Fine Homebuilding Raises $70,000 For #KeepCraftAlive Scholarships To Help Close The Housing Skills Gap

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Marking A Nearly 3-Fold Increase in Scholarship Funds In Just One Year; Company Wins Magazine Industry Association’s 2018 Imagination Award for Leadership

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“With Keep Craft Alive, we have partnered with industry organizations and influencers to build awareness of the problem, surface skills training and educational opportunities, and to fund student scholarships to support those who want to pursue a path in the trades.” - Renee Jordan

Fine Homebuilding, in its steadfast mission to help close the skills gap, raised $70,000 to fund scholarships for students in construction-related fields for the 2018-2019 academic year, a nearly 3-fold increase from the $25,000 awarded last year. Recognizing the ongoing need for qualified skilled labor in the housing industry, Fine Homebuilding continues to bring together industry leaders through its cornerstone program, #KeepCraftAlive; an initiative that has gained significant momentum as an agent of industry change, inspiring emerging professionals and fostering a deeper sense of community.

“With Keep Craft Alive, we have partnered with industry organizations and influencers to build awareness of the problem, surface skills training and educational opportunities, and to fund student scholarships to support those who want to pursue a path in the trades,” says Renee Jordan, SVP & Group Publisher. Jordan continues, “Most importantly, we tapped our core content development capabilities and Fine Homebuilding media platform reach to celebrate the value of true craftsmanship in all trades in order to amplify a cultural narrative about what it means to be a respected, successful professional in the trades, and we are seeing a significant amount of industry momentum as a result, which is exciting.”

Recently, for example, the company partnered with SkillsUSA, CertainTeed, Rinnai America Corporation, Benjamin Moore, Pella Corporation, and Diamondback Toolbelts during the 54th Annual National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, KY to award #KeepCraftAlive scholarships to upcoming tradesmen and women.

Each recipient of $2,500 in scholarship funds was selected based on a series of criteria, which included an application, a 300-word essay and a letter of support from a teacher, administrator, SkillsUSA advisor or educational/professional mentor.

The following winners were honored during a special reception at the conference:

  • Brandon Copenhaver (Drywall)
  • Alexandra DeGroot (Architectual Drafting)
  • Patrick Duckett (Cabinetmaking)
  • Darian Edsitty (Plumbing)
  • Megan Enouen (Architecture)
  • Caleb Erickson (Carpentry)
  • Shawn Evelyn (Woodworking)
  • Cody Flood (Carpentry)
  • Joshua Fox (Electrical)
  • Cameron Galloway (Building Construction)
  • Grant Hansen (Carpentry/Construction)
  • Hayden Hart (Carpentry)
  • Alexis Hribar (Wood Manufacturing)
  • Trey Johnson (Plumbing/HVACR)
  • Michael Knoechel (Construction Technology)
  • Anthony Koller (Electrical)
  • Jose Lopez (Construction Management)
  • Joseph Lou (Architectual Drafting)
  • Jacqueline Medina (Masonry)
  • Sean Morey (Drafting)
  • Michelle Perez (Masonry)
  • Aaron Porro-Harrell (Electrical)
  • Chris Powell (Electrical and Residential Wiring)
  • Christopher Schwaller (Drafting/Engineering)
  • Madison Thum (Architecture & Construction Management)
  • Andrew VanderWal (Electrical)
  • Natalie Walker (Architectural Drafting)
  • Timothy Watkins (Cabinetmaking/Construction)

“Having Fine Homebuilding’s continued support makes a great difference as we focus on the next generation,” said Tim Lawrence, executive director, SkillsUSA. “We are excited that they continue to lead the efforts and partnered with SkillsUSA to honor these extremely deserving men and women.”

“Celebrating those who make their living in the building trades has always been a core value of Fine Homebuilding, and we are continuing that effort through our #KeepCraftAlive initiatives.” Renee Jordan said. “By bringing together leaders and industry veterans to help fund the career path of these talented and motivated young people, we are honored to do our part to help shape and secure the future of the housing industry.”

The company has executed in partnership with its sponsors, over six Keep Craft Alive events around the country with more planned for the Fall/Winter 2018.

