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More than 60 organizations today announced Generation T (Gen T), a movement intended to help fill the skilled trade gap that analysts predict will leave 3 million jobs open by 2028. Led by home improvement retailer Lowe’s Companies Inc., the movement creates a path to grow talented tradespeople who are vital to society’s future.
Through support from industry leaders, Gen T aims to shift the societal perception of the trades by demonstrating the economic mobility possible, exposing children to trade education early and encouraging students to explore career options beyond four-year degree programs. Gen T also connects prospective skilled trade professionals to apprenticeships and jobs through the www.WeAreGenerationT.com website.
According to IHS Markit, the construction industry is slated to experience stronger wage growth than the rest of the U.S. economy, but a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) revealed that 69 percent of its members were experiencing delays in completing projects on time due to a shortage of qualified workers, while other jobs were lost altogether. This disconnect can be attributed to a retiring workforce and unfavorable perception. According to Lowe’s research, high school students believe pursuing a career in the trades would make them seem boring, while adults feel it would make them seem talentless.
“We believe the professional trades are an essential part of America’s future,” said Jennifer L. Weber, executive vice president, human resources, Lowe’s. “We’re committed to opening that path to those who relish the challenge of creating something out of raw materials, and take pride and satisfaction in mastering the skills required to do it. We’ve seen the success that can result from empowering people with a skilled trade through our more than 1,350 associates currently enrolled in Lowe’s Track to the Trades program. If we don’t fill the existing skilled trade gap, our businesses, homes and communities will suffer.”
The following are examples of how Generation T partners are taking action and generating awareness in skilled trades:
Businesses interested in joining Generation T or prospects looking to explore the trades or learn more about apprenticeships can find more information on the Generation T website.