NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — In a small ceremony in Norfolk, Monique Henry, a 16-year Navy veteran, received her certificates in green building, carpentry and electrical core completion.
As part of the Home Depot Foundation, the Home Builder Institute is a no-cost trades training program that helps veterans transition by teaching them a trade.
Despite being set to retire from the Navy, Henry said she still wanted to work.
“I always thought that I was going to get out of the military, get my little retirement check, and go overseas and just chill and relax,” Henry said. “But now I’m like, ‘Nah, I still want to work. Like, I’m still young.'”
Steve Kelley works for the Home Builders Institute and said that they can train anyone with the desire to learn the trade.
“They need to have no prerequisite skills, we give them everything they need,” Kelley said. “It teaches basic carpentry the first six weeks and basic electricity the second six weeks. At the conclusion of that, the organization provides them with a tool bag and, most importantly, we find them employment anywhere in United States.”
Henry is most likely going to end up with Virginia Power, Kelley said, and they are working to make that happen.
“We’re short of tradesmen so Home Depot foundation has provided $50 million over a 10-year period to place 20,000 veterans, and transitioning folks into the trades to kind of make up the gap,” Kelley said.
Henry isn’t the only one taking advantage of this program as her fellow graduates will also be able to use these new skills in future profession.
“There is a great many avenues that a person can take from the school to work in the trades,” Kelley said.
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