Home Depot quadruples support of Historically Black College and Universities

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
home depot
The Home Depot will increase its investment in HBCUs to $4 million in 2023

The Home Depot is expanding its support of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and offering students the chance to work on real-world projects at the company.

The home improvement giant will increase its investment in HBCUs to $4 million in 2023 by launching an expanded range of community projects and career resources for students in its Retool Your School program. Half of the company’s increased commitment will prepare HBCU students to thrive in their future careers with new needs-based programs including externships, scholarships, career workshops and innovation lounges.

The other $2 million will double the flagship Retool Your School Campus Improvement Grant, which provides grants to HBCUs supporting campus enhancements. In its 14-year history, the program has given more than $5.2 million across 184 HBCUs. The vote-based grant is expected to support 30 campuses this year with grants ranging from $40,000 to $150,000 per school.

"We're strengthening our commitment to HBCUs and their students, from educational enrichment to career development opportunities that will follow them long after graduation," said Arlette Guthrie, senior VP of human resources at The Home Depot.

As part of the expanded career-development offerings, The Home Depot is partnering with the United Negro College Fund to award 60 scholarships ($2,500 each) to students currently enrolled at any HBCU.  In addition, a new business externship will give HBCU sophomores, juniors and seniors the chance to work on real-world projects in Home Depot business groups such as home services, marketing and strategic business development.

At the end of the six-to-eight-week virtual program, the students will present their final projects to Home Depot executives. The funding will also support the creation of on-campus innovation lounges and resume and interview workshops led by Home Depot career development experts. 

Retool Your School is a key component of The Home Depot's diversity, equity and inclusion strategy, and its commitment to advancing education for all in the community, the company said.

The Home Depot is the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer. At the end of the third quarter of fiscal year 2022, the company operated a total of 2,319 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico.

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