Wolverine is doing its part to promote the next generation of skilled workers.
The workwear brand is partnering with unCommon Construction, a nonprofit organization that works with high school apprentices to build houses and gain technical, professional and personal skills, on a program benefiting students interested in pursuing careers in the skilled trades.
The apprentices offered their input based on their on-the-job training to the brand, which then created a special edition collaboration collection consisting of a boot, socks and a T-shirt. The collection will retail for $145 for the boots, $25 for the T-shirt and $18 for the socks — or $150 as a package — and a portion of the proceeds will be used to fund additional apprenticeships.
The partnership is part of Wolverine’s Project Bootstrap program, which has provided scholarships and educational awareness initiatives to students since 2014. This expanded effort directly targets high school students. The company found that 72 percent of current high school students believe it’s important to consider alternatives to a traditional four-year college, but just 30 percent have considered vocational/trade schools.
“It’s imperative we reach students in more relevant ways so they can learn more about the skilled trades and consider them as a potential future path,” said Tom Kennedy, global brand president for Wolverine. “Organizations like unCommon Construction introduce kids to the rich opportunities to be found in the trades that they aren’t learning about in school.”