Grainger Kicks Off Skilled Trades Awareness Month

CHICAGO — Grainger has launched an interactive skilled trades playbook, called “Dynamic Partnerships for a New Economy,” designed to connect businesses and community colleges in an effort to boost local workforce development. The Playbook, developed in partnership with Skills for America’s Future, serves as a one-stop, how-to guide with tips, best practices and other tools to help businesses and community colleges work together to train and advance workers in the industrial skilled trades. Visit www.skilledtradesplaybook.org to download the full Skilled Trades Playbook and learn more about the skills gap challenge.

Many businesses that rely on skilled workers, such as machinists, welders and electricians, report difficulty finding qualified individuals to fill open jobs. In fact, skilled trades have been the hardest segment of the workforce for employers to staff for the last three years, according to ManpowerGroup. Partnerships that help align the skill needs of businesses with the curriculum and training offered by community colleges are a solution to assist in building a stronger workforce, but many don’t know where to start. Solving this dilemma was the catalyst for developing the Playbook.

“Employers no longer have the luxury of remaining on the sidelines,” said Grainger Chairman, President, and CEO, Jim Ryan. “Grainger is committed to promoting the importance of jobs in the industrial skilled trades, and this Playbook offers practical solutions to help close the growing skills gap.”

The Playbook concept was born out of the “Partnerships in Practice“event sponsored by Grainger at the Aspen Institute earlier this year, where business leaders, community college presidents and workforce experts discussed the scope of the skills gap, the challenges faced, and the need for businesses and schools to work together to prepare the workforce for careers in the skilled trades. The ideas from this event, combined with examples of local partnerships that are preparing skilled trades workers, serve as the foundation of the Playbook.

“Community colleges are the nation’s training ground for careers in the skilled trades and play a vital role in providing education and career paths for students and workers,” said American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) President and CEO, Dr. Walter G. Bumphus. “We are proud of our partnership with Grainger and salute the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow scholarship winners who will make a difference in our communities through a skilled trade.”

Grainger will celebrate the skilled trades and highlight student success stories throughout Skilled Trades Awareness Month and beyond. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #skilledtrades.

To view a full list of scholarship winners and to learn more about Grainger’s commitment to skilled trades, visit: www.grainger.com/skilledtrades.

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