3M engineers oversee each others’ work using grinders on metal materials.

Help your students find a viable career in the skilled trades.

3M has partnerships and programs across several skilled trades to help you connect your students to fantastic opportunities and resources to get them inspired, engaged and excited about a career in the skilled trades.

  • Two young women inspect a video camera drone in a classroom.

    You can help address the skilled labor shortage by guiding students to skilled trades opportunities.

    As an educator, you have the ability to talk to and educate your students about the benefits of pursuing a career in the skilled trades. Many students prefer to pursue careers where can learn more hands-on skills and have a shorter path to gainful employment than they would attending a traditional four-year college. That’s where you come in.

    There are many skilled trade and STEM programs, events and opportunities for students and young adults of all ages designed to create curiosity, drive interest and gain access to careers in the skilled trades. Your position is vital to identifying and counseling students who would benefit most from participation in these programs.

    You can help your students recognize their opportunities to obtain a good-paying, long-term job with benefits just two years or less after graduation.

  • A 3M employee gives a Tech Talk science demonstration to a group of students.

    Getting started

    3M has programs designed to introduce students to skilled trades career possibilities that give them access to first-hand information from skilled trades professionals.

    An introduction to the trades.

    3M Tech Talks is an opportunity for students—especially those from underrepresented communities—to meet and interact with tech industry role models. 3Mers will share stories about their past and the path that lead to a STEM career to inspire an interest in learning more.

Yellow to green gradient.

Explore Skilled Trades Programs.

National Skilled Trades Programs

Because the demand for skilled workers is so great, and will continue to grow, 3M supports national programs designed to help those interested in the skilled trades find careers.

  • SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA serves middle-school, high-school and college/postsecondary students preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations. The partnership serves 350,000 middle school, high school and postsecondary students and educators annually with online training programs, webinars, and 19,000 training classrooms. Their apprenticeship models lead to skilled career placements.

  • The National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) is a value-driven organization and the future model for career and technical education. Their goal is to develop highly-skilled, job-ready professionals through a growing network of educational partners and global industry leaders. An industry partner of 3M, NC3 brings industry and trade leaders, professional organizations and educational institutions together to drive workforce development and improve technical education.

Featured Regional Skilled Trades Programs

There are valuable local programs that offer specific advantages to students seeking opportunities in the skilled trades. Find skilled trades certification programs near you, check out your local technical schools or visit nc3.net.

  • St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS) serve a diverse student population of more than 37K students, who speak more than 125 languages and dialects. Their mission is to inspire students to think critically, pursue their dreams and change the world. It’s why 3M has supported SPPS by funding art supplies, sensory equipment for early learners and technology to empower students with disabilities.

  • Almost 200 students over three years will benefit from 3M equipping two Austin, Texas schools with a training facility for the electrical trades. The effort will also sponsor 20 students who elect to go into further training as electricians. The partner schools selected have a student population mix of more than 90% African American and Hispanic.

  • 3M and Century College have teamed up to support and encourage underrepresented groups in the college’s Skilled Trades Program. The 3M Skilled Trades Annual Scholarship is given to students entering the Welding, Solar and Renewable Energy or Skilled Trades Programs at Century College. There are five $5,000 scholarships prorated between fall and spring semesters.

3M STEM Learning Programs

We aim to inspire curiosity, improve educational outcomes and transform lives through STEM opportunities. Through demonstrations, jobsite visits, hands-on training and certification opportunities, we nourish that curiosity and help students and young adults discover rewarding careers in the skilled trades.

  • Designed for students in grades 1 – 6, 3M Visiting Wizards helps encourage young people to become interested in science and technology. The program uses interesting and fun science demonstrations and hands-on experiments on a variety of topics to show how science has an impact on everyday life.

  • 3M Science at Home is a free resource that consists of an online video library that contains more than 20 experiments. Each Experiment features a 3M scientist, engineer, or a special guest performing a simple experiment that follows the Next Generation Science Standards used by many states in the U.S. 3M has worked with Teach for America to help deploy the Science at Home program to over 100,000 underrepresented students. The program’s success has led to its expansion to more than a dozen countries.

Inspiring real-life stories.

  • A thumbnail of Cedric the welder talking to the camera with his arms crossed.

    Cedric | Welder

    Hear how Cedric turned his Basic Welding Knowledge Certification from Anoka Technical College into a career where he’s excited about his potential to grow as an employee and as a person.

  • A thumbnail of Dakarai the electrical draft talking to the camera with his arms crossed.

    Dakarai | Electrical Drafter

    After graduating from Dunwoody College of Technology with an Engineering Drafting and Design Associate Degree, Dakarai loves his well-paying, collaborative position with a company that offers lots of opportunities for growth.

  • A thumbnail of Jolie the electrical apprentice talking to the camera.

    Jolie | Electrical Apprentice

    Jolie wasn’t sure what she wanted to do after graduation—until she discovered an apprenticeship opportunity at her high school’s job fair. Now she’s an electrical apprentice working with a solar team and has set her goals on becoming a journeyman.

A satellite photo of the earth lit up from the night sky.

The global state of science.

Check out 3M’s State of Science Index featuring the global state of skilled trades.


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