Funding Available to Bring Shop Class Back to Schools

Workforce Development

The Home Builders Institute (HBI) has expanded its trades training programs into secondary schools across the country with the support of The Home Depot Foundation and the National Housing Endowment.

The Schools to Skills Grant provides funding to implement HBI’s nationally recognized Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT) curriculum, advancing the CTE or construction trades programs at secondary schools nationwide. The two-year grant program is offered to students at no cost. Students in the PACT program will:

  • Learn basic construction trade fundamentals
  • Develop hands-on technical skills working on projects
  • Learn how to succeed in the skilled trades as a career and as an alternative to college

“The decision to apply for this grant is a no-brainer,” said Ed Brady, HBI’s president and CEO. “It’s a quick and easy application, with no need for a grant writer. And if a school wants to bring back what we used to call ‘shop class,’ School to Skills is the ticket.”

The program is one of only three national curricula recognized and approved by the U.S. Department of Labor and many state departments of education. PACT is designed to be a hands-on, competency-based curriculum and is aligned with the STEM educational model — a curriculum based on discipline areas increasingly prominent in the modern workforce, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

“For young women and men who like the idea of a good-paying job after graduation but may not want to go on to four years of college, gaining a valuable trade skill promises great opportunities,” said Brady. “Home builders are looking for smart, hard-working, and ambitious team members. Best of all, they’re willing to pay them well.”

If you or your local home builders’ association works with a local high school, encourage them to apply for Schools to Skills Grant funding by visiting

The deadline is Dec. 10, 2021. Grant funding will be provided starting Fall 2022.

For questions, contact Tracy MacMaster.

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