The Home Builders Institute (HBI) has announced The Home Depot Foundation (THDF) will commit up to $500,000 to fund student training in home construction careers in high schools across the country. Additionally, the National Housing Endowment (NHE), the philanthropic arm of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), has pledged $200,000 in support of the effort. This combined $700,000 will provide training to thousands of students for construction trades skills.
The funds will allow HBI and THDF to provide a hands-on curriculum for high school students nationwide, along with instructor training and materials. Upon completion, students will earn a preapprenticeship certification endorsed by NAHB and recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor. The programs will be available at no additional cost to students and their families.
Industry data shows there are an estimated 311,000 open jobs, like carpentry, electrical, plumbing and others in residential construction. “Residential construction growth will continue in 2020 and thereafter, supported by low interest rates, solid economic growth and a lack of housing inventory,” said Robert Dietz, chief economist of NAHB. “At the same time, the home building industry faces a skilled trades gap,” said Ed Brady, HBI President and CEO. “As a result, opportunities for well-paid, rewarding careers in residential construction are tremendous.” “Education and the construction industry continue to evolve and present new challenges and opportunities for the skilled trades workforce,” said Shannon Gerber, Executive Director of The Home Depot Foundation. “This year is expected to hold pivotal moments for each sector, and we’re excited to help bring fresh trades opportunities to our youth, as well as be on the forefront of the positive changes to come.” THDF’s $500,000 commitment is part of a $50 million partnership with HBI, launched in 2018 to train 20,000 tradespeople over 10 years.
The latest announcement was made in Las Vegas at NAHB’s 2020 International Builders Show. At a news conference, Brady also announced that HBI has received the additional commitment of $200,000 from the National Housing Endowment to support this latest work by the organization in secondary schools to create career technical training in the building industry. THDF and HBI will work with the nearly 650 state and local home builders associations (HBAs) to reach out to teachers, parents and students. “The Building Industry Association of Central South Carolina (BIA) in partnership with Midlands Business Education Alliance (MEBA) will help coordinate directly with high schools in the Midlands to put these new funds to work,” Brady said. “The BIA represents home builders, remodelers and contractors in the Midlands of South Carolina. A skilled work force is critically important in the success of our industry,” said Patrick Bukszar, Chairman of the BIA Construction Workforce Training Coalition.
To apply for program funding, educators should visit: www.hbi.org/SchoolsToSkills.