TNBCI “Build Chattanooga” Reaches Chattanooga Community

article.333501 The Tennessee Building and Construction Institute of Chattanooga hosted its second annual Build Chattanooga event at Chattanooga State. Attendees learned about the construction industry, careers in construction, and the types of training and education programs that support those careers. The event hosted 150 local high school and college students as well as career-change adults that have an interest in the construction industry.

Featured booths included Associated General Contractors of East Tennessee, Wright Brothers, Home Builders Association, UTC, Habitat for Humanity, green|spaces, ACE Mentor Program, Go Build Tennessee, as well as Chattanooga State’s Workforce Development division, Civil and Construction Engineering Technology program, Tiny House Project, and an AGC Student Chapter. Rhey Houston, Jim Blevins, and Taylor Clark manned the Stowers Machinery grill to provide dinner for the event.

A major topic of conversation during the night was the shortage of skilled workers in the construction industry both locally and nationally. Jimmy Lail (TNBCI, Raines Brothers) represented Go Build Tennessee during the event.


“There is a major need for young people to enter our industry in the skilled trades. We need people to learn skills in welding, carpentry, plumbing, ironwork, and masonry, etc. The industry can put those people to work today,” said Mr. Lail.


Highlighting the specialized training required for the trades, Nick Adams with the Chattanooga Masonry Association and Adams Masonry facilitated a hands-on masonry workshop for the event. “This is a very exciting time for the masonry industry. Chattanooga and the surrounding areas are growing by leaps and bounds and our challenges today include providing enough workers to handle the workload. We aren’t necessarily looking for young people to choose our profession instead of a college education but to decide to come to us as they are being educated,” said Mr. Adams.

The event concluded with a diverse industry panel featuring Alex Miller (EMJ Corporation), Neal Adams (Adams Masonry), Marie Maher (Terracon), Jeremy Weaver (Wind River Tiny Homes), and was emceed by TNBCI’s Harry Hawkins.

"The panel offered insightful and compelling perspectives on local construction industry trends, construction education and training, new technology (drones, robotics) in construction, and opportunities for careers in construction," officials said.

“I believe tonight we heard a clear cry from the construction industry for a workforce development program integrated with technology that will help ease the ever increasing labor shortage the industry now faces,” said Mr. Hawkins. “It is my opinion that the students currently enrolled in construction programs at Chattanooga State and UTC have a very bright future ahead of them in the construction sector throughout the Tennessee Valley.”

For more information on TNBCI, contact Caitlin Moffitt at

This article appears courtesy of the Chattanoogan.

EventGrant Prettyman