History

History

Celebrating more than 58 Years . . .

1957 to 2015 +

Home Builders Association of Berks County
Building Pride in our Community

The Home Builders Association of Berks County (HBA) was accepted as an Affiliate Local Association of theNational Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and received our charter on May 26th, 1957. Byron W. Whitman, Whitman Builders (Berkshire Greens), served as our first President.

 

In the next six decades, we grew from a small group of home builders to over 350 companies strong, representing all aspects of residential construction and related business services. The HBA of Berks County is the 6th largest out of 37 builders associations in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and in the top 120 of the 747 builders associations nationwide.

We continue to be guided by our mission, the goals of which are to: inform, educate, take legislative action, provide a forum for business and professional interaction, and assist HBA Members in the operation of their businesses.

One word which exemplifies our mission is EDUCATION because all of the mission goals are a form of education.

MEMBER EDUCATION

In the early 1970’s, Builder Members organized a Carpenter Apprentice Training Program to train young people to become Journeyman Carpenters. As times change, so does the format of education and so must we. In 2010, the program was phased out as other programs had grown to take its place.

In 2000, the HBA sponsored a Student Chapter at the Reading-Muhlenberg Career & Technology Center (RMCTC) and others later at Berks Career & Technology Centers (BCTC) East and West campuses. Additionally, RMCTC and BCTC both are benchmark programs statewide as part of the PBA Secondary Endorsed Trade Program. The HBA of Berks County is proud of our three CTCs and the high caliber of graduates they produce every year for the job market & our industry.

Our Education Committee brainstorms and organizes training, continuing education, and seminars on a regular basis. Beginning in early 2012, the committee began filming most of these sessions and editing them into smaller chunks of usable knowledge for the association’s YouTube channel at YouTube: HBAberks.

Education topics have included in the past: Builder, Remodeler, and Associate Certification Programs; Storm Water Permit Process; IRC Building Codes; Computer Technology; Business Management; Time Management; and Legal Issues, to name only a few

Our Education Committee regularly partners with the NAHB, PBA, other local HBAs, as well as other Berks County associations to bring fresh, valuable content that can be put to use immediately in the workplace to increase quality and profits.

Consumer Education

Our HBA publishes a bi-monthly magazine, At Home in Berks, recognized in 2012 as the Best-in-State and in 2013 as the Best-in-Nation magazine. This is an All-about-YOU publication. It includes tips & tricks & thoughtful articles on: home maintenance, stylings, trends, business issues, hiring a contractor, design ideas… and MORE.

The best part is, At Home in Berks magazine is written by home-grown experts… not some far-away ‘expert’ writer who doesn’t know YOU or Berks County.

We regularly partner with BCTV (Berks Community Television), WEEU 830 AM Radio, and Reading Eaglenewspaper to educate the public and inform consumers on the latest home trends and how to hire an awesome contractor.

For over 18 years, the HBA has been publishing a printed annual Membership Directory and home buyer’s guide. This printed book is a wealth of information for the consumer, listing all HBA Members as well as Member products & services.

We give out over 2,000 copies Free of Charge each year at the Home & Garden Show, but if YOU missed getting one there, all YOU have to do is Contact Us and will put a personal copy in the mail just for YOU Free of Charge or YOU can stop by our office in West Lawn anytime to pick one up (while supplies last).

In mid-2013, we went a step further to ease YOUR hunt for the best in the business – we created an Online Buyer’s Guide where YOU can search by company name or by the category of what they do. It is always easy to find. Look up at the top right-hand corner of this web page for the “Need a Contractor, Product, or Service” button. That same button is always at the top of each of our web pages to get YOU there quickly.

YOU Know Us by Our Shows

Additionally, our HBA is well known for two major consumer events – Home & Garden Show and Parade of Homes.

The Home & Garden Show is a full out trade show featuring everything to keep your home running smoothly.

Do YOU need a new kitchen? Bath? Windows? Remodeling? Want to learn to cook a little better? To decorate with flair? It’s at the Home & Garden Show!

How about cleaning – YOUR favorite thing ever? We didn’t think so. Find quicker, simpler solutions at the Home & Garden Show!

The Home & Garden Show has been held at many locations over the years; but, has remained the same great family-friendly event. In fact, each year it gets bigger and better! When the Greater Reading Expo Center closed in 2013, we move it to our current home, the Santander Arena (formerly known as the Sovereign Center) in downtown Reading, PA.

The HBA partners with Show Technology to bring YOU the largest Home & Garden Show in the region each year – the South East PA (SEPA) Home & Garden Show. Over the years, thousands of consumers have been afforded the opportunity to speak directly to the experts and learn about the newest products & services available in Berks County.

In 1993, one of our Past President’s had a vision to establish an event which would truly showcase the work of theHome Builder, Remodeler Members, and Trade Contractors of the HBA — the Parade of Homes. Now, in its 23rdyear, the Parade of Homes showcases the quality work of all types of contractors in every price range. Every year, scores of consumers take an educational tour of homes in every corner of the county.

The Voice of the Construction Industry

The HBA is the voice of the housing industry in Berks County! The Government Affairs (GA) Committee is politically active at the local and state levels, striving to help our elected officials understand the importance of housing to the economy of Berks County, the Commonwealth, and the nation as a whole while providing affordable housing for the Berks County community.

We (the HBA) are members of Chamber of Commerce and the Reading-Berks Association of Realtors.

Building Pride in Our Community

The HBA of Berks County is proud to be a member of the Berks County community. We feel it is our responsibility and privilege to “give something back” to the community in which we live.

Over the years, the HBA has remodeled and built a ramp for a wheel-chair bound teen, participated in Habitat for Humanity program, constructed a bridge for access by the physically challenged to enjoy the outdoors, built a pavilion for troubled youth, collected monies to help victims of 911 and Katrina, and because of 911 became a toy drop off site and collected toys for the Toys for Tots program. In 2007, we held the first annual motorcycle Poker Run in to raise money for the Reading Police Department, which we continued to do until 2010.

Now, however, we are a recognized charitable pillar in Berks County for our annual Extreme Home Makeovers. Ever since the national television audience set its sites on Berks County in 2010, one hard-working, bill-paying, middle-class family receives an all-expense-paid full remodel courtesy of the HBA Restoring Hope Foundation.

Award Winning Association

The Members of the HBA of Berks County, and the community at large, are very proud of our association.

In 2014, the HBA of Berks County was recognized with the Best-in-Nation Web 2.0 Program award for this website.

In 2013, we became the Mark Spitz or Michael Phelps of the building industry by bringing home to Berks County four national awards!

We were proclaimed officially the BEST with awards in the following areas:

  1. Best-in-Nation Publication with At Home in Berks magazine
  2. Best-in-Nation Community Service Project with HBA Restoring Hope Foundation
  3. Best-in-Nation Social Media Effort with a strong presence on each of: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest (be sure to join up with us on whichever social media platform YOU like best)

In fact, since 2001, we have brought home to Berks ten prestigious Best-in-Nation awards, known as the Association Excellence Awards presented by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

In addition to the above, we have been judged “the best” by our peers in the following:

  • Best-in-Nation Service Delivered – Remodelers Award Program
  • Best-in-Nation Public Relations Program – Toys for Tots
  • Best-in-Nation Political Action Program Administered – Amity Township Initiative
  • Best-in-Nation Political Action Program Delivered – Growing Greener Initiative
  • Best-in-Nation HBA Partnership – Smart Growth Alliance
  • Best-in-Nation Regional Cooperation – Workforce Development