Even in times of higher unemployment, specialty fabrics businesses can struggle to find skilled workers. Steve Turner, owner of Turner Upholstery, an automobile upholsterer based in Rye, N.H., has faced that struggle, and in 2018 he decided to do something about it.
Turner began by producing baseball caps featuring the phrase “Bring Back the Trades” to raise awareness. After receiving positive feedback from friends and fellow tradespeople, he officially founded Bring Back the Trades Inc., a nonprofit organization with a mission to support students who are pursuing post-secondary education in a professional trade. The group awards scholarships to qualified students and collaborates with educators, community leaders and trades businesses to change the perception of the trades within the educational system.
The organization now awards nine $1,000 scholarships a year in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont and Rhode Island, and Turner hopes that the scholarship program can grow nationally. For more, visit