The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) and Brek Goin, founder and CEO of Hammr, have established a collaboration to connect entry-level skilled-trade talent with potential hiring opportunities as NKBA NextUp generates interest in kitchen and bath-related careers.
Hammr is a professional network and online community available via app designed for the mobile construction workforce. The app, currently coming out of beta testing, enables skilled-trade professionals to connect and learn about career and mentoring opportunities. The Hammr Instagram community and Builders of Insta have amassed more than 265,000 followers and have attracted top industry influencers to join and help lead Hammr’s initiative.
Youth who learn about carpentry, plumbing, and electrical through NKBA NextUp initiatives, such as the BridgeYear/NKBA Career Tour, can use Hammr for immediate access to exciting trade opportunities. Before Hammr launched, aspiring tradespeople often had to know someone in the industry, walk up to jobsites or browse Craigslist to find good jobs. Now, they can use the Hammr app to build digital résumés — at no cost — and start connecting with a supportive trades community of leading industry professionals.
Choosing Construction Over Finance
Goin’s personal story is a construction career success story. His father had a drywall subcontracting business, where Goin discovered a passion for the construction industry. Instead of pursuing this passion, however, he decided to attend Washington State University to study finance. He had assumed he needed a traditional four-year college degree to secure a lucrative career. It wasn’t long after he graduated that he realized the finance industry wasn’t for him. That’s when he decided to revisit his dad’s jobsite. There, he began to notice many ways in which the industry could be updated to meet the needs of the next generation.
Aware that many high schools no longer offered shop classes, Goin knew that students might only gain exposure to the trades if they had a friend or relative — like he did — in the industry. This prompted the young entrepreneur to launch the Builders of Insta community to showcase the best builders around the world, in an effort to help change the perception of the construction industry and the people working in it.
As top businesses started gaining exposure, the community kept reaching out to him on Instagram for advice about how to find talent, or if he knew of any companies hiring. Goin jumped on the opportunity to transform the Builders of Instagram into Hammr to serve the industry’s staffing needs.
Advancing the Skilled-Trade Story
Goin noted the skilled-trade industry today is not the same as it was a generation ago. With the advancements in technology, materials, communication, networking and labor-saving devices, the opportunities to succeed in the industry are more plentiful. With proper training, students can achieve career and financial success soon after high-school graduation — and without the rigors and expense of a traditional four-year college degree.
Goin appreciates that NKBA NextUp provides hands-on experiences that introduce students to the craft of design and construction.
“I am excited for Hammr to be an ally to NKBA in the NextUp effort,” he said. “I appreciate that NKBA isn’t just talking about it. The association has actually implemented programs like the Career Tour to connect with kids. The industry will be experiencing a massive generational workforce shift over the next 10 years, and we’re extremely excited to help play a big part in developing the next generation of talent.”