Tractor Supply And Carhartt Launch 2023 Exclusive Apparel Collection To Support Skilled Trades

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — August 17, 2023 — Tractor Supply Co., a 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 United States.

Support the Trades launched in 2021, offering exclusive branded merchandise in Tractor Supply stores and at 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 percent from 2021 to 2022, and mechanic and repair trade programs saw an enrollment increase of 11.5 percent. 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.”

Posted: August 17, 2023

Source: Tractor Supply Company