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THE HOME DEPOT QUADRUPLES COMMITMENT TO HBCUs

Gaby M. Rojas

The Home Depot will increase its investment in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to $4 million in 2023 by launching an expanded range of community projects and career resources for students in its Retool Your School program.

Half of The Home Depot’s increased commitment will prepare HBCU students to thrive in their future careers with new needs-based programs including externships, scholarships, career workshops and innovation lounges. The other $2 million will double the flagship Retool Your School Campus Improvement Grant, which provides grants to HBCUs supporting campus enhancements. In its 14-year history, the program has given more than $5.2 million across 184 HBCUs.

The vote-based Retool Your School Campus Improvement Grant is expected to support 30 campuses this year with grants ranging from $40,000 to $150,000 per school. HBCU students, alumni and advocates can vote for their favorite HBCUs online, on Twitter or Instagram using the school’s designated hashtag found at retoolyourschool.com. Applications are currently open and close February 10th.

“We’re strengthening our commitment to HBCUs and their students, from educational enrichment to career development opportunities that will follow them long after graduation,” says Arlette Guthrie, senior vice president of human resources at The Home Depot. “As a proud HBCU graduate myself, I value the education I received and have personally experienced the diversity of thought and innovation that HBCU students bring to the workforce.”

As part of the expanded career-development offerings, The Home Depot is partnering with the United Negro College Fund to award 60 $2,500 scholarships to students currently enrolled at any HBCU. In addition, a new business externship will give HBCU sophomores, juniors and seniors the chance to work on real-world projects in Home Depot business groups like home services, marketing and strategic business development. At the end of the six-to-eight-week virtual program, they’ll present their final projects to Home Depot executives. The funding will also support the creation of on-campus innovation lounges and resume and interview workshops led by Home Depot career development experts. Retool Your School is a key component of The Home Depot’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategy, and our commitment to advancing education for all in the community. To drive meaningful change, the company’s DEI strategy focuses on three areas: associate engagement, community engagement and supplier diversity partnerships. For more information on The Home Depot’s Retool Your School program, including information on how to apply for scholarships and other grants, visit retoolyourschool.com.

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