Last month, the Magazine Media Industry Association awarded Fine Homebuilding and the Keep Craft Alive program with the 2018 Imagination Award for Leadership, the category that honors projects and teamwork done to define, build or evolve the business or culture of a magazine media brand. Jordan adds, “The Keep Craft Alive program hits on all cylinders for our brand expansion, fueling audience growth, advertiser engagement, and content resource development.”


Fine Homebuilding
Fine Homebuilding is the most trusted and authoritative resource for the residential construction and remodeling community. We uniquely source our content from the job sites and design offices of the most qualified and talented builders and designers in the industry to empower a global workforce with the ability to create the most advanced homes possible. Driven by the ethos that exceptional homes are possible and that craftsmanship is an honorable and worthy pursuit, Fine Homebuilding has become the brand for skilled practitioners, deeply knowledgeable enthusiasts, industry influencers, and forward-thinking companies who are collectively committed to shaping the way we build. For more information, visit

SkillsUSA is a vital solution to the growing U.S. skills gap. This nonprofit partnership of students, instructors and industry works to ensure America has the skilled workforce it needs to stay competitive. Founded in 1965 and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education, the association serves more than 300,000 member students and instructors each year in middle schools, high schools and colleges. This diverse talent pipeline covers 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations, the majority STEM-related. More than 600 corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions actively support SkillsUSA at the national level. SkillsUSA programs are integrated into career and technical education through a framework of personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics. Local, state and national championships, designed and judged by industry, set relevant standards for career and technical education and provide needed recognition to its students. SkillsUSA also offers technical skill assessments and other workplace credentials. For more information, go to

Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed, headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania, has helped shape the building products industry for more than 110 years. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Manufacturing Company, the firm's slogan "Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed," inspired the name CertainTeed. Today, CertainTeed is a leading North American brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, fencing, decking, railing, trim, insulation, drywall and ceilings. A subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, one of the world’s largest and oldest building products companies, CertainTeed has more than 6,300 employees and more than 60 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. The company had total sales of approximately $3.7 billion in 2017. For more, see

Pella Corporation
Pella Corporation doesn’t just create windows and doors, we innovate with purpose, design with passion, build with integrity, and deliver with pride. From testing beyond industry requirements to continuous innovation, Pella goes beyond what meets the eye. Pella’s goal is to perfect every detail and make beautifully designed windows and doors. The company is headquartered in Pella, Iowa and employs more than 6,000 people with 13 manufacturing locations and more than 200 showrooms across the country. For more information, call 888-847-3552 or visit

Rinnai America Corporation
Rinnai America Corporation, a subsidiary of Rinnai Corporation in Nagoya, Japan, was established in 1974 and is headquartered in Peachtree City, Ga. Rinnai Corporation manufactures gas appliances including tankless water heaters, a wide range of kitchen appliances and heating and air conditioning units. As the technology leader in its industry, Rinnai is the largest gas appliance manufacturer in Japan and is the number-one selling brand of tankless gas water heaters in the United States and Canada. Annual corporate revenues, including those of its subsidiaries, are in excess of $3.1 billion. With a global perspective to create 21st-century products for the home and business, Rinnai Corporation commits itself to safety and the pursuit of comfortable lifestyles. For more information about Rinnai’s entire product line, visit

Benjamin Moore
Founded in 1883, Benjamin Moore is North America’s favorite paint, color and coatings brand. A leading manufacturer of premium quality residential and commercial coatings, Benjamin Moore maintains a relentless commitment to innovation and sustainable manufacturing practices. The portfolio spans the brand’s flagship paint lines including Aura®, Regal® Select, CENTURY®, Ultra Spec®, Natura® and ben®. Benjamin Moore is renowned for its expansive color portfolio, offering consumers and designers more than 3,500 colors. Benjamin Moore paints are available exclusively from its more than 5,000 locally owned and operated paint and decorating retailers.

Diamondback Toolbelts
Diamondback Toolbelts is made up of a small team dedicated to making the best tool belts and pouch systems available to tradesmen and tradeswomen, worldwide. Owned and operated by childhood amigos Michael Williams and Connor Crook, Diamondback is headquartered out of Charlottesville, VA with manufacturing operations in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Boone, North Carolina. For over 25 years, Diamondback has produced the most comfortable, durable tool belts the industry has ever seen, with a dedicated and passionate customer base (read: cult-following) to prove it.

To find out more or to speak to a company representative, contact Tami McCarthy via email at or via phone at 212-750-5755.

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