain on labor.

    The Lure of the 4-Year Degree

    Back in my day, high schools encouraged students to follow their passion even if it didn’t include college and a 4-year degree. Through trade classes (remember shop and auto mechanics?) and work-release programs, students were able to pursue their careers without feeling like they had to get a 4-year degree. I’m not sure when the shift occurred, but all of the sudden, test scores and the number of students a high school sent to college became the measuring stick for success. We need to get back to encouraging our young people that a 4-year degree isn’t for everyone and also isn’t required in order to be successful. How many college graduates do you know with a degree, four years of debt, and no job? I bet you know a few.

    There is opportunity out there. Opportunity to learn a trade, learn the building business. Opportunity to own a business. If our young people don’t, who will?

    The NDI Gives Back Scholarship Program is one way we’d like to encourage young people to consider a career in construction. Here are the details:

    Scholarship Information

    NDI is offering two (2) scholarships to students pursuing careers in the construction industry.

    -One (1) scholarship of $1500 to be used at any vocational, Junior, or 2-year school towards a construction-related program

    -One (1) scholarship of $2500 for a student pursuing a 4-year degree in Residential Construction Management

    Eligibility Requirements

    -Completed Application Form. Scroll to the bottom of THIS PAGE on our website to download the forms.

    -Essay of 500—1000 words explaining why you see yourself working in the construction industry

    -Transcript from your current school

    -Letter of recommendation

    Submission Deadline and Information

    Due: Wednesday, May 31, 2017 with a decision made by June 15, 2017.

    Submit a completed scholarship application by e-mail or postmarked by May 31, 2017 to:
    10611 Balls Ford Road
    Suite 101
    Manassas, VA 20109
    Attn: NDI Gives Back Scholarship

    For questions, email or call at 1-800-406-8555.

    We’re advertising this program with the area school districts, trade schools, etc. Feel free to pass it along to anyone you think might be interested.

    I love what I do. And I know a lot of other people who can’t imagine doing anything else.

    Either can I.

    Dream Big. Build Smart.

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