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The Home Depot Foundation Invests $1 Million To Train Skilled Tradespeople To Rebuild Communities After Disasters

The Home Depot Foundation Invests $1 Million To Train Skilled Tradespeople To Rebuild Communities After Disasters

Published 03-28-24

Submitted by The Home Depot

A person cutting some wood using a machine

Originally published on Built From Scratch

To further extend its mission of training the next generation of skilled tradespeople, The Home Depot Foundation 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. Once trained, graduates will be equipped to work with general contractors and nonprofit organizations, addressing the skilled trades gap in these communities 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, chief executive officer 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.”

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 has been rebuilding homes and serving 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.

“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.”

In the U.S., there are more than 400,000 open construction jobs today, a number that is only growing. Through the Path to Pro Program, The Home Depot Foundation offers free training opportunities and scholarships to introduce youth, underserved communities and separating U.S. military servicemembers to meaningful careers in plumbing, carpentry, electrical and HVAC. Additionally, The Home Depot connects skilled tradespeople to construction job openings and offers free, virtual classes on careers in the trades. For more information, visit

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