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Lowe’s and The Home Depot Commit to Closing Skilled Labor Gap

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closing skilled labor gap

According to the most recent data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the construction industry reported over 100k job openings in January 2018. Additionally, there were over 350k new workers entering jobs in the construction industry, highlighting the need to fill many vacant job slots. Lowe’s and The Home Depot are recommitting their efforts to close the skilled labor gap in the US.

Committed to Closing the Skilled Labor Gap

To help bridge the skills gap, both home improvement megastores are turning their efforts to providing free and low-cost pre-apprenticeship opportunities for their employees, military transitioning to civilian life, and underfunded high schools. Through public-private partnerships, the two retailers are not only providing funding for training programs but providing coaching and mentorship, as well as placement and full-time apprenticeship opportunities.

The Lowe’s Track to the Trades program began its pilot program in Charlotte, Denver, Pittsburg, and Richmond this past month (March 1) and will expand to all qualified part-time and full-time Lowe’s employees by the end of 2018. While their pilot program launched last year, The Home Depot has recommitted their efforts with a $50 million pledge that hopes to train another 20,000 skilled tradespeople over the next decade.

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As the need to fill the number of skilled labor job increases, it’s going to take a new kind of corporate investment and strategic partnerships to create new pathways into the industry. From partnering with schools to introduce trades, to helping vets transition to high-demand civilian job opportunities, these innovative approaches to bridging the skills gap are precisely what the industry needs to thrive.