Vietnam Veterans of America, Home Builders Association and Carhartt donate $30,000

Students looking to work in the skilled trades will have a better chance to go farther, thanks to a $30,000 contribution to fund their equipment and study needs during apprenticeships.

Detroit Chapter #9 of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA9), plus Carhartt and the Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan’s (HBA) Charitable and Educational Foundation have donated $10,000 each to support students who pursue building trades careers. The donations are being done in partnership with the Detroit Public Schools Foundation and will support students graduating from the A. Philip Randolph Technical High School.

“We want to leave a legacy by helping our youths and the next generation,” explained Paul Palazzolo, president of VVA9.  “Supporting students who are in the early stages of a career is one way to do that.”

The boost to skilled trades students comes on the heels of a recent survey that detailed a labor shortage in the industry. Some 80 percent of respondents in a January survey by the Associated General Contractors of America said they were having trouble filling construction positions in Michigan.

“Ensuring a workforce for the future of our industry is of primary importance for HBA and our foundation,” said Michael Stoskopf, CEO of HBA. “We are working on all fronts to provide opportunities for those students who want to pursue careers in construction.”

The foundation chair, Peter Burton of Dominion Realty Services LLC, agrees. “Workforce development in Detroit and throughout our state is essential to the survival of residential construction, and we are pleased to have this opportunity to support it.”

“At Carhartt, we believe in inspiring the next generation to think, create and build with their hands,” said Tony Ambroza, Chief Brand Officer at Carhartt. “We’re committed to helping bring more hardworking individuals to the trades and this donation is just one example of how we can help support those entering a career in construction.”

To learn more about the Detroit Public Schools Foundation, visit