Lowe's announced the launch of Track to the Trades, a new workforce development initiative. Track to the Trades will provide career alternatives and financial support for employees pursuing a skilled trade. The program will debut in Charlotte, Denver, PIttsburgh and Richmond and will expand to qualified part-time and full-time employees across the country by the end of the year.
Lowe's is working with Guild Education, an education network, and hopes to improve a rapidly declining skilled trade industry. In fact, Home Improvement Research Institute found that more than 60% of skilled trade professionals agree there is a shortage of labor in the construction industry. In addition, 40% are hoping to expand their workforce at their job site.
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Some of the benefits of Track to the Trades include upfront tuition funding for skill certification; academic coaching and support; and placement opportunities for pre-apprenticeships in Lowe's network of contractors.
Pre-apprenticeship categories are carpentry, HVAC, electrical, plumbing and appliance repair. The program takes between six and 10 months, and all participants will receive a field mentor.
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“Lowe’s is leading the way on pre-apprenticeship models that prepare employees for jobs of the future, both while working at Lowe’s and beyond in their careers,” said Guild Education CEO Rachel Carlson. “The education pathways offered by Lowe’s eliminate the all-too-common false choice between trades programs and advancement in higher education. At Guild, we’re honored to be working with the Lowe’s team on this first-of-a-kind partnership.”