On February 2 at the annual Home and Hearth Foundation Event, the Home Builders Association will recognize local heroes who make an impact on the lives of those with special housing needs and support the development of the next generation of housing industry professionals.
“Our winners this year have two things in common,” said Jodie Rykse Salmoran, Foundation Director. “They are all larger lumber suppliers who have made it part of their core business values to build beautiful homes and lives.”
Jeff Peel of Standard Lumber will be presented with the Home Builders Care Award for his involvement as a donor, committee member and volunteer for all 25 years Community Repair Days has been building wheelchair ramps and completing critical repairs for vulnerable, lower-income special needs homeowners. Jeff’s leadership and continuous involvement has helped make 622 ramps and critical repairs possible and more than $500,000 in lumber and supplies has been donated by Standard and other area lumber companies including Standale and Zeeland.
In 2012 Stuart Ray, Executive Director of Guiding Light Mission, and his team made a strategic decision to provide affordable housing for men who’ve completed the Guiding Light Recovery program. To make this happen Guiding Light turned to their community partner Standale Lumber and Interiors, this year’s recipient of the Community Builder Award because of their financial assistance and in kind support.
“We got involved with the Iron House project because we know these apartments will increase the chances of these guys successfully staying sober and rebuilding their lives,” said Buzz Holtvluwer of Standale. “When we can say yes to a worthy cause that works we do because that’s what our parents taught us and it’s how we we’ve always run our business.”
The Next Generation Workforce Development Award winner is Zeeland Lumber for the creative ways they’ve addressed the industry-wide labor shortage while also opening the doors of employment for returning citizens and others with strikes on their employment records by partnering with 30-2-2, Root Ministries and other employment initiatives.
“We have a heart for looking outside the box, so to speak, by connecting with nontraditional hiring practices, especially people who could use a lift up out of whatever situation they are in,” says Mike Dykstra president and CEO of Zeeland Lumber and Supply.
They’re also being recognized for their investment in the younger, up and coming next generation by encouraging students to consider careers in construction. Zeeland is a founding member of the Construction Workforce Development Alliance and generous supporters of the annual MICareerQuest event that attracts more than 9,000 area students.