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Tidewater Builders Association
 Building Trades Academy  
April 11, 2012
Contact: Mary Prier
Sara Steil
(757) 305-9064
Home builders create jobs by using “Made in America” components

One of the industries hardest hit by the recession and high unemployment is doing its part to create American jobs.  

Inspired by a Montana builder featured on national television, a home builder in Chesapeake has taken on the challenge of creating a home constructed completely of American made products – from the nails to the shingles to the furniture and décor.

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

The home site in Chesapeake’s Culpepper Landing community will host a Tidewater Builders Association membership forum at noon, Friday, May 4 to promote the “buy American” message to those in the home building industry in southeast Virginia. Anders Lewendal, the all-American home builder from Montana, will be a featured speaker.

The event is sponsored by New Jersey-based GAF, the largest roofing manufacturer in North America, with 3,300 employees in 26 plants across the country.

Jones is constructing the home for display in TBA’s Homearama showcase of homes, where tens of thousands of visitors are expected to 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 one to be featured in a showcase of homes.

“Now that we know more about the products available from American 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. Let’s keep the manufacturing of the components here as well.”

Anders Lewendal, the Montana builder who is also an economist, estimates that if every builder used just five percent more American-made products, they would create over 200,000 jobs.  His numbers were confirmed by The Boston Consulting Group, according to ABC News.

TBA members, along with U.S. Congressman Randy Forbes and Chesapeake Mayor Alan Krasnoff, will have the opportunity to sign a banner pledging to buy more American made products. The banner will be on display during Homearama for visitors to sign.

Regional building code officials will also be on hand to launch an All-American certification program for builders, which utilizes a graduated scale of American-made products.

The home is located in the Culpepper Landing neighborhood in Chesapeake, located just off the Route 17/Deep Creek exit of Interstate 64. Directions are available at www.homearama.tv

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