Pearson and its Connections Academy, the fully online public school programme serving K-12 students for more than 20 years, recently announced its partnership with The Home Depot’s Path to Pro program to introduce high school students to careers in the trade industry. As part of the collaboration, Connections Academy will connect high school students, their families and recent graduates to The Home Depot’s Path to Pro program. The initiative includes the Path to Pro Skills Program, offering on-demand courses designed to prepare participants for six trade-based careers, including electrical, drywall, paint, plumbing, HVAC and general construction.
Interested students explore free programmes developed by construction specialists. Once qualified, individuals can build a free Path to Pro Network profile to showcase their talents, post a resume, apply for over 2,500 positions, and connect with millions of Home Depot Pro customers searching for skilled workers.
According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, these professional contractors are part of the construction industry in the United States, which must fill almost three-quarters of a million jobs each year owing to retirements, job changes, and other kinds of turnover. This sector is expected to add another 250,000 employees that usually offer family-sustaining wages in less than a decade.
To help build the next generation of trade professionals to fill this gap with qualified talent, Connections Academy and The Home Depot’s Path to Pro program will:
- Introduce students to countless rewarding careers in the trades;
- Deliver the valuable training and education they need to realize these careers and
- Connect them to trade professionals looking to hire early talent.
Speaking about the initiative, Pearson Virtual Schools VP for Careers, Casey Welch, said:
At Pearson’s Connections Academy, we want to meet our students where they are, whether they wish to attend college or go immediately into the labour market, as a growing number have told us that they would like to pursue alternative pathways and more direct routes to employment after high school. The Home Depot’s Path to Pro program is an excellent fit because it provides high school students early pathways to training and education in rewarding fields. The connections and relationship building in the industry will be a win for those looking to enter the labour market – not to mention for the many professional contractors that need to find a new generation of talent.
The partnership is the first of its kind with a learning company for The Home Depot. It is the first corporate employer partnership in Connections Academy’s recently announced expanded college and career readiness offerings for middle and high school students. The initiatives offer an innovative new tri-credit approach where courses can deliver high school credit, industry-recognized micro-credentials, and eligibility for college credit toward over 150 US bachelor’s degree programs.
Supported by Pearson, Connections Academy is a tuition-free virtual public school that provides students in grades K-12 with the skills and confidence they need to adapt and thrive in today’s changing world. The platform offers students a one-of-a-kind, well-rounded education experience that allows each child to learn how they learn best, thanks to a curriculum designed by experts and delivered by teachers who are specially trained to teach online.
Pearson is the world’s leading learning organization, providing customers with digital content, tests, credentials, and analytics in nearly 200 countries. The company believes every learning opportunity is a chance for a personal breakthrough. That is why Pearson’s 20,000 employees are dedicated to developing vivid and enriching learning experiences with real-world impact.
The Home Depot has enrolled nearly 9,000 people in the Path to Pro Skills programme and more than 13,800 in the Path to Pro Network. Connections Academy will share Path to Pro with 4,000 students and families this school year with plans to expand to Connections Academy schools nationwide in the future.