September is Workforce Development Month and The Home Depot is proud to highlight the Path to Pro program. Path to Pro provides skilled trades resources, trades training and career networking opportunities through PathtoPro.com, the Skills Program and the Network.
Brandon Williams is a residential contractor who participated in the Skills Program and joined the Path to Pro Network to secure his first skilled trades job.
Brandon always knew he wanted to get into the trades, but it wasn’t until he discovered Path to Pro that he realized the career opportunity. As a child, he participated in Kids Workshops. “Growing up, I loved building things,” he reminisces. “Path to Pro gave me the option to learn and see if that’s what I wanted to do [as a career].”
With a mix of online trades training and real-world exposure, Path to Pro laid the foundation for Brandon’s career. “I knew some skills for hobby work, but for an actual job, I wasn’t fully trained, and it [Path to Pro] put me in a position where I could get trained,” Brandon explains. “Being able to work at your own pace and learn in your own time was probably one the best parts.”
He was quickly contacted by a potential employer through the Path to Pro Network, and that's when his journey into the skilled trades truly began. “I’d been looking for something in this profession for months before I learned about Path to Pro, and most employers want someone with experience. Path to Pro really helped with that.”
On his very first day, Brandon found himself diving into a bathroom demolition project alongside his supervisor, who showed him the ropes along the way. Brandon found that this hands-on training made a world of difference. “Every day, and this is the part I love about my job, there’s something new.”
As the Skills Program expands to Spanish, Brandon is eager to share the opportunity, especially with his colleagues he works closely with and who speak Spanish.
Looking to the future, Brandon is set on making a mark in the skilled trades. “Eventually, I would love to run my own company. I’d love to do what she [supervisor] did for me – hire new people, teach them and set that path forward." When asked if he could see himself hiring through the Path to Pro Network in the future, Brandon exclaimed, “One hundred percent! I wouldn’t really be here right now if it weren’t for Path to Pro.”
“Honestly, the biggest thing I can say is thank you,” said Brandon. I love being able to go to work every day doing what I love, and I wouldn’t be able to do that without Path to Pro.”
Since its inception, Path to Pro has had more than 8,000 people register for the Skills Program. 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.
Those interested in learning more about careers in the skilled trades can visit PathtoPro.com.