By David Howard, HBI Chief Development Officer

HBI and the Home Depot Foundation recently announced a $50 million partnership to train 20,000 workers in the residential building and construction trades. Given the ambition and scale of this commitment, this effort is certainly unprecedented, not to mention timely, considering the current shortage of skilled labor in the building industry. Approximately, 160,000 jobs are currently unfilled in the construction trades and nearly six million openings are predicted by 2021. The industry clearly needs help getting trained tradespeople to fill positions. Our partnership will not only help bridge the gap, but it will also build careers and change lives for tens of thousands of military members and veterans.

What makes this commitment so inspiring is the opportunity for widespread and meaningful impact. Home Depot realized that a big problem calls for a big solution. For the past year or so, as the idea for this commitment was being shaped and re-shaped, the one constant was the intention to bring skills training to as many people as possible and place them in high-growth careers in the industry.

As this extraordinary commitment starts to bear fruit over the coming months and we see our first graduates beginning new jobs, we’ll hope that others will be inspired to confront today’s big challenges in the same way. If you’re a funder looking to support underserved populations, or if you’re a builder or subcontractor looking for workers, let us know how we can partner to place HBI graduates who are trained and ready to fill your positions.

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