Holding spackle knives and sandpaper instead of guns or drugs, juvenile offenders are learning hands-on that they can build their way to a better life — literally.

The National Association of Homebuilders (search) created a program that takes 16- and 17-year-old juvenile delinquents off detention center campuses and out to actual construction sites.

The association sees it as a win-win because it increases the construction industry’s labor pool and helps rehabilitate the teen offenders by training them for a job rather than a life of crime.

The program also teaches the kids life skills, workplace literacy and math.

The Texas Youth Commission (search) reports that about half of all juvenile offenders are convicted again within three years and 30 percent commit a felony within three years.

Those statistics make efforts to get juvenile delinquents back on track all the more important.

"They’re going to refocus their whole idea of whatever got them into where they are now," said Jim Higginbotham of the National Association of Homebuilders. "They know they have a ticket here to get them out of it."

Click in the video box above to watch a report by FOX News' Phil Keating.