ATLANTA, August 28, 2023 –The Home Depot Foundation announced an incremental investment of more than $6 million in skilled trades training and launched new strategic partnerships to address the nearly 400,000 job openings across the construction industry. With these philanthropic grants, the Foundation’s Path to Pro program launched a brand new entrepreneurship program and will provide free, skilled trades training and scholarships for more veterans, military families, high school students and separating service members.
To serve aspiring entrepreneurs within the skilled trades industry, The Home Depot Foundation is partnering with Bunker Labs to introduce an entrepreneurship program designed to guide U.S. military veterans and military spouses through the process of establishing a successful business foundation. During the 8-week program, participants will gain industry-specific mentorship, learn about market segmentation, how to address specific customer profiles and design a business plan for launch. The program’s virtual offering makes it accessible to participants nationwide.
The Foundation is also expanding its Path to Pro scholarship program with grants to SkillPointe Foundation, its partner since 2021, and through a new partnership with Folds of Honor. Military scholarships through Folds of Honor extend financial support to qualifying veterans and military family members entering or enrolled in accredited skilled trade schools.
“We’re expanding our current training programs and creating new avenues to steadily fill the country’s skilled labor gap with in-demand talent,” said The Home Depot Foundation’s executive director, Shannon Gerber. “Diversifying our approach with additional entrepreneurship and scholarship programs helps ensure we’re reaching more communities with free training opportunities and creating sustainable change for the industry.”
The Home Depot Foundation extended its grant to long-time partner Home Builders Institute to broaden its Path to Pro high school and military programs. The two organizations will continue to provide no-cost PACT curriculum certification for more than 1,200 separating military members annually, 11th and 12th grade students and Title 1 schools nationwide.
The Home Depot Foundation’s skilled trades training program, Path to Pro, launched in 2018 with 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 Foundation’s trades-focused partnerships have introduced more than 200,000 people to the skilled trades and have trained more than 41,000 participants through programming available to youth, high school students, underserved communities and separating U.S. military.
Beyond the Foundation’s work in this area, The Home Depot’s Path to Pro Network connects skilled tradespeople to professional contractors and job openings. The Path to Pro Network has introduced more than 12,000 jobseekers to millions of The Home Depot’s Pro customers nationwide and has provided exclusive access to more than 2,200 jobs. For more information and to find skilled trades resources available in English and Spanish, visit PathtoPro.com.