Tuesday, The Home Depot Foundation announced a new strategic partnership with Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) to provide introductory trades training experience and career education for young women.
According to a release, the Foundation and GSUSA will host the first-ever joint construction workshops for Cadette, Senior and Ambassador level Girl Scouts (8th – 12th grades). This pilot program, launching in Fall 2021, will engage troops throughout Atlanta, Denver and Houston, providing hands-on experience with carpentry and other building construction trades. These skilled trades workshops will be led by female industry professionals and will offer career guidance and additional education touchpoints for young women seeking trades training opportunities.
In 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported data showing only 11% of construction workers and 27% of architecture and engineering professionals are women. Furthermore, the National Association of Home Builders’ 2019 Builder Member Census shared just 9% of their members are women and less than 0.5% are Black.
“The statistics undoubtedly underline the imbalance of talent and roles held by women within the construction trade industry,” said Shannon Gerber, The Home Depot Foundation’s executive director. “We recognized a natural intersection between the mission of The Foundation’s Path to Pro program and GSUSA’s focus on highlighting a variety of career pathways, leading to the creation of this joint effort. We’re proud to introduce this next step on our journey to preparing youth for the skilled trades, and we’re especially grateful to help bridge the opportunity gap for young women.”
Earlier this month, the Foundation announced trades training partnerships with 100 Black Men of America, Inc. and The Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs (RICE) to focus on eliminating racial and social inequities through education and workforce development for Black youth and Black entrepreneurs.
The Home Depot Foundation will also extend scholarship opportunities to select high school senior Girl Scouts as part of its recently announced $250,000 Path to Pro scholarship program. This program grants financial assistance to eligible candidates for trade college or postsecondary programs. For more information on the Path to Pro scholarship program, visit https://www.myscholarship.app/home-depot-foundation.
“At Girl Scouts, we help girls discover who they want to be by introducing them to a wide variety of experiences to see what sparks their interest. From the very beginning, one of those experiences has been the skilled trades,” shared Suzanne Harper, senior director of national programs and partnerships. “We are thrilled to partner with The Home Depot Foundation to provide this innovative hands-on skilled trades experience that will allow girls to see themselves in these essential careers by connecting with role models to whom they can relate.”