The Home Depot Foundation of the mega home improvement and construction chain store, The Home Depot, announced it would commit $50 million to train 20,000 construction workers over the next ten years to build up employment in America. Currently, there are 158,000 unfilled construction jobs in the U.S., representing the field’s highest levels since 2007, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.
The Foundation’s executive director, Shannon Gerber, said,
We want to bring shop class back, from coast-to-coast. We’re thrilled to train 20,000 next-generation plumbers, electricians, carpenters and beyond. It’s a true honor to welcome our first classes of separating soldiers as they transition to civilian life and into successful careers in the trades.
The skilled labor gap is growing in America and it is time to respond. The Home Depot Foundation announces $50 million to train 20K tradespeople by 2028. https://t.co/k3Y0lKU9Wc pic.twitter.com/oFp45wiVWp
— The Home Depot (@HomeDepot) March 8, 2018
Last year The Home Depot Foundation launched a pilot training program for exiting military members at Fort Stewart, Georgia, and Fort Bragg, North Carolina. John Courson, CEO of the Home Builders Institute, said,
Our program prepares men and women for high-growth careers in the industry after leaving military service. With 200,000 service members separating from the military every year, our partnership with The Home Depot Foundation enables us to serve more veterans across the country.
The training program offers an apprenticeship certificate to graduates who participate in an industry-based curriculum that is recognized by the Department of Labor. The program combines work-based learning with technical and academic skills. The foundation expects a 90 percent job placement rate after trainees complete the program.
The Home Depot Foundation also established an advanced training program that partners with the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia to help residents of Atlanta’s westside community. The foundation plans to expand its training to the broader veteran community and underserved high schools across America.