Home Builders Using Made-in-America Components
April 23, 2012 | 12:04 pm CDT

CHESAPEAKE, Va. -- One of the industries hardest hit by high unemployment is doing its part to create American jobs by promoting American-made components during home construction.

Inspired by a Montana builder featured in the national media, a Virginia builder has taken on the challenge of constructing a home from American made products – from the nails to the shingles to the furniture and decor.

"It's our way of trying to keep this movement alive and create jobs," said builder T.E. Jones of Vintage Homes. "A lot of people think it can't be done. We're proving it can."

Tidewater Builders Association is hosting a membership forum at noon, Friday, May 4 at the home site in Chesapeake's Culpepper Landing community where the local home building industry will hear about the "Buy American" movement. Jake Lewendal, who, with his father, Anders Lewendal, constructed the all-American home in Montana, will be a featured speaker.

It is sponsored by New Jersey-based GAF, the largest roofing manufacturer in North America with 3,300 employees in 26 plants across the country. "As an American-owned company offering American-made products, GAF fully supports the creation of more jobs through the use of American-made materials," said Paul Bromfield, Sr. Vice President of Marketing.

Jones is constructing the home for TBA's Homearama showcase of homes, where thousands of visitors will tour it between June 16 and July 1. It is believed to be only the second all-American home in the country and the first in the Eastern United States, as well as the first to be featured in a showcase of homes.

"Now that we know more about products available from American-based manufacturers, we can all do our part to create jobs," said TBA President Sam Cohen. "After all, home building is one job that can't be shipped overseas."

Lewendal, who is also an economist, estimates if every builder used just five percent more American-made products, they would create over 220,000 jobs.

TBA members, U.S. Congressman Randy Forbes and Chesapeake Mayor Alan Krasnoff will have the opportunity to sign a banner pledging to buy at least 5 percent more American-made products, to be displayed during Homearama for visitors to sign. Also, regional building code officials will announce an All-American certification program for builders.

SOURCE Tidewater Builders Association


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