To honor the future generation of those who are choosing careers in skilled trades, the Lowe's Foundation announced this week it had awarded a $1 million Gable Grant to SkillsUSA to help recruit Gen Z workers to skilled trades jobs, apprenticeships or further education in their trade. 

In addition to SkillsUSA National Signing Day, which took place on Wednesday, May 7, the Lowe's Foundation said in a news release that it would support SkillsUSA's Work-Based Learning initiative, which connects student members to educators, businesses and industry partners. 

"Through partnerships with SkillsUSA and the growing generation of future trades professionals, we are helping the world see that trades careers are not just to be respected but revered," said Janice Dupré, Lowe's executive vice president of human resources and chair of the Lowe's Foundation. 

"These workers are making smart and sensible career choices that will benefit our country's homes, neighborhoods and communities for decades to come," she added.

SkillsUSA National Signing Day celebrates future skilled tradespeople as they sign their letter of intent to further their education or pursue skilled trades career pathways. Since launching in 2019, more than 500,000 students from 4,700 SkillsUSA schools nationwide have graduated.

Lowe's said it hosted ‘blue carpet’ runway events to honor local SkillsUSA students as "Trades Stars" at Charlotte, N.C., Chicago, Houston, Miami and San Diego stores. As part of the national campaign, SkillsUSA and the Lowe's Foundation are encouraging students, teachers and parents to engage on social media using the #TradesStars hashtag, promoting students as they begin their next chapter.

"SkillsUSA is empowering students to become skilled professionals who can help meet the country's skilled labor demands – including those in the construction field – for years to come," said Chelle Travis, executive director of SkillsUSA. 

"With the Lowe's Foundation's support and partnership, we're confident that Trades Stars will elevate the stories of our Signing Day students and inspire other individuals as they embark on their own skilled trades journeys," she added.

Since 2023, the Lowe's Foundation has awarded more than $18 million in Gable Grants to 25 organizations offering innovative and scalable skilled trades training across the U.S. The grants allow program participants to strengthen their skills in carpentry and construction, HVAC, electrical, plumbing and appliance repair. 

The next grant application cycle for community-based nonprofits will run from August 1 to 31. 

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