Construction Organizations Commit Over $500,000 to Youth Trades Training Programs

Several major organizations are investing heavily in the construction workforce of the future, motivated by the skilled labor shortage facing the industry.

young man being trained on how to use a miter saw with instructor watching in backgroundmonkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

Late last week, the Home Builder’s Institute and the Home Depot Foundation announced that they are joining forces to commit up to $500,000 to pay for construction trade skills training for high school students in the U.S.. The philanthropic arm of the National Association of Home Builders, the National Housing Endowment, has also pledged an additional $200,000 to the effort.

“We fully understand the dire long-term outlook for the skilled labor shortage in the residential construction industry. At the same time, there are amazing opportunities for transformation in education that can help reduce the issue,” said Shannon Gerber, executive director of The Home Depot Foundation.

The funds will be used to provide curriculum to high school students that will take a hands-on approach to training them in skills that are essential in the construction trades. Students will be able to participate in these programs at no extra cost to them or their families. The grant will also be used to pay for instructor training and educational materials.

“Education and the construction industry continue to evolve and present new challenges and opportunities for the skilled trades workforce,” said Gerber. “This year is expected to hold pivotal moments for each sector, and we’re excited to help bring fresh trades opportunities to our youth, as well as be on the forefront of the positive changes to come.”

The Home Depot Foundation and the Home Builder’s Institute plan includes working with nearly 650 state and local home builders associations as part of a community outreach program that will communicate with teachers, parents, and students on how to introduce this curriculum into schools.

“It will be HBAs and their members who will help us coordinate directly with high schools in their communities to put these new funds to work,” said Ed Brady, HBI president and CEO.

This initiative is part of a $50 million partnership between THDF and HBI that launched in 2018 with the goal of training 20,000 tradespeople over 10 years. This initiative is in response to the worsening shortage of skilled labor in the construction industry, a shortage that has become a major concern for industry leaders in the past few years.

“The home building industry faces a skilled trades gap,” said Brady. “As a result, opportunities for well-paid, rewarding careers in residential construction are tremendous.”

Without industry leaders taking action and investing in the formation of a trained, skilled workforce, the health of the future construction industry will be in jeopardy. Initiatives like these are an essential step in showcasing the construction industry to young people as a viable career path and training them in the skills they will need to be successful in the field.