Home Depot Awards $50 Million and Helps Vocational Education

The Home Builder Institute was recently the recipient of a $50 million grant, given by the Home Depot Foundation (HDF) to train 20,000 new skilled workers over the next 10 years. The Institute’s president, John Courson, says the home improvement giant’s generosity could further galvanize the “rebirth” of vocational training in secondary schools. 

Already, the Home Builder Institute produces about 5,000 skilled workers every year, Courson says. The Institute focuses on training many trades—carpentry, masonry, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, painting—to underserved and adjudicated youth, ex-offenders and veterans re-entering civilian life. But that’s not all the curriculum touches. 

“We also license out our programs to high schools,” Courson says. It’s an approach that allows HBI to expand its training without having to build additional training centers. “About 3,000 students a year currently benefit from it.” 

Home Depot's grant will help HBI grow those numbers.

BY JAMES F. MCCLISTER

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