FCB and The Home Depot Canada Foundation launched a new campaign to promote TradeWorx, a targeted investment to combat youth homelessness by creating opportunities for career education and skilled trades training.

Founded in 2009, the Home Depot Canada Foundation has pledged $50 million to help prevent and end homelessness by 2022. At the start of 2021, it had already distributed $38 million through initiatives focused on housing, employment and life skills, prevention and research.

TradeWorx brings a new degree of focus on employment, aimed at enabling marginalized youth to develop skills they can use to find meaningful long-term employment, while also addressing a gap in the labor market for skilled trades. Through the program, the foundation will work with its partners and vendors to provide social and financial support to youth experiencing homelessness, as well as training in areas including electrical, plumbing and carpentry, ultimately helping them become certified tradespeople.

To create the campaign, FCB partnered with Linetest, an award-winning animation studio that was equally passionate about the project and its impact. The campaign launched with an animated spoken word spot titled “Real Change” which was written and performed by Toronto-based spoken word artist Desiree McKenzie. By choosing animation over film, the team was able to explore a unique type of storytelling that matched visuals to the word play and energy of the spoken word piece.

Through the initial $1 million investment, 100 Canadian youth who have experienced homelessness or barriers to employment will receive the training and social supports necessary to work in the skilled trades.

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