The Construction Education Foundation of Georgia has announced a three-year, $5.7 million commitment from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, the Home Depot Foundation, and the Marcus Foundation to address the skills gap in the construction trades.
Made through a joint partnership established by the foundations, the grant will enable CEFGA to expand its K-12 program across Georgia and create a model to address the nation's need for skilled workers in the construction trades. To that end, CEFGA will work to increase the number of elementary and middle school construction programs and double the number of industry-certified high school construction programs in the state, expose more than twenty-one thousand students to a career in the construction trades, and place at least thirty-five hundred students into work-based learning and full-time employment opportunities in the industry.
"I've been concerned for a number of years that students have been told that if they don't get a college education they can't succeed," said Bernie Marcus, who co-founded Home Depot with Arthur Blank and chairs the Marcus Foundation. "It's not true. And it hasn't been true since I was a kid. Many people have been successful after learning a trade. It helps make the world 'work.' Our country has grown and prospered because of electricians, plumbers, and all kinds of construction workers in every generation. Having a skill in a trade today can lead to a great job, no college debt, and the ability to provide for a family."
"We are grateful to these industry leaders for addressing the very real problem of the workforce skills gap facing the construction industry," said CEFGA president and CEO Scott Shelar. "This watershed funding effort will make a significant impact on students across the state, while simultaneously helping industry partners see tangible results as more skilled professionals join the workforce."