Leading US home improvement retailer Home Depot has pledged a new $50mn commitment to the training of 20,000 workers within the skilled trades industry.
The commitment will last for a decade as Home Depot hopes to play its part in reducing the growing skilled labor gap within the construction industry.
According to information from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently over 158,000 unfilled construction jobs across the US, with this number only expected to increase over the coming years as more and more tradespeople retire.
The Department of Labor also reveals that the ratio of openings-to-hirings within the industry is at its highest level since 2007, highlighting the high demand for skills tradespeople.
The funding will be provided to the Home Depot Foundation, launched in partnership with non-profit organization Home Builders Institute (HBI), where a pilots training program will be offered, geared at training high school students and army veterans.
“We want to bring shop class back, from coast-to-coast,” said Shannon Gerber, Executive Director of The Home Depot Foundation. “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.”
“HBI has a 50-year history of training individuals with the skills they need to succeed in the building industry. Our program prepares men and women for high-growth careers in the industry after leaving military service,” said HBI CEO John Courson. “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 commitment expands upon the company’s existing $250mn veteran housing initiative.