Our mission to empower makers starts with helping the next generation learn about rewarding careers in the trades.

Stanley Black & Decker conducted a survey of high school students, parents and workers in the trade professions to better understand what’s causing the skilled trade labor shortage. The Makers Index aims to help us understand how these jobs are seen across generations, the deterrents from entering the trades, the biggest misconceptions and how we can combat them.


Our Virtual Panel Discussion Drills Into The Findings

Watch this panel of industry experts and influencers drill into the underlying causes of the skilled trade labor shortage. What they have to say is intriguing. From salary potential and cutting-edge technologies that are elevating the profession, to the exploration of gender equality in the trades, you’ll find no shortage of useful information.


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A man carrying a DEWALT Tool in a basement.

Let’s Drill Down the Facts.

As you’ll see from the results of our Makers Index study, we went to great lengths to get to the bottom of the issues. From understanding young people’s perceptions about salaries to exploring just how satisfied professional tradespeople are with their careers, the results may surprise you.

Ready to dig deep?

See the Complete Makers Index

Four Main Findings

Young people vastly underestimate the potential earnings in the skilled trades:

One in five young people (19%) think skilled trade starting pay is less than $20,000,

when the reality is that less than 10% of skilled trade workers earn $20,000 or less.

There are discrepancies in knowledge, consideration and appeal between genders: Teen boys are much more likely to consider a skilled trades career in the future than teen girls –

49% of girls are likely to consider a skilled trades career

while 64% of boys are likely to consider a skilled trades career.

More exposure to those working in the trades is needed:

Only 42% of young people have ever had a conversation about skilled trade careers with someone currently working in these fields

and 37% have never had a conversation with anyone about skilled trade careers.

Young people have outdated perceptions of what a career in skilled trades entails:

23% disagreed that those in the skilled trades work with cutting-edge technology,

when in reality, 89% of tradespeople say they work with cutting-edge technology.

Our Commitment: Grow The Trades

Stanley Black & Decker is making major investments in trade skills initiatives that will help address the skilled talent shortage. We’re committed to educating people and helping them thrive in this changing world. Grow the Trades is a five-year commitment of $30 million to fund trade skill initiatives with strategic nonprofit partners, support vocational skills training programs in construction and manufacturing, and provide tool donations.

Global Impact Challenge

Funding vocational skills training in construction and manufacturing

Learn More About the Program
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* The Makers Index includes two key studies:

The Knowledge & Perception Index scores factors that influence consideration of a skilled trade career among students and parents. The Advocacy Index measures the likelihood that skilled trade workers will recommend their career to young people.

The Makers Index will be released annually to track changing perceptions.