Global research shows 9 in 10 agree more people should enter the trades.
There are many negative misconceptions associated with skilled trade jobs and the people who choose to go into the various industries. A study conducted by 3M State of Science Index found that 9 in 10 people believe more individuals would pursue a trade career if perceptions of the field improved. Actress and philanthropist Vivica Fox also agrees, and recently teamed up with 3M to help spark positive conversation around the trade workforce and the men and women involved. They recently debuted the new documentary, Skilled, during 3M’s 2023 Sundance Film Festival event.
For Fox, she's personally watched some of her closest girlfriends find fulfilling livelihoods as skilled laborers, specifically as fork lift workers and nurses.
"My two girlfriends, Vanessa Zeno and Alyssa Nelson, they are a fabulous mother-daughter duo who drive forklifts and wear hard hats at their factory job in Detroit. What I love about it, is the joy they have being in there with the guys doing as much work as them. My other good girlfriend, Shauna Chin, works as a nurse in the health profession," Fox shares. "She got us through COVID, and she made a lot of sacrifices. But what she’s most proud of is that she didn’t mind sacrificing her health, her family time and time with her friends to be a first responder, to be in there with people that lost their lives and didn’t have families who were able to hold their hands."
She hopes the film Skilled will show future generations what is possible beyond college-driven careers or even the military. It's also a reminder that even when people mess up in life, due to incarceration, there are still options available to them which can provide that second chance at life.
"There’s a negative stigma around skilled trades. About certain types of people that go into these jobs, about the value of a technical education, and about how successful you can be. I hope Skilled shatters those stereotypes, to improve the image of skilled trade careers. There’s a huge shortage of skilled trade workers around the world, and a big reason behind that is the image," Fox says. "I also hope more people from all walks of life consider a job in the skilled trades, because I’ve seen firsthand how these jobs make the world a better place for everyone."