It has been an honor to serve as the 2018 president of the North Carolina Home Builders Association. When I got started in this role, I knew I wanted to focus our attention on housing affordability. Why? The answer is simple. I believe that a family’s ability to own a home is a cornerstone to its health and to the prosperity of our communities. As I said in my first column as president, what truly motivates our industry to put in the long hours and to face the challenges of home building is that what we do makes a difference in the lives of people.

I’ve had the privilege to meet many of you across the state this year. I know you all care deeply about our industry precisely because we make a difference. And I challenge you to harness that feeling and continue to find ways to pitch in and keep defending housing affordability.

At both the local and state HBA level, there are many opportunities to step up to the plate and serve. Start by attending regular membership meetings if you don’t already, and then take it a step further and volunteer on a committee. You’ll learn an invaluable amount from your peers in the industry.

Moreover, as I’ve traveled the state this year, I’ve heard time and time again that the limited labor supply has put a real squeeze on builders and subcontractors. There’s no immediate solution to this problem, however a lot of folks throughout North Carolina are finding ways to help guide the next generation into a career in construction. There are multiple successful partnerships with local community colleges in the form of apprenticeship programs. And high schools are holding more vocational career days and opportunities for students to see the construction trades up close. Take advantage of these opportunities to show young people how vibrant and rewarding a career in our industry can be!

Suffice it to say that there’s a multitude of ways to get involved and make a difference.

And I look forward to staying involved myself. I’ll still be around serving as the Immediate Past President of NCHBA and working to support the efforts of 2019 NCHBA President Phil Warrick. We have a lot of important issues on the horizon, and I know Phil and the rest of the NCHBA Executive Committee are 100 percent up to the task of leading us forward.

I’m excited for our profession as we raise the bar and continue to fight for housing affordability together. Thank you for a wonderful year!