Meta — formerly known as Facebook — and DPR Construction have partnered to bring Hardhat in Hand, Meta’s nationwide skilled trades training program, to Meta’s Mesa Data Center.
The paid, eight-week program focuses on recruiting new people to the construction trades and providing participants with fundamental knowledge relevant to all construction and skilled trade occupations. Hardhat in Hand is run in partnership with the Maricopa County Community College District and the Phoenix-based nonprofit Chicanos Por La Causa, according to a release.
Applications for the inaugural cohort of Hardhat in Hand are now being accepted through Aug. 24. The program begins Sept. 12 and the application can be found at this link. To receive further information, interested individuals can email MesaHardhatInHand@dpr.com
“The Hardhat in Hand program is a hands-on opportunity to help people in the community acquire the skills they need for reliable, well-paying careers that help build the infrastructure of the future,” said David Williams, community development regional manager at Meta. “We’re grateful for the partnership with DPR Construction, MCCCD and Chicanos Por La Causa to offer this unique training program and help participants launch a career in a high-demand field.”
Meta has been part of the Arizona community since breaking ground on its Mesa Data Center in 2021. According to DPR Construction, there will be 2,000 construction workers on site per day at peak.
“Bringing the Hardhat in Hand program to Mesa expands the skilled trade opportunities in our community. Participants develop the skills for a rewarding career and can earn full-time employment with years of opportunity at a great place to work,” Joe Yeargan, project executive at DPR Construction, said in the release. “We’ve optimized the project schedule at Mesa Data Center to provide long-term skilled trade employment so that we can support our construction teams with consistent and predictable work.”
A recent report from the Associated Builders and Contractors estimates that the construction industry needs to recruit nearly 650,000 more individuals than normal hiring to meet the demand for labor. Paid programs like Meta’s Hardhat in Hand help open a pathway to help reduce the labor shortage.
“We are grateful to Meta and DPR for partnering with the Maricopa Community College’s Construction Trades programs, located at Mesa, GateWay and South Mountain Community Colleges,” MCCCD Interim Chancellor Dr. Steven R. Gonzales said in the release. “At a time when upskilling and reskilling has become so prevalent in higher education, this DEI-focused workforce education partnership will educate and train our students in an innovative ‘earn and learn’ model, while creating pathways to directly enter the workforce.”
“Record growth in our region has created a demand for more than 145,000 construction professionals by December 2024,” stated Julie Stiak, MCCCD director of workforce education. “I look forward to the continued partnership with Meta and DPR as we collaborate to expand training to other colleges once the program is fully established.”