Actress Vivica A. Fox is a booked and busy film and TV star with an affinity for skilled labor workers who help to improve our lives and the world with their work.
The Cocktails With The Queens host was in Park City, Utah, this past weekend for the Sundance Film Festival, where she hosted the premiere of 3M’s new docuseries Skilled, a documentary that celebrates the skilled trades while tackling misconceptions that may be preventing more people from pursuing these vital careers.
Research shows a shortage in skilled trade labor in economies around the globe. Currently, 9 in 10 people believe more individuals would pursue a trade career if perceptions of the field improved.
Speaking with BLACK ENTERPRISE, Fox shared the importance of films like Skilled and why she didn’t hesitate to host the premiere.
“First of all, I love 3M and what the ‘M’s originally stood for: Minnesota, Mining and Manufacturing,” she said.
“They are a very diverse company that is extremely successful. They were the ones that brought Skilled to me, to ask me to host a wonderful evening of showing the movie at Sundance, which I love.”
Fox admits it’s been years since she attended Sundance, but didn’t pass up the opportunity to host the screening since she’s “about girl power.”
The Independence Day actress holds a special place in her heart for skilled labor workers. Her oldest brother, Sandy, became a skilled worker after leaving the Army, and her niece has held various rewarding skilled labor positions.
“I’ve got two good girlfriends of mine, Vanessa Zeno and Alyssa Nelson, who work at a factory in Detroit, Michigan, who are also from the Midwest,” Vivica told BLACK ENTERPRISE. “Midwest does it best, baby.
“They drive a forklift and wear their hard hats and do just as hard of work as their male counterparts.”
Fox also noted her girlfriend who does service work in the medical field and was on the front lines during the height of the COVID pandemic.
“Then I have another girlfriend by the name of Shauna Chin, who is in the health profession business. She got us through COVID, and I appreciate her sacrifices,” she said. “When things were really tough on the country with surviving COVID, she was right there and sacrificed her health and her time with family and friends.”
Regarding addressing the misconceptions surrounding skilled labor, Fox thinks 3 M’s Skilled will help combat stigmas and miseducation around the field.
“It’s important to open our hearts and minds about trade positions that you think a woman can’t do,” she said.
“We’re here to change that misconception and have a positive reaction on Generation Next, and to show them women can do anything.”
Fox also gave a special shoutout to former inmates who are able to receive a second chance by obtaining careers in skilled labor.
“There’s definitely a certain image that skilled trades have – when it comes to the value of a vocational education, when folks think about the type of person that goes into skilled jobs, and the perceptions people have about how successful you can be,” she explained.
“I also hope Skilled helps to shatter these negative and untrue stereotypes, because there’s a huge shortage of skilled trade workers around the world.”
Fox continued. “I hope Skilled helps more people from all walks of life to consider a career in the skilled trades. Not only are many of those jobs high-paying and in-demand, I’ve seen how personally rewarding they are in making the world a better place.”