The Home Depot Foundation and its trades training nonprofit partner, Home Builders Institute (HBI), are launching a strategic partnership with 100 Black Men of America, Inc. to increase skilled trades training and career opportunities for Black youth.
This fall, the three organizations will launch a pilot trades training program serving marginalized communities across Atlanta, Philadelphia and San Francisco. The program will offer skill building workshops, work experience, internship opportunities and industry-recognized PACT certifications. The programs are set to prepare Black youth for meaningful careers and will be facilitated through 100 Black Men of America’s existing afterschool programs.
Additionally, The Home Depot Foundation activated a novel partnership with its hometown nonprofit partner, Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs (RICE). RICE is driven by community impact and devoted to empowering Black entrepreneurs and small business owners. The Foundation will provide construction support for an outdoor creativity space at the RICE facility called, “The Yard.”
"As we work to fill the nearly 300,000 open career opportunities across the skilled trades industry, we have to continue advocating for the inclusion of diverse talent," said Shannon Gerber, executive director of The Home Depot Foundation. “The Foundation is energized to team up with Home Builders Institute, 100 Black Men of America, Inc. and The Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs to focus on eliminating racial and social inequities through education and workforce development programs.”
Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2020 shows that skilled labor industries are dominated by white males, while Black people and women are disproportionately underrepresented. Black tradespeople represent only six percent of the construction, architecture and engineering workforces.
“We are thrilled to receive this generous grant from Home Depot. This investment will help us expand our youth workforce and career readiness initiatives with a specific focus on the building trades that are so vital to the economic recovery,” said Chuck Baker, chairman of the board, 100 Black Men of the Bay Area.
“The most important thing we will achieve through this partnership is to give young people a chance to work hard at work worth doing,” said Tadar Muhammad, HBI’s senior vice president for strategic partnerships and development. “We know that when our students acquire marketable trade skills, we give them a shot at improving every element of their lives and the lives around them.”
Recently, The Home Depot Foundation introduced its $250,000 Path to Pro scholarship program and granted $30,000 in scholarships to celebrate the students of SkillsUSA’s National Signing Day. Both efforts were established to train the next generations of skilled tradespeople. For more information on the Path to Pro scholarship program, visit www.myscholarship.app/home-depot-foundation.