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On March 8, 2018, The Home Depot Foundation announced its commitment to train 20,000 tradespeople over the next 10 years, including a donation of $50 million, as a means of easing the construction industry labor shortage.

In 2017, the foundation launched a pilot training program for tradespeople in partnership with the nonprofit Home Builders Institute, targeting separating military members. “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.”

The Home Depot Foundation also is setting up an advanced level trades training program to broaden training support for Atlanta’s Westside residents over the next 10 years, along with the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia (CEFGA). This program will target the veteran community, and underserved high schools across the nation.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently 158,000 unfilled construction sector jobs in the U.S. – a number that is expected to increase significantly as tradespeople retire over the next decade. The ratio of construction job openings to hirings, as measured by the Department of Labor, is at its highest level since 2007 ... The announcement expands The Home Depot Foundation’s mission beyond its existing quarter-of-a-billion dollar commitment to veteran housing, as well as its commitment to serve communities impacted by natural disasters.

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