2. Training your own people
In one of the hardest times to hire skilled workers in decades, Lowe's is running a pilot program offering $2,500 to its own employees if they will learn a master trade, such as electrician or plumber.
Why it matters: After four months of rock-bottom 4.1% unemployment, and the possibility it could drop to 3.5% this year, most companies are still resisting forming their own training programs to skill people up. Lowe's is an example of what we may see over the coming year and longer as companies become more desperate to fill skilled vacancies.
The details: Jennifer Weber, chief human resource officer at Lowe's, tells Axios that the pilot will run in four U.S. cities — Charlotte, N.C., Denver, Pittsburgh and Richmond, VA.
- Lowe's employees will receive up to $2,500 of the cost of a 6-to-10-month pre-apprenticeship to be an electrician, a carpenter, a plumber or an appliance repair person.
- That would be followed by placement in a two-year apprenticeship.
- Those who finish could return to a Lowe's store as an expert helping customers, or work in the master trade for one of the chain's contractors.
Weber said employees will not be required to stay with Lowe's or its contractor network, but that the idea is to build up a cadre of skilled people associated with the chain.
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