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Madison Area Builders Association and Boys & Girls Club of Dane County: Paving the Way for Tomorrow’s Leaders

Building a Brighter Future: How MABA and the Boys & Girls Club Pave the Way for Diversity and Inclusivity in the Construction Industry

The Madison Area Builders Association (MABA), under the guidance of

Chad Lawler has partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County to create a

groundbreaking workforce center. The center aims to introduce young people to the skilled

trades and construction industry, providing a much-needed boost to a sector in need of new and

diverse talent. The innovative project, valued at $10 million, is set to open in just two months

and has already raised over $30 million in funding.


The collaboration between MABA and the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County began six years

ago, and their joint efforts have now come to fruition. While the facility has not officially opened,

the program has already engaged with over 1,000 local youths, including nearly 300 who have

participated in site tours, hands-on projects, and soft skills training.


The center’s initial focus will be on offering career awareness and exploration programming to

children starting in Kindergarten. More hands-on training will be provided to middle and high

school students. Older participants will choose from three tracks: 1) direct work in residential

home construction; 2) youth apprenticeship, aimed at union apprenticeships; and 3) additional

education in carpentry or construction management through partnering community colleges.

These students will also receive soft skills training, financial literacy education, and

entrepreneurship lessons.


In addition to the Boys & Girls Club, MABA has enlisted the support of over 400 corporate and

small business members, who will provide employment, apprenticeships, internships, and

summer jobs to the participating youth.


This local partnership has inspired a national collaboration between the National Association of

Home Builders (NAHB) and the Boys & Girls Club of America. The two organizations have

launched a pilot program involving 10 communities, including Madison, in partnership with Ford

Next Generation Learning (NGL). The pilot’s goal is to foster relationships between local clubs

and builders’ associations, expanding opportunities for young people in the construction industry.

As the average construction worker is a 56-year-old white male, there is a pressing need for the

industry to attract younger and more diverse talent. By partnering with Boys & Girls Clubs

across the nation, which predominantly serve black and brown youth from underserved

neighborhoods, the construction industry can work towards more inclusivity and diversity.

This innovative program is designed to leave a lasting impact. In Madison, funds have been

allocated to an endowment to ensure the program’s longevity. By starting with children as young

as four years old, MABA and the Boys & Girls Club are looking toward a long-term, sustainable

solution for the construction industry’s workforce challenges.


As the case study and report on the pilot program’s successes, struggles, and best practices are

expected by late spring, it is clear that the partnership between MABA, Chad Lawler, and the

Boys & Girls Club is more than just a local initiative. It has the potential to reshape the

construction industry on a national scale, fostering a more diverse and inclusive workforce for

generations to come.

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