SkillsUSA Teams Up with Tractor Supply and Carhartt to Help Close the Skills Gap

Published: August 24, 2021
Image for SkillsUSA Teams Up with Tractor Supply and Carhartt to Help Close the Skills Gap

Portion of proceeds from T-shirt fundraiser will go to SkillsUSA to build trade, technical and skilled service training programs 

Leesburg, Va., Aug. 24, 2021 — SkillsUSA has teamed up with Tractor Supply Company (TSC) and Carhartt for the “Support the Trades” campaign designed to raise awareness of the skilled trades while helping SkillsUSA close the skilled trades gap. Tractor Supply will be the exclusive retailer of two styles of “Support the Trades” shirts designed by Carhartt, America’s premium workwear brand, to benefit SkillsUSA. As part of the campaign, Carhartt and TSC have created a new line of “Support the Trades” shirts, and proceeds from every shirt sold will be donated directly to SkillsUSA. Support the Trades shirts are available in Tractor Supply Stores and at Tractor Supply and Carhartt have each committed to a $50,000 maximum donation, totaling $100,000 for SkillsUSA. “We are thankful to have partners like Tractor Supply and Carhartt that so firmly believe in our mission to build our nation’s next skilled workforce,” 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 empower students to develop the personal, workplace and technical skills to succeed at work and in life.” “Tractor Supply, Carhartt and SkillsUSA all share a common goal: to equip America’s hardworking tradespeople with everything needed to be successful for Life Out Here, whether it’s training, clothing or equipment,” said Jeff Rietveld, Vice President, Divisional Merchandise Manager at Tractor Supply. “As the skilled trades gap widens, it is more important than ever that we work together to develop and support individuals to fill these important roles.” The United States is facing a rapidly growing shortage of qualified workers in the skilled trades, which include the construction, manufacturing, transportation, service and healthcare sectors. According to Forbes, more than three million trade jobs will remain open in the U.S. by 2028. Further, the Associated Builders and Contractors projects that the demand for construction workers will rise by 1.3 to 2 million jobs by 2023. Additionally, with a quarter of current trade workers expected to retire within the next five years, the number of available positions is expected to far outpace the supply of qualified workers. “For more than 20 years, Carhartt has been a proud supporter of SkillsUSA and their role in helping thousands of hardworking people find a rewarding path into the skilled trades every year,” said Janet Ries, Vice President of Marketing at Carhartt. “So, we are proud to partner with our friends at Tractor Supply Company to raise money that will help ensure the future success of America’s workforce.” To learn more, or to purchase a Support the Trades shirt, visit Customers can choose between a charcoal grey long-sleeved t-shirt or a navy short-sleeved t-shirt.

About SkillsUSA

SkillsUSA is a nonprofit partnership of education and industry founded in 1965 to strengthen our nation’s skilled workforce. Driven by employer demand, SkillsUSA helps students develop necessary personal and workplace skills along with technical skills grounded in academics. This SkillsUSA Framework empowers every student to succeed at work and in life, while helping to close the skills gap in which millions of positions go unfilled. Through SkillsUSA’s championships program and curricula, employers have long ensured schools are teaching relevant technical skills, and with SkillsUSA’s new credentialing process, they can now assess how ready potential employees are for the job. SkillsUSA has members nationwide in high schools, colleges and middle schools, covering over 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations, and is recognized by the U.S. departments of Education and Labor as integral to career and technical education. We have served nearly 13.9 million members since 1965. For more information, visit:

Tractor Supply Company

Tractor Supply Company (NASDAQ: TSCO), the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the United States, has been passionate about serving its unique niche, targeting the needs of recreational farmers, ranchers and all those who enjoy living the rural lifestyle, for more than 80 years. Tractor Supply offers an extensive mix of products necessary to care for home, land, pets and animals with a focus on product localization, exclusive brands and legendary customer service for the Out Here lifestyle. With more than 45,000 Team Members, the Company’s physical store assets, combined with its digital capabilities, offer customers the convenience of purchasing products they need anytime, anywhere and any way they choose at the everyday low prices they deserve. At June 26, 2021, the Company operated 1,955 Tractor Supply stores in 49 states, a customer mobile app and an e-commerce website at Tractor Supply Company also owns and operates Petsense, a small-box pet specialty supply retailer focused on meeting the needs of pet owners, primarily in small and mid-size communities, and offering a variety of pet products and services. At June 26, 2021, the Company operated 174 Petsense stores in 23 states. For more information on Petsense, visit:

About Carhartt

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 more than 5,300 associates worldwide, Carhartt is family-owned and managed by the descendants of the company’s founder, Hamilton Carhartt. For more information, visit:

Media Contacts

SkillsUSA Contacts
Jane Short or Karen Kitzel 703-777-8810 or
Tractor Supply Company
Mary Winn Pilkington, 615-440-4212 Mackenzie Goldman, 615-440-4360
Amy Hellebuyck, 313-749-6322

Related Stories

May 14, 2024

TechForce Foundation, SkillsUSA Collaborate to Empower Next Generation of Skilled Technicians and Solve Technician Shortage

TechForce Foundation and SkillsUSA have entered a strategic collaboration to empower the next generation of skilled aviation, automotive, collision repair, diesel, and welding technicians and tackle the technician shortage head-on.
April 24, 2024

Lowe’s Foundation partners with SkillsUSA to celebrate ‘Trades Stars’ from the Toolbelt Generation on SkillsUSA National Signing Day

To honor the future generation of Pros who are choosing careers in skilled trades, the Lowe’s Foundation has awarded a $1 million Gable Grant to SkillsUSA.

Search Press Room:

Media Contacts

For more information about SkillsUSA, contact:

Jane A. DeShong Short

Senior Manager, Public Relations/Communications

Karen Kitzel

Associate Director, Communications

Helpful Links

SkillsUSA Advocacy Site

The SkillsUSA Advocacy Site is a free service for SkillsUSA members to reach the news media or contact policymakers with your message.

Mike Rowe

Mike Rowe for SkillsUSA

View More

Kayleen McCabe PSA

Kayleen McCabe PSA