Employment and Jobs

How Lowe’s is Building a New Skilled-Trade Workforce

May 21, 2018  • UpSkill America

UpSkill America is an employer-led movement to expand opportunity for America’s workers and allow our economy and communities to thrive. As part of our mission to advance the upskilling movement, we are pleased to share the following news featuring one of our partners.

The following story was originally posted by Human Resource Executive.

Young carpenter and mature quality control inspector reading blueprints in a factory.Lowe’s partnered with adult-education company Guild Education to create Track to the Trades. The program connects employees with up to $2,500 in tuition assistance for online pre-apprenticeship training in carpentry, HVAC, electrical, plumbing or appliance repair. Like it does with its other partnerships, Guild Education will provide academic coaching and support to students. The coursework is self-paced, typically taking six to 10 months to complete. Lowe’s will then place participants in apprenticeships at local companies that participate in its national contractor network to complete their certification and kickstart their career in the trades.

While upskilling is a major component, recruitment and retention are also in Lowe’s sights, Mitchell says. Already, recent new hires have reported applying to the company because of the program, for which part- and full-time employees are eligible after six months on the job. “We really see this as a true employee-value proposition: We want to train you and we want to show you how much our business leaders are willing to support you,” says Mike Mitchell, director of trade skills at the home-improvement company.

The program rolled out with 140 inaugural students in four pilot cities in March and is expected to launch nationwide later this year. Since the program was announced earlier this year, Carlson says, Guild Education has been contacted by 30 skilled-trade companies interested in using Track to the Trades as a model for their own upskilling projects—suggesting the partners may have hit the nail on the head when it comes to innovating the skilled-trades industry.

This piece was excerpted from “ Shortages in the skilled-trade workforce spurred a new educational program at Lowe’s” by Human Resource Executive’s Jen Colletta. Click here to read more.

We are delighted with Lowe’s decision and commend them for joining a growing list of companies committed to advancing the upskilling movement in 2018.



.@Lowes is building a foundation for the future. Learn about their new #upskilling program with @GuildEducation, Track to the Trades.

“@Lowes partnered with adult-education company @GuildEducation to create Track to the Trades [which] connects employees with up to $2,500 in tuition assistance for online pre-apprenticeship training.”

“We want to train you and we want to show you how much our business leaders are willing to support you.” -Mike Mitchell, Director of Trade Skills @Lowes

“It’s a really beautiful public-private partnership that few companies could do to the scale needed, but @Lowes can with its 260,000-employee footprint around the U.S.” @RachelRCarlson, CEO @GuildEducation


Employment and Jobs
Producing a Sustainable, Highly Skilled Workforce
July 23, 2018 • UpSkill America


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