Home Depot commits $50M to create trade jobs and secure its future
Home Depot says it will invest $50 million to train 20,000 tradespeople over the next 10 years in order to fill a growing shortage of construction and other trade workers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 158,000 construction sector jobs in the U.S. are currently unfilled — a number expected to climb significantly as tradespeople retire over the next decade. The ratio of construction job openings to hires, as measured by the Department of Labor, is at its highest level since 2007.
Home Depot estimates sales to plumbers and other tradespeople make up about 40 percent of the company’s revenue.
“It’s important that we support the trades,” Home Depot CEO Craig Menear told USA Today. “Not only do we sell product to professionals like plumbers and electricians,” but the company also partners with services that install kitchen flooring, hot water heaters and other equipment in households.
The commitment builds on a training program launched by Home Depot last year designed to help military members transition out of the service in partnership with Home Builders Institute, the industry’s education arm, at Ft. Stewart and Ft. Bragg.
The Home Depot Foundation will also be establishing an advanced level trades training program in partnership with the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia (CEFGA) for residents of Atlanta’s Westside community. Over the next 10 years, the Foundation will expand training support to include the broader veteran community as well as underserved high schools across the U.S. The Home Depot program is expected to increase the number of graduates who receive certificates by 2,000 a year for the next decade, or nearly 60 percent.
On February 28, Lowe’s announced the introduction of Track to the Trades, an internal initiative that will offer financial assistance and counseling to employees who want to pursue trade careers. The move likewise addresses the tight U.S. labor market’s impact on both construction industries, but also a lean job market at retail. Employees will receive up to $2,500 in upfront tuition funding from Lowe’s to gain a certification and serve as a pre-apprentice in a choice of a number of trade careers.
- Home Depot to donate $50M to train construction workers, address severe shortage – Home Depot
- Home Depot to donate $50M to train construction workers, address severe shortage – USA Today
- Lowe’s using pre-apprenticeship program to attract top talent – RetailWire
- Lowe’s Commits To Developing Future Skilled Trades Workforce With New Employee Pre-Apprenticeship Program – Lowe’s/PRNewswire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What benefits do you see from Home Depot’s $50 million commitment to create trade jobs? Is this type of training aimed at potential customers applicable to other sectors of retailing?