Home Depot Canada launches program to help youth experiencing homelessness establish careers in skilled trades

Initial $1 million commitment provides one hundred youth with trades training and social supports
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TORONTO, Sept. 27, 2021 – The Home Depot Canada Foundation announced today the launch of TradeWorx, a new targeted investment to combat youth homelessness by creating opportunities for career education and skilled trades training.  

Through its initial $1 million investment, one hundred Canadian youth who have experienced homelessness or barriers to employment will receive the training and social supports necessary to work in the skilled trades.

“TradeWorx builds upon our work with community partners that provide emergency housing and social supports for youth, by connecting them with the training needed to establish lasting careers and acquire stable housing. We’ve invested heavily in research and housing initiatives over the last eight years and we know helping to break the cycle of youth homelessness requires an integrated approach, which we’re proud to start building with leading partners in this sector.”

Pamela O’Rourke, VP of merchandising, The Home Depot Canada.

Youth make up approximately 20 per cent of the homeless population in Canada, and these numbers have only grown during the pandemic. Furthermore, in the construction industry alone, Buildforce Canada forecasts that the industry will need to recruit more than 307,000 workers over the decade to keep pace with demand. Combining a trade training program that offers critical social supports with increased demand for skilled labour in the trades, TradeWorx is working to ensure that youth seeking employment have all they need to thrive in their chosen trade.

The employment social enterprise model will include initial partnerships with ten community organizations across Canada: Blue Door (Construct) (Ontario), Quint (Build Up Saskatoon)* (Saskatchewan), Building Up (Ontario), Choices for Youth (Impact Constructions) (Newfoundland), Community Builders* (Ontario), Durham Youth Services (Construct)* (Ontario), Labour Education Centre* (Ontario), Newo Global Energy* (Alberta), Purpose Construction* (Manitoba), The RAFT (Fresh Paint) (Ontario).

To-date, The Home Depot Canada Foundation has invested more than $42 million in support of preventing and ending youth homelessness in Canada, including investing in research, housing and life skills development programs.

The Home Depot Canada Foundation is a Canadian registered charity that is committed to preventing and ending youth homelessness in Canada. Since 2009, the Foundation invested more than $42 million and worked together with community partners across the country, to remove barriers, break cycles of inequity, and enable youth at-risk of or experiencing homelessness to achieve positive development outcomes and build brighter futures. For more information, visit: www.homedepot.ca/foundation.

*Funding provided through Blue Door.

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