Portion of proceeds from merchandise fundraiser will go to SkillsUSA to enhance youth trade, technical and skilled service training programs
Tractor Supply Company (NASDAQ: TSCO), the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the United States, the Tractor Supply Company Foundation and Carhartt, America’s premium workwear brand, today announced the launch of the 2023 “Support the Trades” exclusive apparel collection to help advance skilled trades in the U.S.
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Support the Trades launched in 2021, offering exclusive branded merchandise in Tractor Supply stores and at TractorSupply.com. For this year’s third Carhartt-designed collection, the lineup has expanded to include short- and long-sleeved shirts in a variety of colors, three different ball caps and two knit hats.
For every item sold, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to SkillsUSA, a nonprofit that serves middle school, high school and college/postsecondary students preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations. These include welders and machinists, plumbers and landscape architects, and beyond. Tractor Supply Company, the Tractor Supply Company Foundation and Carhartt each committed a $50,000 donation for a total of $150,000.
“Many of our Team Members and customers either work in the skilled trades or have deep connections to them,” said Jamie Martin, vice president, divisional merchandise manager at Tractor Supply. “Support the Trades provides financial assistance to help young people pursue these in-demand but often overlooked opportunities – jobs that are so critical to sustaining Life Out Here.”
According to a forecasting model developed by Associated Builders and Contractors, this year alone, the construction industry will need to attract an estimated 546,000 additional workers on top of the normal pace of hiring to meet the demand for labor. With only a small portion of those who do join the construction industry entering the skilled trades, the number of skilled workers is growing at a slower pace than that of construction laborers, and in some cases, declining. Nearly one in four construction workers is nearing retirement age, making the skills shortage especially concerning.
Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a renewed focus on the importance of skilled trades and the need to close the skills gap, thanks to initiatives like “Support the Trades.” In response, enrollment in construction trade programs grew 19.3% from 2021 to 2022, and mechanic and repair trade programs saw an enrollment increase of 11.5%. SkillsUSA’s fiscal year 2023 membership levels are projected to be the highest in the organization’s history.
“We are thankful to have partners like Tractor Supply and Carhartt that so firmly believe in SkillsUSA as America’s proud champion of the skilled trades. Our mission is to empower students to become skilled professionals, career-ready leaders and responsible community members,” said Chelle Travis, executive director at SkillsUSA. “There is a brighter light shining on the skilled trades today. With the ongoing support of our partners, we can help students develop the personal, workplace and technical skills to succeed at work and in life.”
SkillsUSA partners with students, teachers and industry professionals to build America’s skilled workforce. Their proven framework provides students with workplace and technical skills grounded in academics, as well as valuable industry connections. Its curriculum covers 130 job categories, creating a pipeline of talented entry-level workers. With the donations from the Support the Trades campaign, which total $300,000 to date, SkillsUSA will have the ability to expand its reach and offer its training capabilities to even more students.
“We are inspired by SkillsUSA’s mission to develop and strengthen the workforce and are proud to continue to work alongside Tractor Supply to support and attract students to the rewarding careers in the skilled trades,” said Janet Ries, vice president of marketing at Carhartt. “Carhartt has a longstanding history and commitment to hardworking people in the skilled trades and we are proud to extend our partnership to help the next generation close the skills gap, pursue their passions and build their own legacies – each and every day.”
To learn more or to purchase Support the Trades merchandise, please visit: https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/cms/carhartt.
About Tractor Supply Company
For 85 years, Tractor Supply Company (NASDAQ: TSCO) has been passionate about serving the needs of recreational farmers, ranchers, homeowners, gardeners, pet enthusiasts and all those who enjoy living Life Out Here. Tractor Supply is the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the U.S., ranking 291 on the Fortune 500. The Company’s 52,000 Team Members are known for delivering legendary service and helping customers pursue their passions, whether that means being closer to the land, taking care of animals or living a hands-on, DIY lifestyle. In store and online, Tractor Supply provides what customers need – anytime, anywhere, any way they choose at the low prices they deserve.
As of July 1, 2023, the Company operated 2,181 Tractor Supply stores in 49 states, including 81 stores acquired from Orscheln Farm and Home in 2022 that will be rebranded to Tractor Supply by the end of 2023. For more information on Tractor Supply, visit www.tractorsupply.com.
Tractor Supply Company also owns and operates Petsense by Tractor Supply, a small-box pet specialty supply retailer providing products and services for pet owners. As of July 1, 2023, the Company operated 192 Petsense by Tractor Supply stores in 23 states. For more information on Petsense by Tractor Supply, visit www.Petsense.com.
About The Tractor Supply Company Foundation
The Tractor Supply Company Foundation is committed to supporting vibrant rural communities for all by investing in the future of Life Out Here through today’s youth and being a good neighbor in the communities Tractor Supply calls home. Founded in 2020, the Foundation’s priority areas include supporting agriculture education initiatives through longstanding partnerships with FFA and 4-H, caring for pets and animals and preserving land for future generations. The Foundation expands upon the charitable work of Tractor Supply Company, supporting causes that are important to customers and Team Members. In 2022, the Company donated over $15 million through direct giving, sponsorships, fundraisers and more. To learn more about The Tractor Supply Company Foundation, visit Corporate.TractorSupply.com/Community.
Established in 1889, Carhartt is a global premium workwear brand with a rich heritage of developing rugged products for workers on and off the job. Headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, with approximately 5,400 employees worldwide, Carhartt is family-owned and managed by the descendants of the company’s founder, Hamilton Carhartt. For more information, visit www.carhartt.com.
SkillsUSA is America’s proud champion of the skilled trades. It’s a student-led partnership of education and industry that’s building the skilled workforce our nation depends on with graduates who are career ready, day one. Representing nearly 380,000 career and technical education students and teachers, SkillsUSA chapters thrive in middle schools, high schools and college/postsecondary institutions nationwide. SkillsUSA’s mission empowers students to become skilled professionals, career-ready leaders and responsible community members. That mission is accomplished through the SkillsUSA Framework of Personal Skills, Workplace Skills and Technical Skills Grounded in Academics, which is integrated into classroom curriculum. Through Framework instruction, students develop the character-shaping leadership skills — teamwork, communication, professionalism and more — that successful careers and lives demand. At the same time, students hone their high-level technical skills against current industry standards in more than 130 skilled trade areas, from 3-D Animation to Welding. The result? Focused, confident and highly skilled graduates who are ready to work, ready to lead and ready to make a difference in our schools, workplaces and communities. A vital solution to the skills gap, where more in-demand skilled trades positions are available than qualified professionals to fill them, SkillsUSA has served more than 14 million difference-making members since 1965. For more, visit www.skillsusa.org.
Tractor Supply Company
Mary Winn Pilkington (615) 440-4212
Tricia Whittemore (615) 440-4410
Erica Salomon (313) 749-6632