Carhartt is literally granting its support to America’s skilled workforce this Labor Day.
The famous workwear brand, headquartered in Dearborn, Mich., has just launched its first-ever grant program called “For the Love of Labor.” The initiative will support community-based U.S. nonprofit organizations dedicated to educating, training and placing workers into skilled trade jobs.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics an estimated three million skilled trade jobs are available in the U.S. as of June 2022.
“As a company that started by serving railroad workers in 1889, we’ve upheld the belief that careers in the skilled trades not only provide rewarding and inclusive job opportunities, but are also crucial in building stronger individuals, families and communities,” said Todd Corley, senior vice president of inclusion, sustainability and community at Carhartt. “With the ‘For the Love of Labor’ grant program, we strive to champion those who work with their hands and are helping build a better world, community by community, during a time when we need them most.”
The grants will be awarded throughout the year. Considerations in selecting the recipients included factors such as accepting grants on a rolling basis, selecting applicants with programs that provide career pathways toward family-sustaining wages in high-demand positions and the money needed to meet an organization’s specific needs.
For this first round, Carhartt awarded a total of $175,000 to four of its fellow Wolverine Staters that are committed to serving women and further diversifying the skilled trade workforce. Women Who Weld (Detroit), Women in Skilled Trades (Lansing), Emerging Industries Training Institute (Detroit) and Workforce Development Institute – Access for All (Detroit) comprise the first-time quartet.
Women Who Weld helps women learn and prepare for employment in the welding industry, which currently has just 5 percent of female workers. Women in Skilled Trades was founded by two female lifetime construction workers and offers trade programming and events for women in construction while Emerging Industries Training Institute specifically targets and trains industries facing increased demand, labor shortages and skills gaps. The Workforce Development Institute – Access for All is free 300-hour construction-trade training program offered by the more than 30-year-old trade institute.
To help subsidize the “For The Love Of Labor” program, Carhartt is committing all of its own webshop sales this Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 5, toward future grant recipients. The 24-hour fundraiser will run from 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. EDT and marks the third year in a row where Carhartt has donated sales on Labor Day toward building and educating the next generation of workers.
Carhartt’s action is the latest example of a workwear brand honoring and helping the people who live and toil in its clothes. In September 2021 Carhartt rival Dickies launched its “United By Good Work” campaign that highlighted three community-based organizations connecting the public with meaningful service opportunities. It showed members from these groups dressed in Dickies gear.
Likewise, workwear brand Dovetail launched an IPA beer in October 2021 to benefit the Pink Boots Society, a nonprofit supporting women professionals in the fermented and alcoholic beverage industry.