2018 Project Build Minnesota Completes Inaugural Year With Strong Accomplishments

Project Build Minnesota, which was officially incorporated as a 501c3 nonprofit in January 2018, finishes its first year in operation with much to tout.

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The goal of the collaborative effort is to showcase construction careers and attract hard-working Minnesota youth to the industry’s tremendous opportunities. The fledgling effort was formed by Housing First Minnesota, Minnesota Builders Exchange, Associated Builders and Contractors, and The Builders Group. Several additional construction organizations and private construction companies have joined the effort, expanding its growing reach.

The centerpiece of the effort is the Project Build Minnesota website, which features tiles showcasing wages and jobs, a job board, a comprehensive review of industry scholarships and an active blog. This effort is supplemented by active social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The first year was one of infrastructure development in which bylaws, articles of incorporation, legal filings, committees, an annual budget, a fundraising plan and a strategic plan were developed.

Additional highlights include:

• Developed and implemented a social media campaign designed to drive young people to our website. From May through December, 334,607 people have been reached creating 5,603 engagements.

• Developed marketing materials to be used for career fairs, seminars, trade shows, etc.

• Developed a Speakers Bureau in conjunction with Best Prep that has 63 volunteer speakers. The enterprise has presented in eight school classes that had a total of 123 students. If you are interested in joining the speakers bureau, please let Executive Director Dennis Medo know (dennis@projectbuildmn.org)

• Had a booth at six career fairs that attracted over 1,800 high school students/parents.

• Had a booth at 11 trade/professional shows that had over 4,000 attendees. These included the Minnesota School Boards Association, Minnesota School Counselors Association, Minnesota Association of Secondary Administrators, and the Builders and Remodeler Show.

• Started a construction program for the Explorer Scouts in the St. Cloud area. There are eight students enrolled. Over a period of nine months (one three-hour class each month) they are building a bunk house for the scout camp in the Brainerd area.

• In conjunction with TBG, Project Build donated 15 tool belts and tools to students at Elk River High School who are in their shed building class. Project Build Minnesota held its annual election at the December Board of Directors meeting. Tom Getzke, Minnesota Builders Exchange, will chair Project Build in 2019. David Siegel, Housing First Minnesota, will serve as the treasurer while Bob Heise, Associated Builders and Contractors, will serve as secretary.

Also at its December meeting, the organization highlighted three legislative priorities that mirror priorities of many of the participating associations: 16- and 17-year-olds on the job site, state funding for Project Build Minnesota’s efforts, and a greater emphasis on career and technical education in Minnesota’s high schools.