Home Depot’s DIY Technology Play to Stay Relevant

  • Home Depot’s stock is up more than 30% in the past two years
  • 24% of the STEM workforce in Atlanta is black

Home Depot (HD +0.37%) announced a “home-improvement project” of its own in the form of a massive tech hiring spree. The $200 billion dollar home improvement retailer is embarking on the biggest technology hiring binge in its history, as it plans to bring on more than 1,000 I.T. workers. What impact will this bold hiring move have on black workers across the country?

Why This Matters: The uptick in hiring for Home Depot will occur across three cities, Atlanta, Austin, and Dallas. The company already employs 2,800 I.T. people. New hires will focus mainly on software engineering and improving the digital user experience across the company’s slate of retail services.  

About 90% of the software the company runs is already written by in-house engineers. At least two of the cities where they will be actively recruiting for more engineers have high diversity rates for STEM workers. In Atlanta for example, about 24% of the STEM workforce is black and 18% of the STEM workforce in Dallas is black, according to SmartAsset. This means Home Depot should have a large pool of African American engineers to select from.

After the end of its fiscal year in January Home Depot reported revenues of $100.9 billion, with its stock up 30% over the past two years. The plan to hire more than 1,000 tech workers this year is part of a broader $11 billion three-year strategic investment to hopefully fend off Amazon (AMZN -0.63%).

What’s Next: Amazon is another company that could be expanding its presence in a city with a large educated black population. It’s been reported the e-commerce retail giant has narrowed its HQ2 search down to 10 cities and Washington D.C. made the list. Be on the lookout to see if Amazon decides to put down more roots in the D.C. area for its east coast headquarters, where about 19% of the STEM workforce in D.C. is Black.

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