Home Depot donates $50 million to fix construction shortage

As the construction labor shortage continues to hold back new home construction and even worsen the current housing inventory shortage, Home Depot announced its plan to help resolve the shortage.

The company announced Thursday it plans to donate $50 million to train 20,000 new construction workers over the next 10 years, according to an article by Paul Davidson for USA Today.

The company announced it will train veterans, current Army soldiers who will soon retire into civilian life, high school students and disadvantaged youth. The funding for this training at Home Builders Institute, the industry’s education arm, will come from the Home Depot Foundation.

From the article:

“It’s important that we support the trades,” Home Depot CEO Craig Menear said in an interview. “Not only do we sell product to professionals like plumbers and electricians,” but the company also partners with service providers that install kitchen flooring, hot water heaters and other equipment in consumers’ homes.

Currently, the Home Builders Institute trains about 3,500 workers a year on funds received from the U.S. Labor Department, according to the article. But with the new funding it receives from Home Depot, that number will increase by nearly 60%, or 2,000 per year. As HBI CEO John Courson puts it, it will take the institute to a whole new level with a partner and a stable funding source.

And the construction industry is looking up in 2018. New construction homes started the year with a strong pace in 2018, and are on track for the best year since the housing crisis, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

And builder confidence in future sales expectations reached a new post-recession high in February, according to a report from the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo.

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