“Explore The Trades Skills Lab, Built by Ferguson”

Over the last 30 years, countless individuals have graduated high school to continue onto a career path that may – or may not – have been what they were searching for. A generation was “lost” to the skilled trades and because of that, there’s a shortage of skilled professionals throughout North America.

Explore The Trades is focused on bridging the technical talent gap to the service trades of plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical. Ferguson Enterprises is committed to building up the communities in which their branches are located. Together, both organizations are dedicated to building the next generation of plumbers and HVAC technicians.

Explore The Trades and Ferguson Enterprises were thrilled to see three brand new labs come together during the pilot year of our skills lab program last year, and we’re excited to see this initiative continuing in 2022. We look forward to continuing to build the talent network in local communities across North America and bridging the technical talent gap to the trades that keep our country running.

More information about the specific metrics of the program can be found below.

Skills Lab Information
  • Applications will be open from October 1, 2022, through March 31, 2023.
  • Any middle school or high school is eligible to participate in the skills lab initiative.
  • Any selected recipient must be ready to use the equipment and products by the start of the Fall 2023 school year.
  • Funds may be used in construction of new skills labs, or to refurbish an existing skills lab. Funds will be allocated as follows:
    • Four (4) awards to create brand new skills labs (equipment and products worth up to $25,000 each)
    • Nine (9) awards to refurbish an existing plumbing or HVAC lab space (equipment and products worth up to $10,000 each)
  • Applications may be submitted to Maddy Sorenson, Project Coordinator at Explore The Trades, at [email protected]thetrades.org.
  • Deadline for ordering equipment will be July 31, 2023.

For any questions about the Skills Lab initiative, please contact Kate Cinnamo, Executive Director of Explore The Trades, at [email protected] or 651-789-8518, or Maddy Sorenson, Project Coordinator at Explore The Trades, at [email protected] or 651-314-3856.

 
Download frequently asked questions, project criteria and applications below:

Online Forms:

*Please note: The electronic application(s) below will take some time to fill out and cannot be returned to later, or saved.

Ferguson Grant Application (New)

"*" indicates required fields

School Information

Address of School*
What grade levels does the school serve?*

What is the demographic makeup of the student body?

What trade will outfit the new skills lab?*
Does your school provide adult education or night classes?*
Does the school have existing trades and/or technical classes?*

Industry Partner Information

Equipment Will Never be Sold on a Public Site*
All Statements are Accurate*
Agreement for Follow-Up*

Ferguson Grant Application (Refurbished)

"*" indicates required fields

School Information

Address of School*
What grade levels does the school serve?

What is the demographic makeup of the student body?

For which trade is your skills lab built?*
Max. file size: 16 MB.

Industry Partner Information

Equipment Will Never be Sold on a Public Site*
All Statements are Accurate*
Agreement for Follow-Up*