PORTLAND, Ore. (May 10, 2022) — KEEN Utility, the work boot division of KEEN Inc. (KEEN), launched the She Builds Grant Program to champion the next generation of tradeswomen. The program pledges $1M in much needed product and financial support over the next five years to trailblazing nonprofit organizations in the United States and Canada dedicated to the empowerment and education of women seeking a career in the skilled trades.
KEEN Utility announced the 2022 She Builds grants, selected by KEEN Utility and their fans, will go to Black Women Build-Baltimore, Girl’s Garage, Vermont Works for Women, Oregon Tradeswomen, and British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Trades Discovery for Women. Grants will help provide hundreds of thousands of hours in tradeskills education, expansion of workplace inclusivity training, as well as women’s specific safety footwear.
“Women are essential to the future of the skilled trades,” said Robin Skillings, VP/General Manager at KEEN Utility. “Supporting organizations that are deeply dedicated to the empowerment and advancement of women in the trades is critical. Through the She Builds Grant Program, we are solidifying our commitment to their future, and the growth of the trades, one step at a time.”
The She Builds Grant is funded through The KEEN Effect, part of KEEN’s larger mission to make Outside and the Trades accessible to all. KEEN has committed millions of dollars toward social and environmental justice since 2003.
A leader in women’s safety footwear, KEEN Utility is uniquely positioned to champion the cause of welcoming more women into the trades and encouraging skills acquisition. The Tradeswomen Tested collection from KEEN Utility enlists the insights of tradeswomen working in a variety of professions from initial conception all the way through final product release and incorporates on-the-job feedback into future designs. By creating more inclusive and adaptive footwear built for and inspired by women in the trades, the brand established early on that the future of the trades is diverse and demands support.