Academy in the News


The Denver Post

The home construction industry has created the Colorado Homebuilding Academy, where young adults are informed of careers in the skilled trades that don’t require a college degree but pay well…


Art of Construction

Michael Smith, Director of the Colorado Homebuilding Academy, joins the AOC to share how his nonprofit is tackling the labor shortage crisis in the construction industry. With a focus on collaboration with construction business partners for funding and partnering with public schools for programming, The Academy is garnering national attention for their innovative and important work.

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Mike_Smith Headshot

Professional Builder

When proponents try to attract young people to construction careers by flaunting well-paying jobs without college-loan debt, they’re doing it wrong. And builders who contend that the skilled labor shortage is the subcontractors’ problem simply haven’t yet seen how the dearth of skilled workers threatens the future growth of their companies, Michael Smith says.


Colorado Builder

The Academy keeps class sizes to 20 students for two instructors. Students go through a variety of cut projects until they can demonstrate competency with a particular tool, then do a build project based on shop drawings.

pat hamill


Builders like Pat Hamill, who founded the Colorado Homebuilding Academy to reinvest in the training and education of new talent in the home building community. The Academy offers hands-on learning, classroom teaching and real-life experience with the ultimate goal of job placement and ongoing support for its students.

ABC 15 Arizona

ABC 15 Arizona

Right now, homebuilders around the country are desperately looking for workers to help them complete projects. There are nearly 200,000 construction jobs available right now across the nation, up 81 percent in just two years.One homebuilder is taking matters into its own hands.



Class is in session at the Colorado Homebuilding Academy. 20 students, chainsaws in hand, are halfway through an eight-week construction skills bootcamp. Michael Smith is in charge of the academy, with a mission of preparing students, many of whom come from very different fields, to work in the construction industry.

washington post academy

Washington Post
Oakwood Homes, a home builder headquartered in Denver, has create a foundation that funds a new construction school. It’s called the Colorado Homebuilding Academy. Students can enroll in a free, eight-week “boot camp” to learn how to saw, tile, drill, plaster and paint and a bunch of other skills they need to enter the construction industry.

CNBC Academy

Inside an unassuming warehouse on the outskirts of Denver, 18 students are learning to saw, tile, drill, plaster and paint. They are mastering how to build a house. While that number might not sound like a lot, today’s homebuilders are desperate for all of them.
Also published in: Builder Magazine, NBR

CBS Denver Alexis

CBS Denver
If there’s one thing Alexis Monserrate has, it’s vision. That’s why she came here all the way from New York for the Colorado Homebuilding Academy.“In eight weeks they really got me market-ready. Learning everything from how to read a tape measure to using power tools. It also gave me the confidence to apply for jobs like this.”

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Fox News
Colorado Homebuilding Academy is a nonprofit operating in industry-donated space. Builders and grants foot the $1,400 cost of Construction Skills Boot Camp for each student who pledges to go into construction…administrators are hoping to get more women in the program. They are seeking high school graduates not bound for college, military veterans returning to civilian life and previous criminal offenders. The school expects to triple its number of graduates this year.

Builder Magazine

This year, through Oakwood’s philanthropic arm, Pat Hamill created the Colorado Homebuilding Academy, a nonprofit educational resource that provides hands-on training and job placement for workers, job seekers, and students through its own classes and partnerships with the University of Denver and Community College of Aurora. Michael Smith, the academy’s director, says the home building industry has utterly failed to attract millennials.

Denver 7 Press

Denver 7
In just five weeks, Nathaniel Baldwin has come a long way from the information technology work he once knew.”I was the one that kind of kept all the servers running, kept all the websites up, that sort of thing,” Baldwin described. Today, instead of servers, he’s learning to run power tools at Colorado Homebuilding Academy.


Colorado Public Radio
Houses along the Front Range can’t be built fast enough. Part of the problem is a booming population. There’s also a shortage of construction workers to get the job done. The Colorado Homebuilding Academy is an effort to get more people to work.
Also published in: The Denver Post and Coloradoan

Denver Post Press

The Denver Post
In a large warehouse that smells of freshly cut wood in north Denver, 20 adults — including a refugee family from Somalia, a math teacher and a laid-off retail worker — gather in the unfinished frame of a house to take notes on the Pythagorean theorem.

construction dive press

Construction Dive
Demand for homes may be strong, but demand for construction labor is even stronger. There were 172,000 construction jobs available nationwide in March 2017…To learn more about the CHA and how it aims to help fill the skilled-labor gap, Construction Dive talked with CHA director Michael Smith.