Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 30

'It feels good to know that we're investing in
a meaningful program to help the men and
women who have given so much to our country.'
-Heather Prill, senior manager of strategic partnerships
for The Home Depot Foundation

The Home Depot's partnership with the Home Builders
Institute not only helps veterans to make the transition
into the next phase of their lives but also addresses a key
need for more carpenters, plumbers, HVAC technicians
and electrical workers.

"I heard about a new pilot program for measure
technicians with The Home Depot. I was hired in
Texas, and everything fell into place," Keyes says.
He premeasures for the installation of customer
doors and windows, tracks orders and troubleshoots
installation problems.
"It's a great job with growing responsibility, and
the HBI gave me great preparation. I gained confidence and had multiple opportunities to interview,"
he says.

Building a career
Celina Wojnar feels lucky that Atlanta-based
Choate Construction came to recruit from her
HBI class.
"Knowing it was one of the largest construction
companies in the Southeast, I asked to talk to
them, was offered an internship and then a job,"
Wojnar says.
As a military spouse, she was eligible for the
HBI program through the Army's Soldier for Life
program, which helps families who are leaving the
military. Her husband, Keith Wojnar, a former Army
Blackhawk mechanic/flight instructor, was leaving
the military and was hired by Gulfstream Co.
"I was in and out of college for two years but
didn't really know what I wanted to do," Celina
Wojnar says. "But I was always super crafty, and I

30

Georgia Magazine

November 2019

loved the outside, so why not try construction?"
She had been intimidated by power tools, but
she learned to use them.
"The program was 80 percent hands-on, and
now I can think my way through almost any project
around the house. I enjoy feeling able," she says.
At Choate, Wojnar works as a carpenter and assists the
safety manager. She wants to move into safety management.
"There is such a need for skilled labor, and the jobs are wellpaid," Wojnar says. "I would encourage any woman to try it."
Gerber says that the challenge is to help people understand
that the skilled trades lead to high-paid and satisfying careers.
"You can even get your education while working, instead
of accumulating college debt, and go on to become a business
owner," Gerber says.
The Home Depot Foundation also is taking that message
to high schools and residents in Atlanta's Westside community.
It has partnered with CEFGA (Construction Education Foundation of Georgia) to deliver the Construction Ready Plus program
to give workers the advanced skills needed to move into
management.
The HBI also is placing more programs in high schools.
"We want to educate students, principals and parents that
the skills trades can lead to rewarding, high-paying careers,"
Brady says.
Gerber and Prill frequently travel to military bases to
observe, listen and improve the HBI program for those who are
leaving the military.
"We take our partnerships seriously, and we want to make
sure that our program is a real benefit to them. To date we've had
400 people go through the program," Prill says. "It feels good to
know that we're investing in a meaningful program to help the
men and women who have given so much to our country."
Laura Raines is a Mableton-based freelance writer.



Georgia Magazine - November 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - November 2019

Contents
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 4
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 5
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 6
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 7
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 8
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 9
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 10
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 11
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 12
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 13
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 14
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 15
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 16
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 17
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 18
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 19
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 20
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 21
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 22
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 23
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 24
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 25
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 26
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 27
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 28
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 29
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 30
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 31
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 32
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 33
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 34
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 35
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 36
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 37
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 38
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 39
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 40
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 41
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 42
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - Cover4
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