• Skilled: Shining a Light on the Trades.

  • 3M is raising awareness around the opportunities available in the trades through Skilled, a new docuseries created to dispel misperceptions and showcase diverse and meaningful trade careers.

    Skilled workers are a vital part of our global communities and economies, but access to education and opportunity isn’t always equitable. That’s why 3M is working to share ‘Skilled’ with teachers and students, advancing our global commitment to create five million unique skilled trades and STEM learning experiences for underrepresented individuals by the end of 2025.

    Inspired by the 3M State of Science Index, Skilled aims to spark a conversation about the modern realities of skilled trades and what may be preventing more people from pursuing these vital careers. By highlighting four tradespeople at various stages in their careers, Skilled showcases the diversity and breadth of trade careers, and how workers can find personal fulfillment and professional success.

3M Skilled Trailer
1 minute 13 seconds

Skilled docuseries poster with multiple closeups of faces.  Text is The future is in the hands of the skilled.
  • The majority of people perceive the typical trade worker to be 41 years or older and male. (3M 2023 State of Science Index)

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    Paige Knowles, plumber and author of the children’s book “Plumber Paige”.

    “It’s okay to be different and I think it’s important for girls at a younger age in school to consider something that they will actually like, and not just follow what everybody else says they should be doing.”

    Paige Knowles is a 19-year-old plumber and author of the children’s book “Plumber Paige” that is inspired by her own experiences. Paige hosts Let’s Build, an all-girls construction camp during the summer and is living her dream of being a skilled trades advocate. Her choice to pursue a career in plumbing initially drew criticism from friends, but the happiness and satisfaction she has found as well as the opportunity to support and inspire other women interested in trade careers provides her with the daily assurance that she made the right decision.

  • Nine in ten people believe more would pursue a trade career if perceptions of the field improved. (3M 2023 State of Science Index)

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    Andrea Martin, safety and fall protection specialist at 3M.

    “Trade school is not a fallback. It’s an absolute opportunity.”

    Andrea Martin is a safety and fall protection specialist at 3M who was named one of the 2022 Top Women in Safety by Canadian Occupational Safety. Andrea first got into the skilled trades to support her family as a young, single mother. After facing and overcoming gender bias in a predominantly male industry, she actively mentors women looking to build a career in the safety and industrial trades.

  • 93% see a consequence if their country cannot find a solution to the shortage of skilled trade workers. (3M 2023 State of Science Index)

  • Anni Martinez, Mexico-based graffer specializing in lighting design.

    “My hope for the future of women in the film industry in Mexico is that we feel safe and that we have the freedom to be creative or skilled in whatever we want to do—because we are capable of anything.”

    Anni Martinez is a Mexico-based gaffer specializing in lighting design. She is part of the group Amazonas Electricas, an all-female team bringing diversity to Mexico's film industry. Anni was a stay-at-home mom of four before being offered a job to clean film sets. Through curiosity about those working around her, and a lot of persistence, she quickly transitioned to lighting and worked her way up to a supervisor level. Today she is one of the most sought-after gaffers within the AE group.

  • 88% believe parents should encourage their children to pursue skilled trade career options. (3M 2023 State of Science Index)

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    “My greatest pride comes from the fact that nobody can take this skill from me and it’s something that I can continue to evolve in.”

    Cedric Smith is a welder who attributes getting certified to restoring his hope and allowing him a second chance at life. Cedric’s interest in the trades began at a young age watching his grandfather work as a mechanical engineer. Through a 3M grant, Cedric was able to acquire his own welding machine, allowing him to practice his skills at home and work towards his dream of becoming a journeyman. Cedric is driven, committed, passionate and proud of what he does.

Skilled Docuseries full video
37 minutes, 28 seconds.

Skilled docuseries poster with multiple closeups of faces.  Text is The future is in the hands of the skilled.