TORONTO—In an effort to combat youth homelessness, the Home Depot Canada Foundation recently launched TradeWorx, a program designed to create opportunities for career education and skilled trades training.
Thanks to an initial $1 million investment from the foundation, 100 Canadian youth who have experienced homelessness or barriers to employment will receive the training and social supports necessary to work in the trades.
Youth make up approximately 20 per cent of the homeless population in Canada and these numbers have only grown during the pandemic, indicates a release, adding BuildForce Canada forecasts the construction industry will need to recruit more than 307,000 workers over the decade to keep pace with demand.
The employment social enterprise model will include initial partnerships with 10 community organizations across the country including Blue Door (Ontario), Quint (Build Up Saskatoon) (Saskatchewan), Building Up (Ontario), Choices for Youth (Newfoundland), Community Builders (Ontario), Durham Youth Services (Ontario), Labour Education Centre (Ontario), Newo Global Energy (Alberta), Purpose Construction (Manitoba) and The RAFT (Ontario).
“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,” said Pamela O’Rourke, board chair of the Home Depot Canada Foundation and vice-president of merchandising with the Home Depot Canada, in a statement. “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.”