Build Your Future with History Makers:

Celebrating Black History Month with the 100 Black Men of America & The Home Depot Foundation!

February isn’t just about chocolate and Valentine’s Day cards (although those are cool too ). February is also Black History Month, a time to celebrate the incredible achievements and contributions of Black Americans throughout history. And guess what? That includes the building and construction industry!

Ready to dive into an awesome career path you might not have considered? Buckle up, because we’re spotlighting an amazing partnership between the 100 Black Men of America (100BMA) and The Home Depot Foundation that’s opening doors for young people like you in underserved communities.

Who are the 100BMA? Think superheroes in suits! Founded in 1963, this organization empowers Black men and youth through mentorship, educational opportunities, and leadership development. They’re all about helping people build brighter futures.

So, what’s the link to construction? The 100BMA knows that construction offers stable, high-paying careers with incredible growth potential. But sometimes, access to training and opportunities can be tough. That’s where The Home Depot Foundation steps in.

The Home Depot Foundation are construction rockstars! This foundation invests in building strong communities by supporting affordable housing, veterans’ reintegration and skilled trades training.

Here at HBI, we work with partners like 100 Black Men of America and The Home Depot Foundation to help young Black people explore and build a career in construction and building through free training programs, skill building and career development. 

History Of Black Excellence In Construction 

This isn’t just an exciting opportunity, it’s a chance to connect with and build upon a powerful legacy of Black achievement in construction. Historically, Black Americans have faced countless barriers in the building industry, yet their contributions are undeniable. Did you know:

  • Benjamin Banneker:
    This brilliant mathematician and astronomer played a crucial role in surveying the boundaries of Washington D.C., laying the foundation for our nation’s capital.
  • Robert Robinson:
    An innovator and entrepreneur, Robinson patented over 50 inventions, including the first prefabricated fireproof apartment buildings, revolutionizing affordable housing.
  • Philippa Gordon:
    Breaking ground as the first Black woman licensed architect in California, Gordon designed iconic structures like the Museum of Science and Industry in Los Angeles.

These are just a few examples of countless Black individuals who have shaped the world of construction through their talent, perseverance and vision. By partnering with HBI, 100BMA and The Home Depot Foundation, you’re not just building your own future, you’re honoring and extending this incredible legacy.

Imagine walking in the footsteps of these pioneers, wielding your skills to create structures that serve your community and inspire future generations. You could be:

  • The architect who designs sustainable, affordable housing solutions.
  • The engineer who builds bridges connecting communities.
  • The skilled tradesperson who crafts intricate details on towering skyscrapers.

The possibilities are endless, and the impact you can make is real. Become a part of this journey, not just for yourself, but for the legacy of Black excellence in construction.

Remember, you have the power to build your future, build your community, and build upon a rich history of achievement. Join the movement, and let’s continue shaping the world, brick by brick. 

100BMA + Home Depot Foundation = A Career In Construction

Together, these powerhouses are making a BIG difference! Their partnership provides scholarships, training programs and career pathways in construction for young people in underserved communities. That means opportunities to learn carpentry, electrical work, plumbing and more – skills that can set you up for life!

Here’s why this could be your perfect career match:

  • Hands-on action: Ditch the textbooks and get down and dirty building cool stuff! Imagine seeing a project you worked on come to life – that’s some serious satisfaction.
  • High demand, high pay: Skilled trades are hot right now, with job growth and salaries way above the national average. Say goodbye to student loan worries and hello to financial security!
  • Make a difference: Building homes, schools and communities? Talk about a meaningful career path that leaves a lasting impact.
  • Be part of history: Join a legacy of Black excellence in construction. The 100BMA and The Home Depot Foundation are paving the way for the next generation of builders, and you can be a part of it!

Want to learn more and see if this path is right for you? Check out the 100BMA website and The Home Depot Foundation‘s programs. Remember, your future is yours to build, and with the right support, the sky’s the limit!

Bonus tip:

Don’t hesitate to reach out to local chapters of the 100BMA. They offer mentorship and guidance to help you navigate your career journey.

Black History Month is a reminder that anything is possible. So, dream big, explore your options and who knows, YOU might just be the next construction powerhouse shaping our future!

HBI, 100BMA and The Home Depot Foundation

HBI works with the Home Depot Foundation during Black History Month and EVERY month to provide solve the construction industry labor shortage. We provide programs including free training programs through HBI Academies, skill building workshops, work experience, internship opportunities and industry-recognized PACT certifications.

Click here to get our FREE info packet on our HBI Academies, packed with details on exciting resources, programs, training schedules, and how to get started in a career in construction for FREE!

Remember, you have the power to build your future, build your community and build upon a rich history of Black achievement. Join the movement, and let’s continue shaping the world, brick by brick.

