What Is Generation T?


How to end skilled trades shortage...together

Gen T


Over the past several months we’ve had many people from all walks of life approach our team and ask a simple question, “What is Generation T?” The simple answer to that question is pretty straightforward: it’s a movement to help rebuild the skilled trades. But as with most simple answers, there is more that lies underneath the surface. Over this year-long journey in building and launching the program, we ‘ve discovered that Generation can mean many things to different people. It can mean hope, change, prosperity, creation and even determination. One thing is for certain, while there is an easy answer to the question, “What is Generation T,” there are often many answers, and which answer you get depends on which person you’ve asked the question.

It’s better to 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 that aims to change the perception of the skilled trades. It signals the end of an era where trade skills are looked down on by the middle and upper class. It’s a movement whose rallying cry says that success is not defined by the collar of your collar or the education you received. Success is built through hard work, creativity, and ingenuity.

We are the builders, the makers, the painters, and the craftsmen working together to shift the focus back to the essential services of modern society. We are spearheading this movement for one reason – to rebuild the skilled trades.

So how do we do this?

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

 

Who Is a Part of Generation T?

At its core, Generation T is anyone that is involved in the skilled trades, advocates for the skilled trades, and wants to find their calling in the skilled trades. It’s a badge of honor, something that is defined by the pride and passion put into every project. It’s not defined by age, instead, by calling. It’s a lifestyle, way of life, and something you take pride in.

Anyone who advocates on behalf of skilled trades promotion and education, partakes in skilled trades, teaches the skilled trades at schools and colleges, and encourages this kind of career path is already apart of Generation T. But it also defines 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 just served his country and is looking for a way to use the skills he learned in the military to create and build, to the stay at home mom turned woodworker that build 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 need your help. Click here to see our partners. Over 50 brand partners from various industries have already made the commitment 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.” All of us share the same mission: to rebuild the skilled trades. Some have offered to help through donations, some through content development, and 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 trades people by promoting the cause. This cause has the ability to shape your life, a family member’s life or even the future of the American workforce. More school leaders are emphasizing hands-on technical training in the classrooms to help prepare today’s youth for the work that will be needed. If you have a small or large business in this space, 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 wrongly cast as an inferior or default choice for those that want to build prosperous careers. We aim to change that perception and connect people to the potentially 3 million skilled trade job opportunities nationwide through 2028.

This can be done a few ways:

  1. Click on the state you live in 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 know that Generation T can change the trajectory of lives for the better, we’ve seen evidence of this very early on, and the sky is really the limit. With open, high-paying jobs, satisfying work schedules and benefits, and flexibility to create the life that is right for you. The American workforce is in desperate need of individuals who are ready to step away from the mobile devices and into the workshop. Some of the initiatives we’re working on include helping to train and provide advanced educational opportunities to prospective tradesmen and women, and to help place 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 even pledged to help these employees find jobs in their industries following the completion of the programs, all for free.

As more schools emphasize hands-on technical training in classrooms, preparing today’s youth for the nature of the new workforce ahead of us, we are proud to be part of this change. Several of Generation T’s program partners understand the importance and value of our mission and are working with us hand-in-hand to provide educational programs, apprenticeships and career opportunities for those ready to make the jump. And we’re helping young people with the opportunity to discover the skilled trades through an innovative hands-on immersion program that lets them experience what it’s like to be tradesmen.

And through our digital efforts, we’ll produce content that not only helps to reshape the narrative, but tells the story of the American worker, and strives 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 and sharing success stories from across America and educating the masses about the great work that is being done.

We Need Your Help

Right now, just 5% of high school parents anticipate their children going into skilled trades. With the support of Lowes, a national corporation, Generation T is a countrywide movement that is going to bring people, places, and communities together for the better.

If you have a business that works in the skilled trades space and would like to connect with our workforce, contact us here: michael.mitchell-1@lowes.com.

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



2 months ago, in Starting Your Career by Michael Mitchell
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