Trade Talks USA Receives Grant from The Marcus Foundation

The $250,000 grant from The Marcus Foundation will support skilled trades education and programming efforts nationwide, addressing the shortage of skilled trade workers in Georgia and across the country.
August 1, 2022

The $250,000 Allocation Supports Skilled Trades Education & Programming Efforts Nationwide

ATLANTA, GA – Trade Talks USA – the go-to, independent platform to learn about the skilled trades and training opportunities available – announces it has been awarded a $250,000 grant by The Marcus Foundation to continue its efforts in helping address the critical shortage of skilled trade workers in Georgia and nationally. The grant will help Trade Talks in its efforts to introduce and educate students, veterans, career changers, and educators on the variety of jobs and training opportunities leading to high-demand careers in the skilled trades. This includes occupations in carpentry, electrical, HVAC, masonry, plumbing, roofing, welding, construction technology, entrepreneurship, and other key trade professions. “The goals and strategies at Trade Talks USA are closely aligned with our interests and values at the Marcus Foundation,” said Marcus Ruzek, Senior Program Director at The Marcus Foundation. “By leveraging our collective assets, we can address the economic and social challenges faced by communities in need and create sustainable, long-term career pathways for individuals from all backgrounds through rewarding careers in the skilled trades.” “We are deeply honored to receive this generous grant from The Marcus Foundation,” said Justin Milrad, Trade Talks President & Founder. “It is indeed validating to know that our efforts to amplify the critical need for a skilled workforce and the exciting career opportunities available are recognized and supported by such an influential global partner. For every five individuals leaving the skilled trades, only one individual is replacing them. As a result, the current workforce is aging quickly and diminishing in size at record rates. Now is the opportune time to invest in the future of the skilled trades professions.” Since its launch in 2020, Trade Talks USA has collaborated with a host of leading industry and training providers to create and present a host of interactive resources, programming, and online tools designed to inform students and prospective workers about the abundant opportunities in the skilled trades training and career pathways. Partners include the Technical College System of Georgia, Construction Ready, RWC International, and The Home Depot’s Path to Pro Program, among others.

“This major contribution will go a long way in helping us bridge the growing gap between the potential pool of skilled workers and the employers that so desperately need them. Last year alone, over 350,000 jobs were left unfilled in the construction trades due to the skilled workforce shortage and that number will only grow with the projected increase in building projects and as older skilled workers continue to retire from their respective fields. Additionally, we are working hard to ensure potential tradespeople understand the quality of life the skilled trades offers. Many skilled trade jobs pay extremely well, often two to three times the minimum wage to start. Many trades professionals can make upwards of six figures with healthy signing bonuses. With the renewed focus and investment in our aging infrastructure, it’s an ideal time for any and all types of job seekers to get involved in the skilled trades.” — Dave McCulloch, Trade Talks Executive Director

Trade Talks works with its partners to create tools and platforms that inform and educate on the incredible and ample jobs available in the skilled trades. From videos and infographics to interactive path-building resources, the organization provides a platform that connects students, military veterans, career changers, and even limited-skilled workers to entry-level jobs and lasting careers. Many of these tools are sharable and can even be private-labeled and utilized by other organizations to educate and recruit talent. Additionally, Trade Talks also includes educational resources specifically geared towards educators and school counselors to help inform them about the changing technical college landscape for students on a local and national scale. To learn more about Trade Talks and the organization’s work in the skilled trades, please visit or email

About Trade Talks USA

Trade Talks USA is a go-to, independent platform for learning about the variety of skilled trades and training opportunities that exist in the state of Georgia and nationally. The organization offers a host of search tools, trade videos, technical college information, tuition assistance and scholarship information, apprenticeship links, military assistance, and economic data on the skilled trades to prepare anyone and everyone for a successful career. For information, please visit our website at or email

About the Marcus Foundation

Founded in 1998, The Marcus Foundation focuses on fulfilling the vision of Bernie Marcus, co-founder of The Home Depot. Located in Atlanta, Georgia, the foundation has five key areas of philanthropy – giving back in spheres that uphold Bernie’s beliefs and values – all impacting and saving lives through entrepreneurial philanthropy. All the Foundation’s giving come out of Bernie Marcus’ personal life experiences and awareness, and his success as an entrepreneur enables him to give back. The five areas are: medical and research; children, with an emphasis on education; Jewish causes; free enterprise, including veteran issues and national security; and local community.

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