Sunday, March 11, 2018

Home Depot Working Hard to Fill Construction Jobs

In the face of an ongoing shortage of skilled construction workers, The Home Depot Foundation has committed $50 million over the next 10 years to fund the training of 20,000 additional tradespeople.

A shortage of skilled labor in the building industry “has been the top business challenge for the last three years and will likely continue to be so,” said Robert Dietz, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, in an interview with Builder magazine in February.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of construction laborers and helpers is projected to grow 12% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. “Because of the large size of these combined occupations and their relatively high turnover, job prospects should be favorable,” according to the bureau’s Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Working through the Home Builders Institute (HBI), a homebuilding industry nonprofit organization, the foundation will support training programs for separating members of the military and veterans, as well as high school students and dropouts in underserved communities. Through the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia, advanced-level training in the building trades will be provided to residents of Atlanta’s Westside community.

Last year, The Home Depot Foundation partnered with the HBI to pilot a 12-week pre-apprenticeship certification program for separating military members on the Army bases at Fort Stewart in Georgia and Fort Bragg in North Carolina. The program, which was free to the service members, uses an industry-based curriculum recognized by the Department of Labor that integrates work-based learning with technical and academic skills. After achieving a job placement rate of more than 90%, the program will be rolled out to additional bases with the new funding.

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