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The Home Depot Foundation’s Path to Pro Program Expands Skilled Trades Training to More than 250 Schools in Over 30 States
ATLANTA, March 2, 2021 – The Home Depot Foundation has granted $5 million to expand its Path to Pro trades training program to more than 250 schools in over 30 states, in partnership with Home Builders Institute (HBI) and Construction Ready.
In 2018, the Foundation announced a $50 million commitment to train the next generation of skilled tradespeople, diversify the trades industry, and address the growing labor shortage in the U.S. The incremental funding will expand Path to Pro training and certification opportunities for youth, high school students, separating military service members and underserved communities.\
HBI’s Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT) curriculum including hands-on training will be offered to 11th and 12th grade students interested in exploring career opportunities in the construction trades. In 2021, the partnership fueled programs in more than 30 Title 1 schools, where more than 40 percent of the students live in low-income communities.
Additionally, the Foundation and HBI will open a new academy program in Sacramento to train hundreds of skilled workers that will help meet the needs of the city’s housing market. This community-based education program delivers training and certification for diverse adult populations, bringing together students of differing age, gender, race and background. To date, Path to Pro-funded BuildStrong Academies in Denver and Orlando have successfully trained 422 people.
Nonprofit partner Construction Ready helps the Foundation give back with trades training programs for K-12 youth and underserved communities on Atlanta’s westside and across Georgia through classroom and hands-on training courses.
“As Path to Pro enters its fifth year, the program has introduced more than 15,000 people to the skilled trades,” said Shannon Gerber, The Home Depot Foundation’s executive director. “The Foundation is successfully extending opportunities to those who will support the country’s construction efforts and tracking toward its $50 million commitment. This growth doesn’t happen without our industry-leading partners who help us serve underrepresented communities and diversify the talent pipeline to withstand the significant shortage of skilled tradespeople. We look forward to advancing our efforts with this incremental commitment to support this critical issue.”
The Foundation first launched its trades training program with HBI in 2018 on one U.S. military base. Today, the Path to Pro military program is offered on 10 U.S. military bases and provides exiting service members access to a free, 12-week program that provides industry-recognized PACT and OSHA 10 certifications. The military base programs partner with Habitat for Humanity International, another Foundation nonprofit partner, to serve local communities, gain field experience and build industry relationships. On a few occasions, military program students were hired by Habitat for Humanity affiliates after graduation.
“Thanks to The Home Depot Foundation and their partnership with Home Builders Institute, I was able to attend a Path to Pro program that not only helped with residential construction training, but I can directly credit my job with Fayetteville Area Habitat for Humanity to the training I received,” expressed John Pomelow, former Path to Pro military program graduate and veteran. “It all started with the Path to Pro program and now, I’m a construction site supervisor and a qualifier for General Contracting. Since I’ve been hired, I’ve helped build approximately 40 new homes, participated in 5 rehabs and completed multiple home repairs for veterans and hurricane impacted families.”