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The National Housing Endowment’s Skilled Labor Fund recently received a grant from The Home Depot Foundation and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) to help train 1,400 skilled workers in the building and construction trades. The grant will help support the “Schools to Skills” training program, providing necessary classrooms, tools, and equipment, as well as OSHA 10 certifications and on-site training for 16-18 year-olds enrolled in high school across nine states.

“Current projections indicate that by 2030 we will lose 41% of the skilled laborers we need to continue the work that is so mission-critical to the success of NAHB, NKBA [National Kitchen & Bath Association], and NARI [National Association of the Remodeling Industry] members,” Home Builders Institute (HBI) CEO Ed Brady said. “If we’re going to make a difference and reverse this trend, it’ll take a united industry all coming together to solve this problem, and ensure the next generation of skilled workers is on its way — ready and able to do the important jobs that keep our world moving forward.”

The Skilled Labor Fund was founded in 2017 to fund trade school scholarships and alleviate labor shortages. As the shortage of skilled workers in the construction industry continues to grow, efforts from initiatives such as the Skilled Labor Fund have become more important in encouraging younger individuals to consider careers in the trades. NAHB chairman Chuck Fowke said the grant provided to the Skilled Labor Fund will help bridge the gap for young people to help see construction trades jobs as “a gateway to a successful career free from the burden of student loan debt.”

“While we know the skilled labor gap continues to grow and affect the residential construction industry, nationwide, we’re encouraged by these efforts from The Skilled Labor Funda,” Heather Prill, senior manager of strategic partnerships at The Home Depot Foundation, said. “The Foundation has been working very closely with HBI over the last few years to train skilled tradespeople and we look forward to working with The Skilled Labor Fund to bring new opportunities to the future of the construction industry.”