Associations, Awards

New Horizons Foundation Awarded as a Stanley Black & Decker Makers Grant Recipient

March 17, 2023

The New Horizons Foundation, a leader in research and education to advance and grow sheet metal and HVAC contractors, was named a winner and grant recipient of the Stanley Black & Decker Global Impact Challenge. The grant will go towards research and contractor education surrounding recruiting and retaining the next generation of sheet metal and HVAC workers.

As part of the funding, the New Horizons Foundation will continue its research to help contractors identify and incorporate successful strategies to increase the development and retention rates of sheet metal and HVAC employees. These strategies will be amplified through a series of short videos featuring contractors discussing their experiences with these practices in action.

The grant will also help the foundation’s continued focus on the next generation of sheet metal and HVAC workers with the development of a diversity, equity and inclusion roadmap. The roadmap will feature testimonials from contractors that have successfully implemented DEI approaches.

“We are grateful to be included as a Stanley Black & Decker Global Impact Challenge grant recipient,” said Tom Soles, Executive Director of The New Horizons Foundation. “This funding will help us further our industry-leading research and education portfolio to give every opportunity for sheet metal and HVAC contractors to excel in the years ahead.”

As the member foundation and premiere research entity of the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA), a leader in promoting quality and excellence in the sheet metal and air conditioning industry, the impact of this grant will be felt worldwide.

“The work of the New Horizons Foundation is crucial to the 3,500 signatory sheet metal contracting firms represented by SMACNA, and this grant will benefit each and every one of them,” said Aaron Hilger, CEO of SMACNA. “SMACNA’s goal is to make our members more competitive and raising awareness among the next generation of sheet metal and HVAC workers in part, via the New Horizons Foundation, will help us all continue that work.”

The Stanley Black & Decker Global Impact Challenge supports trade workforce development initiatives in the construction and manufacturing sectors, helping skill and reskill roughly 210,448 makers throughout the year. The New Horizons Foundation is one of 91 organizations that will receive part of the $25 million in grant funding over five years.

“Stanley Black & Decker is immensely proud to support the New Horizons Foundation as they work to skill and reskill the next generation of trade professionals,” said Stanley Black & Decker Corporate Responsibility Officer, Deb Geyer. “Currently in the U.S., there are an estimated 650,000 open construction jobs and 10 million unfilled manufacturing jobs globally. Our purpose is to support ‘Those Who Make the World,’ and being able to fund educational programs and non-profits that are revitalizing trade careers directly connects to our core mission. Thanks to this year’s Makers Grant Recipients, together we will be one step closer to closing the trade skills gap.”

To learn more about the New Horizons Foundation and the research and education they produce to make the sheet metal and HVAC industry stronger, visit  For additional information on Stanley Black & Decker’s Global Impact Challenge, the other 2022 recipients and how non-profits may submit for the upcoming application period, please visit

 About the New Horizons Foundation: 

 As the premiere research entity and member foundation of the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA), the New Horizons Foundation provides HVAC and sheet metal contractors the tools needed to help their companies grow. With a belief that education, information and merit performance are the cornerstones of a vital and prosperous HVAC and sheet metal industry, the New Horizons Foundation takes a visionary approach to provide the information and education that will give contractors the best possible opportunities to develop their companies. The New Horizons Foundation is the knowledge link for industry members, suppliers, contracting industry partners, colleges and universities, other national and international trade associations, and customers. For more information, visit