What Is Generation T?


How to end skilled trades shortage...together

Gen T


Over the past few months, people from all walks of life have approached our team to ask, “What is Generation T?”

The short answer to that question is pretty simple: Generation T is a movement to help rebuild the skilled trades in America. But short answers are like the tips of icebergs revealing only a tiny part of what lurks beneath the surface. Over this year-long journey in developing and launching the program, we've discovered that Generation T represents different things to different people. It might signify hope, change, prosperity, creation or of course, determination. Only one thing is sure: while there is a straightforward answer to the question, “What is Generation T?”, there are many other answers, and which answer you get depends on who you’ve asked.

We should start with what Generation T is not. It’s not a marketing campaign; it’s not a short-term project aimed at generating attention. It’s not a publicity stunt.

Generation T is a movement seeking to change public perception of the skilled trades. It's a signpost marking the end of an era where trade skills were looked down upon by the middle and upper class. It’s a movement whose rallying cry insists that success is not defined by the color of your collar or the education you've received. Success is built through hard work, creativity, and ingenuity. Success feels like purpose and fulfillment. 

Generation T is a badge of honor, something defined by the pride and passion put into every project. It is not restricted by age, but rather by calling. It is a lifestyle, a way of life, and something to take pride in. We are spearheading this movement for one reason – to rebuild the skilled trades in America. 

So how do we do this?

  1. Rallying a national audience to help promote or join the trades.
  2. Connecting people to apprenticeships, training, and trade-related programs in community colleges.
  3. Bringing shop classes back to target cities.

 

 

Who Is Generation T?

At its core, Generation T is everyone working in the skilled trades, advocating for the skilled trades, and looking to find their calling in the skilled trades. We are the builders, the makers, the craftspeople and repairers working together to shift the focus back to the essential services that lay at the heart of modern society.

Anyone employed in the skilled trades, advocating on behalf of the skilled trades, teaching the skilled trades at schools and colleges, and encouraging these career paths is already a part of Generation T. It includes all those who find their calling in the skilled trades – part time or full time, regardless of their particular trade. It doesn’t discriminate between Union workers and non-union workers. From the veteran who served his country and is looking for a way to use military skills to create and build, to the stay-at-home mom turned woodworker who builds furniture in her garage as a side hustle, the skilled trades don’t discriminate, and neither does Generation T.

Lowe's Home Improvement is leading this effort, but we can't do it alone. Click here to see our partners. Over 50 brand partners from have committed to help by taking a pledge to support Generation T. And while Lowe’s is leading the charge by providing the infrastructure for the program, every brand partner is considered an equal partner. We all share the same mission: to rebuild the skilled trades. Some partners have offered to help through donations, others through content development, while others have pledged to provide education and program development opportunities for a prospective tradesman. And we continue to add new program partners daily.

You can also be a part of this new generation of tradespeople by promoting the cause. This cause has the ability to shape your life, a family member’s life and holds the key to the future of the American workforce. More school leaders are emphasizing hands-on technical training in the classroom to help prepare the youth of today for the work that will be needed tomorrow. If you have a small or large business in the trades, you can apply to provide paid-on-the-job opportunities for those looking to jumpstart their careers. Click here to apply.

Why?

The trades have been wrongly cast as an inferior or default career choice– something less than what a college degree leads to. We aim to change that perception and connect people to the potentially 3 million well-paid, skilled trade job opportunities nationwide through 2028.

We can guide you to a trades career in a few ways:

  1. Enter your zipcode to find local installation and repair companies willing to train you while on the job. 
  2. Or join a local community college that offers trade-related programs
  3. Apply for a job at Lowe’s home improvement and take advantage of its Track to the Trades Pre-apprentice program with job placement opportunities. 

 

How is Generation T Changing the Narrative?

We’ve already seen evidence that Generation T can change the trajectory of lives for the better, and we believe the sky is the limit. The American workforce is in desperate need of people who are ready to step away from digital devices and into the workshop. We’re working on initiatives that include helping provide advanced educational opportunities and training to prospective tradespeople and placing those people in jobs. At Lowe’s we’ve led this initiative through our Track to the Trades Program, training over 1,300 red-vest employees and preparing them for careers as carpenters, electricians, HVAC technicians, appliance repair techs and more. We’ve pledged to help these employees find jobs in their industries following the completion of the programs, all for free.

We are proud to be part of the change towards more schools offering hands-on technical training in classrooms, preparing youth to join the new workforce ahead. Several of Generation T’s program partners understand the value of our mission and are working with us to provide educational programs, apprenticeships and career opportunities to help those ready to make the jump. We’re helping give young people the opportunity to discover the skilled trades through an innovative hands-on immersion program that lets them experience what working in the trades is like. 

And through our digital efforts, we’ll produce content that both helps to reshape the narrative and tells the story of the American worker, to bring back pride and truth to this once proud industry. We’ll work to change the perceptions of the skilled trades by debunking myths, sharing success stories across America, and educating the masses about the great work tradespeople do.

We Need Your Help

Right now, only 5% of high school parents expect their children to go into the skilled trades. We want to see that change. With the support of Lowes, Generation T is a nation-wide movement with the power to bring people, places, and communities together for the better of all. 

If your business is in the skilled trades space and you would like to connect with our workforce, contact us at: michael.mitchell-1@lowes.com.

We’re ready to reshape our global workforce and fill the millions of vacancies in the skilled trades. We are Generation T.



4 months ago, in The Movement by Michael Mitchell
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