The Home Depot Foundation invests in skilled trades training for natural disaster response

The Home Depot Foundation

A new grant from The Home Depot Foundation will help boost training efforts for skilled tradespeople to rebuild after natural disasters.

The home improvement retailer is granting $1 million to its veteran-led disaster response partner Team Rubicon to build a new trades training program. Through the "TRades Academy," Team Rubicon will provide its students with on-the-job training in carpentry, electrical, plumbing and HVAC as they rebuild homes in communities impacted by natural disasters.

"We're proud to invest in the TRades Academy to help train skilled tradespeople, embed trades specialists in vulnerable communities and further scale the incredible work of Team Rubicon's volunteers after disasters," said Erin Izen, executive director of The Home Depot Foundation. "Programs like this allow The Home Depot to help fill the skilled labor gap and provide Pros access to qualified candidates."

The Home Depot Foundation has partnered with Team Rubicon since 2012 to provide immediate disaster response and long-term disaster recovery to communities in need. With the support of the foundation and Team Depot, The Home Depot's associate volunteer force, Team Rubicon rebuilds homes and serves communities devastated by hurricanes and tornadoes. 

While working to rebuild homes, Team Rubicon experienced challenges in finding trained professionals available to provide long-term recovery and rebuild support for families following disasters. Skilled trade graduates will be properly equipped to work with general contractors and nonprofit organizations, addressing the skilled trades gap and broadening support after natural disasters.

"In 2023, a disaster causing a billion dollars in damage happened every 13 days on average, and each affected community also experienced a shortage of qualified labor. There simply aren't enough skilled tradespeople to help communities rebuild and recover after disaster strikes," said Art DelaCruz, CEO of Team Rubicon. "The Home Depot Foundation's investment in the TRades Academy will help empower our dedicated veteran and civilian graduates to serve communities impacted by natural disasters in a new capacity while helping to fill the skilled labor gap."

Since 2011, The Home DepotFoundation has invested more than $500 million in veteran causes and improved more than 60,000 veteran homes and facilities. The foundation has pledged to invest $750 million in veteran causes by 2030 and $50 million in training the next generation of skilled tradespeople through its Path to Pro program by 2028.

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