HTP Homes Inc., a 501(c)(3) minority/woman-owned organization, was founded by Aaron Thompson and Claudia Jones to provide occupational training in construction trades for young adults and returning citizens.
For over 20 years, Aaron Thompson, a licensed general contractor, has dedicated his time to successfully train young men who have unlimited potential but limited opportunities. The verifiable results of this training demonstrate what can happen when young adults are given a second chance to succeed. Claudia Jones, a retired senior executive of a Fortune 10 company is now using her extensive leadership skills and knowledge to enrich the lives of those who society often ignores.
Combining decades of construction and corporate experience with ambitious, but achievable goals, HTP Homes, Inc. provides pathways and a second chance for young adults to thrive.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
At HTP Homes, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are core to our mission and guiding principles. We foster mutual respect, honesty, integrity, and fairness. Our pledge is to develop a rich culture, a diverse workforce, and a healthy work environment that empowers personal and career growth. Everyone will experience fair, equitable treatment, learn, grow, and have the freedom to contribute to company success.
Diversity refers to all the qualities that make individuals different from each other and comfortable being authentic; religion, race, ethnic origin, language, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, or other differences. The wide range of experiences and perspectives resulting from such diversity makes us better— More productive, innovative, responsive, competitive, and creates value for our employees, constituency, donors, and the communities we serve.
Meet the CEO
Aaron D. Thompson
I know the value of learning a trade because it’s an integral part of my life story. I’ve been a licensed general contractor for over three decades. But my story begins very much like the young men and women we help through the HTP Homes initiative.
I grew up in an urban area in Maryland — a town weighed down with challenges including a high crime rate. Like many other young men in my neighborhood, I learned to box at an early age, and eventually became a professional boxer. To this day, I continue to work with young men at boxing gyms.
I also learned construction skills. I started out as a laborer and by working late hours, watching, and studying I progressed to become a master carpenter. That extra effort led me on a path to start my own construction and development business.
As a business owner I was able to pay it forward by hiring young men, some formerly incarcerated, into my construction business and teaching them the skills they need to make a living wage. Several former employees have gone on to start their own businesses leveraging the foundational knowledge and skills they learned. It’s this same “earn and learn” model with proven results and success that we are bringing to the HTP Homes program in order to enrich the lives of young men.
Aaron D. Thompson, CEO HTP Homes
Aaron D. Thompson
Co-Founder & CEO
HTP Homes, Inc.
My greatest passion is giving young men a hand up, not a handout.I know the value of learning a trade because it’s an integral part of my life story.Every day I strive to share my knowledge and reinforce the fact that everyone has a choice and is held accountable to make the right choices.I co-founded HTP Homes Inc. because young men need to see that they can earn a good living and be self-sufficient no matter where they start in life.I grew up in an urban area in Maryland — a town weighed down with challenges including a high crime rate; I relate to the young men HTP Homes Inc. strives to help because I’ve walked in their shoes.
Our Choices Shape Our Future
Like many young men in my neighborhood, I learned to box at an early age, and eventually became a professional fighter.Driven by a desire to help others, I joined the Guardian Angels in my early twenties, rising to the rank of Special Forces Commander before stepping down after twenty-eight years of service.These experiences shaped who I am and taught me tremendous discipline, leadership, the value of serving others and how to give unselfishly.
As a teenager, I also learned construction skills. I started out as a laborer and by working late hours and studying I progressed to become a master carpenter. That extra effort led me on a path to start my own construction and development business.Today, I am a licensed general contractor with a successful business and over three decades of experience, but like a lot of the young men in the HTP Homes Inc. program, I wasn’t privileged to go to college.My key to success was understanding that if you’re disciplined and dedicated there is no limit to what you can achieve.
Making The Connection
As a former Guardian Angel protecting the toughest neighborhoods, I understand the challenges young men are facing; the peer pressure of gangs and the desire to be the tough guy.My objective in co-founding HTP Homes Inc. is to show that it doesn’t make you tough because you went to jail, it makes you tough when you stay out of jail.My goal is to bridge the gap, letting young men know they have other options.I came from the same neighborhoods, but I made different choices.I go the extra mile to show that I believe in them and I’m there to help.Making that simple connection is what shifts attitudes and changes lives.
A Model For Success
I’ve dedicated my life to helping and inspiring others because I believe in their potential and I want them to believe in themselves.Over several decades, I’ve trained young men in construction trades, beginning with safety protocols and moving through multiple disciplines from demolition to carpentry. I expose trainees to business professionals in specialty areas like plumbing, electrical, and HVAC because I want them to know they can be self-sufficient at whatever they choose to do.The key driver of my training model is building relationships that go beyond the work.I talk about life and its pitfalls; I encourage fiscal responsibility – savings and investing.I set high expectations of these amazing young men and I do not compromise.Creating an environment of comfort and trust allows for necessary breakthroughs and reassures my trainees that I truly care.
Paying It Forward
As a business owner I’ve hired several at-risk men, some formerly incarcerated, into my construction business teaching them the skills they need to make a living wage. Many have gone on to start their own businesses, leveraging the foundational knowledge they learned and creating job opportunities for others.It’s this effective, structured “earn and learn” model that motivated me to establish HTP Homes Inc.I’ve seen it work and it worked for me.My vision is to place 100% of the program participants into full-time jobs and to instill in them the same passion to pay it forward.
Staff & Board of Directors
Expertise in operations optimization, program and product launches, key performance metrics, and systems development.
Claudia B. Jones
Co-founder & Board President
Former Senior Vice President Public Affairs & Communications, AT&T. Expertise in managing multimillion-dollar budgets, corporate governance, multicultural outreach and engagement.
Denise D. Whitfield
Former Manager of Retail Development, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. Expertise in driving innovation to address the needs of underserved communities. Designed one of the first in the nation programs to transform empty spaces at mass transportation stations into farmer’s markets in food desert areas.
Board Vice President
Chief of Staff, Workforce Strategy & Solutions, Deloitte. Expertise in process, organizational design, project management and program optimization.
Managing Director, Human Resource Transformation, Deloitte Consulting, LLP. Over 20 years experience in global transformation, technology and rethinking/reimagining learning.