Donate to the Vocational Training Council and Build Our Future

Note: Plans are underway for Vocational Training Council (VTC) 2021 activities. These efforts are critical to developing our future workforce. Below is a letter from 2021 VTC Chair Adam Hahn, Watts Group appealing for member involvement through donations time, supplies and/or money. After reading the letter, click on this donation form link to support the VTC. 


Dear Iowa City Area HBA Members and Community Partners,

On behalf of The Greater Iowa City Area HBA Vocational Training Council (VTC) Board of Directors, I would like to thank you for your past contributions to our future workforce. This year has not been what any of us expected, but 2019 was a great year which passed quickly for our association. Whether you contributed with money, supplies or time to the VTC, I’d like to share a few of our highlights.

Build My Future – On April 2, a total of 153 7th- and 8th-grade students from nine different junior highs or middle schools in three Eastern Iowa counties busily learned construction-trade skills through 15 interactive, hands-on exhibits. Volunteers from HBA-member companies directed and inspired the kids. The fun included hammering nails for roofing carpentry, piecing together plumbing, operating heavy equipment, building a wall with brick and mortar, drywalling and more. Students also heard about architecture and engineering careers during educational sessions and stepped inside a tiny house.

Student-Built House –Across five months in the summer of 2019, 11 students from four high schools and one college received on-the-job training as they helped build a house under the tutelage of our (VTC members and Kirkwood Adjunct Professor Tim Rouse from Durant High School. The purpose of the Student-Built House Program is to provide high school and college students technical experience in the building trades to create a talent pipeline of younger, skilled workers within Greater Iowa City Area HBA counties. It’s a way to work toward addressing the continual need for qualified employees expressed by HBA members, and a chance to expose students to occupational options that don’t require a four-year college degree. Students received college credit and their 10-hour OSHA certificate

Architecture, Construction and Engineering (ACE) – Greater Iowa City Area HBA members step in as guest speakers at Kirkwood Community College Washington County Regional Center’s ACE Academy as well as Iowa City Community School District’s City and Liberty High to talk about various aspects of construction trades.

Future Events – While Build My Future and the Student-Built House were unfortunately canceled due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, we are looking forward to 2021 and working with Junior Achievement on a new event called Career Inspire.  Career Inspire is more than a career fair, it brings together the business community and local schools and is designed to help launch students into their futures: high school, college or technical schools, and careers beyond. The program consists of three segments: 1) in-class sessions presented by the classroom teacher; 2) the hands-on Career Inspire expo; and 3) an in-class debrief. During the Career Inspire expo, students participate in hands-on activities, often using equipment or tools used on a job.

If you are able to support us, please complete the donation form and send it in. Thank you for your consideration!

Adam Hahn
2020-2021 Vocational Training Council Chair
And The Greater Iowa City Area HBA VTC Board of Directors