The Home Builders Institute (HBI) and The Home Depot Foundation (THDF) have partnered to 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.
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 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 pre-apprenticeship 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.
"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 THDF. "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."
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 NAHB chief economist Robert Dietz.
Ed Brady, HBI president and CEO, added, "At the same time, the home building industry faces a skilled trades gap. As a result, opportunities for well-paid, rewarding careers in residential construction are tremendous." 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.
For more information, visit hbi.org/SchoolsToSkills.