Building a Diverse Workforce for the Future
September 22, 2023
Investing in workforce innovation and strategic partnerships to develop and grow a diverse pipeline of talent.
3 min read
At Trane Technologies, we wholeheartedly believe that investing in a diverse workforce is the right thing to do and an essential catalyst for growth. Research consistently reinforces that companies with diverse teams tap into a broader range of perspectives and solutions, leading to increased innovation and overall success. Building a diverse workforce reflective of our communities has always been a top priority.
But we also recognize that achieving this goal requires more than isolated efforts. It calls for the creation of a wide range of programs that forge meaningful connections with our communities and deep collaborations with universities and organizations with direct ties to the people we seek to attract.
One of the ways we foster opportunities for the diverse talent in our communities and facilitate their growth and readiness for the future is by expanding access to education and building pathways to sustainable careers. That also means changing our own expectations about the skills necessary for those entering the workforce and offering more on-the-job development.
In the HVAC industry, approximately 40,100 technician positions become available annually, with a significant portion of these openings arising from the retirement of older technicians. These roles are only increasing in demand as our industry helps with the climate control needs of our customers.
We pioneered a program to build a sustainable service technician workforce to address the challenge of a shrinking skilled bench, while also creating new career opportunities in our communities. Our Technician Apprenticeship Program, a nationwide, four-year, paid program, not only helps recruit and nurture service technicians on a large scale, it also helps fill the skilled labor pipeline and provides opportunities for diverse talent. The program--accredited by the U.S. Department of Labor--provides comprehensive curriculum, one-on-one mentorship, and practical on-the-job training to prepare apprentices for rewarding technician careers.
Since launching earlier this year, the program has welcomed 80 apprentices from all over the country and will ultimately expand and strengthen our existing workforce and help attract people who are looking for on-the-job growth as they enter the workforce or make a change in their career trajectory.
Our Early Careers Program is another avenue where we leverage relationships with local universities to develop an enduring pipeline for talent. The Early Careers program provides students with the skills and experience they need to find their passion and accelerate their careers, and by giving them a front-row experience in our workplace, they also get the chance to ensure what we offer matches their own interest and values – a reverse job interview of sorts. Since 2020, more than 227 students who started as interns with us have transitioned into full-time roles.
One of the ways we foster opportunities for the diverse talent in our communities and facilitate their growth and readiness for the future is by expanding access to education and building pathways to sustainable careers.
In addition to our workforce innovation programs, we harness strategic partnerships to access diverse talent pools from our communities, cultivating a platform that fosters equal access to opportunities for all. We leverage our collaboration with the Society of Women Engineers to create equal access to opportunities and break down barriers, particularly for women in the engineering field.
Through our partnership with OneTen, a coalition dedicated to advancing racial equity and economic opportunity, we create pathways for talent from underrepresented communities. We also partner with the Urban League Central Carolinas to support HVAC certification programs that bring new and diverse talent to the industry.
We’ve forged many other partnerships with professional networks and industry organizations, which play a vital role in our efforts to build a diverse workforce and create brighter futures for the next generation.
Our commitment to fostering talent is deeply engrained in our long-term vision for sustainable success. Three years ago, we set our 2030 Sustainability Commitments, driving our efforts to advance diversity in our workforce. Through workforce innovation and strategic partnerships, we are developing a robust pipeline of highly-skilled diverse talent so that we can go further and faster and truly make a difference – for our communities, customers and planet.
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