The trades are a timeless industry with a rich history. For generations, tradespeople have been instrumental in building this nation and they will continue to serve our communities years into the future.
Explore The Trades was founded in 2005 to promote this legacy and empower future trades professionals.
Why Our Work Matters
Over the last generation, many factors have played a role in creating a skilled labor shortage. What was once considered the backbone of this nation, the trades were cast aside as society favored a “college for all” mentality. Now is the time to renew our focus on the industries that keep our country running.
Explore The Trades exists to bridge the technical talent gap to the service trades:
Jobs in these industries are in high demand and come with great pay, career opportunities, and job security. We want to help people discover that these careers aren’t just a choice —they’re the best choice.
Donor Spotlight: Michael Bergstrom
External Operations & Partner
Thornton & Grooms
Farmington Hills, Michigan
“Michael Bergstrom is a devoted board member of Explore the Trades and the proud owner and General Manager of Thornton & Grooms Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling, a storied business in Farmington Hills, MI, dating back to 1937. In 2004, alongside Dave Knight and Matt Bergstrom, Michael acquired the company, focusing on residential repair, maintenance, and replacement services.“
How You Can Help
With support from donors and industry partners, Explore The Trades is assisting in assembling the technical workforce of the future. When you donate to Explore The Trades, your gift provides classroom and on-demand resources to educators, young adults, parents, and all those ready to begin a path to career success.
Support to Explore The Trades ensures that the plumbing, heating, cooling, and electrical trades stay in the forefront of career conversations for the next generation.
Explore The Trades is a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charity; EIN 20-3547319.
Make a gift today to help empower the trades of tomorrow.
Become a Monthly Supporter of Explore The Trades!
You can make a big impact by giving a small amount on a regular basis. Join our community of recurring donors to help sustain our work bringing the service trades of plumbing, HVAC, and electrical to the individuals who are vital to the industries’ growth: students, parents, and educators.
Industry professionals and trades advocates like you are critical to the success of Explore The Trades’ initiatives and ultimately, communities around the nation. Setting up a monthly contribution only takes a moment and provides the organization with essential support throughout the year.
Supporters who wish to become a monthly donor will receive the following:
- Special recognition on Explore the Trades’ website and annual donor recognition announcements
- An Explore The Trades digital badge to share on social media or your company’s website to proudly showcase your support of Explore The Trades
- Explore the Trades stickers and lapel pin.
All contributions are greatly appreciated.
Your Annual Impact
External Operations & Partner
Thornton & Grooms Farmington Hills, Michigan
Michael Bergstrom is a devoted board member of Explore the Trades and the proud owner and General Manager of Thornton & Grooms Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling, a storied business in Farmington Hills, MI, dating back to 1937. In 2004, alongside Dave Knight and Matt Bergstrom, Michael acquired the company, focusing on residential repair, maintenance, and replacement services.
His roots in the trades run deep, growing up working in his father’s plumbing, heating, and cooling business, making him a third-generation trades professional. Michael earned a Business Degree from Michigan State University, representing the “Go Green” spirit proudly. Under his leadership, Thornton & Grooms established an Academy in 2020, dedicated to transforming individuals from outside the trades into skilled professionals, with over 100 successful graduates.
Michael’s unwavering support for Explore The Trades stems from its passion for exposing people to the incredible opportunities within the trades industry. He understands firsthand the fulfillment it brings to individuals and those around them. Outside of his professional life, Michael cherishes spending time with his wife, Melissa Bergstrom, and their three children, Easton, Wren, and Maryn, who keep him happily occupied.