Three Ways to Bring the Trades to Your Community

June 12, 2014

AlliePerezThree Ways to Bring the Trades to Your Community

By Allie Perez,

You’ve heard contractors say it more than once, “I’m desperate for skilled workers!” Heck, you may have said this yourself. But, even the most diversified and active recruitment and hiring plans can fall short. In Texas, the average age of a Master Plumber is 58 years old! What’s going to happen to the industry in seven years? We only bring in one apprentice for every four plumbers that are leaving the trades. These numbers don’t add up. So, what can you do to bring the trades into your community and start addressing this problem? Read on for three simple ways to bring the trades into your community.

Get Out There! Jump in!
The easiest and best way to start is by attending a career day at your local school. Starting at your kid’s school or maybe a relative’s or employee’s child’s school is a great place to start. Up the ante and contact your local school district about being a presenter at local career events. What good does this do? Well, it illustrates to young people that there are alternatives to college. It also helps to change the perception of the “dirty tradesman.” You’re able, through your presence, to demonstrate the proven success of a life in the trades.

Make it Fun!
When presenting always make sure you’re honest. It doesn’t help to recruit young people if you are pitching an unrealistic dream. Also, use visual aids such as, Power Point presentations or show and tell. In the trades, we are very lucky to be able to bring our trades directly into the classroom. Show the students your tools of the trade and allow them ask direct questions about your daily activities. Throw in a presentation and they’re sold. When I attend local career events, I ensure that each classroom has a sink with an exposed piping system underneath. Then I split the class into two groups. One group goes to the sink with me and I explain drainage and supply. The second group, moderated by their instructor, is able to handle the tools and show and tell items I’ve brought along. It is very engaging and way more fun than listening to another “boring presentation.”

Build Relationships!

Create a relationship with the guidance counselor and inform them that you are very open to them sharing your contact information. Through word of mouth you will find that you are very popular within their district. Counselors are dying for diversification when presenting career paths to young people. Help them along and show them how beneficial a life in the trades has been for you and how great it can be for their students. Always send a follow-up note or email thanking them for having you at their event and invite them to save your information for future events.

Obviously, there are a great deal of ways to penetrate society with information about a life in the trades. It is our individual responsibility to present the trades to our community and illustrate to them how important the trades are in their daily lives. The trades are economy proof and provide excellent benefits to those committed to their profession. Don’t be afraid to share what you love!


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