One of the most pressing issues American consumers and businesses face in the coming years is the shortage of skilled trades workers. With an estimated shortage of 3 million skilled trades workers by 2028, it’s critical that we find ways to overcome the stereotypes that prevent people from entering the trades. It’s especially important to find ways to make these jobs more attainable and attractive to women.
Timberland PRO is one of the brands at the forefront of changing these perceptions. Last fall, the brand launched a new campaign titled “Always Do. Never Done.” and a strategic partnership with Generation T, a movement focused on solving the skilled trades gap.
“The campaign focuses on celebrating and elevating people in the skilled trades,” says Cassie Heppner, director of marketing for Timberland PRO. “Because without people in the skilled trades, our world will stop moving forward.”
One cornerstone of the campaign is a TV spot that in the end reveals its hero — working under a face shield helping to construct a new high rise — to be a woman.
In addition to using its marketing platform to cast skilled trades workers in a new light, Timberland PRO aims to be forward-thinking when it comes to product development.
“We’re placing increased importance on the women’s footwear in our line,” said Emily Miller, footwear designer for Timberland PRO.
“Within the past couple of years, we’ve relaunched our women’s line — ensuring not only that our boots are molded on women’s footwear forms, but that we have a wide range of styles that will appeal to our female consumers. Whether she is seeking a classically-styled boot made from premium leather or a lightweight athletic style with color pop, we aim to be the brand she chooses to help keep her safe, comfortable, and confident on the job site,” states Miller.
The skills gap is daunting and massive, which is why Timberland PRO has signed on with Generation T. Through Generation T, Timberland PRO is working with like-minded partners to hold events and drive awareness for the skilled trades.
For example, a recent Generation T event was a day-long immersion event with high school students. Students were exposed to power tools and building plans that they followed to build doghouses. Those doghouses were then donated to local animal shelters. Kids used their hands, brains, and tools, and left the event feeling empowered and confident in their abilities.
“We want kids to know that they can get a job in the skilled trades that pays really well and is a viable career path,” says Heppner. “Not to mention, helping to build our collective future.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the next 10 years, there will be over 409,000 jobs for HVAC techs jobs, earning $57,000 a year. And emerging jobs like solar panel installers, which pay $42,680 on average annually, are expected to increase 105 percent to 11,800 by 2026.
Building skills and confidence
“Kids grow up playing with toy building bricks and wanting to build things,” says Heppner. “But, somewhere along the way, they become discouraged from doing that. We need to keep that spark alive for them. There’s a lot to be said about jobs that allow you to spend the day outdoors or creating something with your own two hands.”
Timberland PRO is proud to help build the next generation of skilled tradespeople by creating access to, and elevating, the skilled trades.
Kristen Castillo, [email protected]