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The Skilled Trades Shortage & Economics 101

We've been seeing more and more commentary recently about the celebration of the MAKERS of America as pride flows from the trade schools graduating construction, plumbing, HVAC, electricians and more. I'm experiencing this shift first-hand as many business owners are looking to sell because they can't find enough skilled labor.

Beware Lawyers, Pharmacists, IT Experts, and Data Jockeys. If economics proves as certain as gravity, supply and demand will prevail and graduates in excess will be lower paid than the scarce tradesmen and women who understand the technical aspects of creating and maintaining our infrastructure. The Massachusetts Collegian even wrote a well-researched article: "Too many people are going to college. Consider vocational school."

When the repeated sentiment is that the retiring and buying business owners' biggest concern is lack of available workers as they consider HVAC, Construction and Transportation, we have a problem.

The President of Renton Technical College (RTC), Dr. Kevin McCarthy, spoke to a small group of us about the modern tracks they are graduating including mechatronics (internet of things) and transportation technology. These blended career paths will be the perfect storm for what's coming. It is these visionaries ramping up education and working with their local businesses to match what they are hungry for that will prevail!

I'd like to find graduates within these trades who can take on some of our existing businesses whose owners are looking for successors.

I once sponsored a table at RTC and students had no concept that they could be the next owner of an existing business. It wasn't within the realm of possibility to them. But with a little validation from these colleges that taking on an existing, profitable, business is a viable track, I think we could get these high-potential leaders within the trades to continue the legacy of our core infrastructure businesses that keep America running. Please feel free to connect me to trade school programs and events. I'd be happy to present the opportunity to those interested.

Kris FuehrComment