The Home Depot Foundation just announced that it has partnered with the Home Builders Institute (HBI) to train 20,000 new skilled workers over the next 10 years. HBI, the educational arm of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), educational arm, trains separating military members, high school students and at-risk youth for careers in the skilled trades.

“We want to bring shop class back from coast to coast,” said Shannon Gerber, executive director of the Home Depot Foundation. “We’re thrilled to train 20,000 next generation plumbers, electricians, carpenters and beyond.”

Certainly, this HBI and Home Depot Foundation training program will go a long way in terms of putting a dent into the drastic shortage of skilled workers that has plagued in the construction industry since the Housing Crisis in 2008.

The Home Depot Foundation and HBI joined together last year for the first time. The two organizations developed a pilot trade-training program for military members and launched it in both Fort Stewart, Georgia and Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Now, one year later, students at the two locations are set to graduate from this 12-week pre-apprenticeship certificate program at the end of March.

This pre-apprenticeship certificate program uses an industry-based curriculum model recognized by the Department of Labor that integrates work-based learning along with technology and academic skills. The program is tuition free to all students.

In addition to the training program, the HBI has a job placement component. Its job placement success rate? A whooping +90%!!!

John Courson, CEO of the HBI, said, “Our program prepares men and women for high-growth careers in the construction industry after leaving military services. With over 200,000 service members separating from the military every year, our partnership with the Home Depot Foundation enables us to serve more veterans and youth across the country.”

Congratulations to all the students, HBI instructors and the Home Depot Foundation for taking charge and making good things happen in peoples’ lives and in the home building industry.