WASHINGTON — July 30, 2019 — HBI (Home Builders Institute) officially opened its new skilled trades training program for transitioning service members in Norfolk on July 18. The cost-free, 12-week construction industry training, certification and job placement program allows active duty service members within 180 days of separation from the military to obtain critical training that enables them to pursue a civilian career in the skilled trades.
“Our standards and curriculum are designed and created by, what I think is one of our biggest strengths at the Home Builders Institute, professionals of the industry. Our instructors are industry professionals and our managers are industry professionals,” said Ed Brady, President and CEO of HBI, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new HBI facility. “[The curriculum and standards] give the skills and practical application needed to use the talents you possess to get on the site and be productive on day one.”
The Norfolk effort marks the seventh installation to join the collaboration between HBI and The Home Depot Foundation to train transitioning military members and other new tradespeople to help address the ongoing skilled labor shortage in the building industry. Fort Stewart, Fort Bragg, Fort Bliss, Fort Hood, Fort Carson and Jacksonville Naval Air Station currently have programs under way.
The skills training would not be possible without the community and students that are putting in the work. Throughout the program, service members spend 75% of their time in hands-on training, earn professional certifications, and receive job placement support so that they can find employment before their last day wearing a uniform.
Kelsey Peery, a current transitioning service member who is part of the first HBI Norfolk cohort, which graduates in August, spoke about how the program has impacted her life, as she prepares to join her husband – a sailor stationed in Sigonella, Italy. When speaking of the training, she said, “What I like most about this industry is that if one thing is not for you, something else may be for you. In the times we’ve thought ‘I don’t think I can do this,’ [the instructors] taught us and kept us on the right track.”
HBI is a national nonprofit that provides training, curriculum and job placement services for the building industry. With overall program job placement rates at over 85 percent for graduates, HBI training programs are taught in local communities across the country to at-risk youth, veterans, transitioning military members, justice-involved youth and adults, and displaced workers. Visit www.hbi.org for more information and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.
About The Home Depot Foundation
The Home Depot Foundation works to improve the homes and lives of U.S. veterans, train skilled tradespeople to fill the labor gap and support communities impacted by natural disasters. Since 2011, the Foundation has invested more than $315 million in veteran causes and improved more than 45,000 veteran homes and facilities in 4,300 cities. In 2018, the Foundation pledged an additional $250 million to veteran causes taking the total commitment to half of a billion dollars by 2025.