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Contacts Us

Vice President of Workforce Training & Employment
Mario joined HBI as a Regional Career Development Coordinator of HBI’s Military Services in 2019 and was promoted to Associate Vice President of WTE Community & Corrections Programs in 2022.
Now serving as Vice president of WTE (2024), he oversees the daily operations of HBI’s WTE Community & Corrections, Military Services, & Academies programs, working with partners to advance HBI’s expansion and enhance job placement opportunities for graduates. Mario serves as the liaison between HBI and external stakeholders to include military installations. He ensures successful outcomes for HBI graduates from transitioning service members & veterans to justice involved adults & youths. Internally, he provides strategic operational perspective to HBI’s senior leadership team.
Prior to joining HBI, Mario served for 21 years in the U.S. Army across multiple locations globally & nationally and has an MBA from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN.
Mario resides in Tennessee with his wife and children and spends time in Texas where his mother, adult children, and grandchildren reside. He enjoys the outdoors and serving in his community. 
Executive Officer of the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Massachusetts

Joseph F. Landers, 71, is the Executive Officer of the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Massachusetts having assumed that role in 2018 with a mandate from the Board of Directors to harmonize the five MA local associations, increase communications from the state to the membership, increase the public profile of the association, create a path to financial stability and elevate the states lobbying efforts. Prior to taking on the challenging state association role, Joe was Chief Executive Officer and founder of Customized Structures Inc., a custom manufacturer of single-family, multi-family and commercial modular and panelized structures which began operations in 1984. Joe has been involved in the building industry, both site-built and factory-built, since 1973 and has worked in all phases of construction from development through design and production including on site management and sales. Customized Structures produced on average 330 single family homes per year, had an employee base as high as 180 and was known as the innovator in the production and design of modular components.


After the sale of Customized Structures Inc. to a private equity firm in 2003 Joe remained on the Board of Directors of the Company and functioned as a consultant to the CEO. He further took on the role of helping failing building systems companies return to profitability and successfully oversaw the sale of those companies. Mr. Landers has lectured frequently on the benefits and utilization of systems-built construction to building professionals around the country and has utilized his substantial professional and industry background to provide consultation services to both national and foreign companies interested in the processes and pitfalls of building and developing utilizing building systems components.

Joe attended Northeastern University and St. Anselm’s College graduating with a B.S. in 1972. 

Joe has been a member of the National Association of Home Builders since 1974. He is past president of two local Home Builders Associations and has served two terms as President of the  State of NH Home Builders Association. Joe is also a past president of the Modular Building  Systems Council of the NAHB, has been Chairman of the National Building Systems Council (BSC)  and has served five terms as a Trustee of the BSC during which time he created the BSC logo and  wrote the brochure “Most Frequently Asked Questions about Modular Homes”. 

In 1989, Joe received the National Pacesetter Award in recognition of his outstanding leadership  and contribution to the housing industry and in 1991 was awarded the title of Builder of the Year  by the Home Builders Association of N.H. In 1992 he was appointed by the Governor to the NH  Board of Fire Control within the Department of Safety and since then was reappointed three times.  He has served as a member on the State of New Hampshire Building Code Review Board and was  appointed by the Governor of NH to the Shore Land Protection Commission. Joe was selected to  receive the 2000 S. A. Walters Chairman’s Award, the premier award in the U.S. Systems Built  Housing Industry and was installed to the New Hampshire Housing Hall of Fame for his significant  and lasting contributions to the housing industry in the State of New Hampshire.  

Joe is a Senior Life Director of the National Association of Home Builders; he is served six terms on the NAHB Budget & Finance Committee serving as Vice Chair for four of those years, he has served  as Chairman of the Resolutions Committee, the International Housing Committee and the Building  Products Issues Committee of NAHB serving on the NAHB Executive Committee multiple times. 

In 2001 Joe was elected an Area Vice President of the National Association of Home Builders  representing builders through out the northeast. 

Joe is active in his community having served as finance chairmen of his church, is a member of the  International Order of Odd Fellows, and has served on multiple boards and committees on a  volunteer basis.  

Joe and his wife, Denise, reside in Plymouth, MA, they have two children, Jessica and Brad and two  grandchildren, Lily and Jack ages 13 and 11.

Seth Appleton
President of U.S. Mortgage Insurers

The Honorable Seth Appleton is President of U.S. Mortgage Insurers. In this role, he leads USMI’s efforts to enable sustainable access to affordable mortgage credit for borrowers while protecting taxpayers. Seth previously served as President of MISMO, the real estate finance industry’s standards organization. Prior to that, Seth served as the Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD),
a position for which he was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate. In addition to his service as Assistant Secretary, Seth concurrently served as the Principal Executive Vice President of Ginnie Mae, a government corporation guaranteeing the timely payment of
principal and interest on more than $2 trillion in mortgage-backed securities.

Before joining HUD, Seth worked on Capitol Hill, including serving as Chief of Staff for U.S. Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer for more than eight years. A native of Missouri, Seth is a graduate of Stanford University and is a co-chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Council.

Zach Harris Story Card - HBI Build Strong Academy New Orleans Graduate