On May 4, the Home Depot Foundation will announce the recipients of six scholarships totaling $30,000 in support of high school seniors entering the skilled trades industry. The scholarships will cover each student's trade school tuition, with each student receiving up to $5,000.
Similar to National Signing Day events for high school student athletes, the May 4 event celebrates and applauds seniors as they announce their career plans and sign "letters of intent" for a job offer, apprenticeship or advanced technical training. Over 10,000 students and their supporters across the nation will participate in signing day festivities via "SkillsUSA CONNECT," SkillsUSA's new virtual platform.
"National Signing Day 2021 provides a timely moment to highlight the nearly 300,000 open careers across the construction trades in our country, along with the advantages of joining the industry," said Shannon Gerber, executive director of the Home Depot Foundation.
This year marks the first time Home Depot participated as a regional sponsor for National Signing Day and the first year the Home Depot Foundation provided scholarships to celebrate students entering the skilled trades. Home Depot, along with supplier partner Klein Tools, are delivering gear, pizza and even a virtual appearance from football star Jimmy Garoppolo and his father, Tony, as the two companies come together to embrace the next generation of talent.
For the inaugural Signing Day in 2019, Home Depot teamed up with Klein Tools to help equip students with Klein Tools apprentice tool sets. These tools provided students with necessities to launch their careers in the trades.
"Efforts like SkillsUSA’s National Signing Day and our Path to Pro trades training program help drive awareness and motivate interest around the construction trades," said Gerber. "We believe that providing access to industry-recognized certifications, necessary tools and relevant information on the benefits of this growing trade, will help foster a healthy pipeline into the residential roofing industry."
With oversight to much of the Southeast, including Home Depot’s Atlanta headquarters and 11 other territories, Home Depot and Klein Tools are building upon the program’s momentum as they look to engage and support students pursuing careers in the construction trades. In 2018, the Home Depot Foundation launched its trades training program and mission to help fill the growing skilled labor gap.