Skipping College

My background as a writer compels me to spend a lot of time on the flip side as a reader. Mornings almost always start out with a two-hour reading session, mostly of news publications. (I’m retired, so I have the time.) More and more, my morning readings come across information detailing the rewards of trade […]

Three Ways You Can Support the Next Generation of Skilled Workers

The struggle to attract young people to the skilled trades has been well-documented. We need to work together to ensure we have the people needed to offer these crucial services. Few industries offer the career stability and progression that the trades can provide. Additionally, skilled workers can choose to work for a company or lean […]

Women in the Trades: Growing Careers, Breaking Barriers

Around 4% of people working skilled trades jobs in the United States are women. While this number may not sound like a lot, this is substantial progress from what was once a flat 0%. We are likely to see – and excited to see – the number of trades opportunities for women continue to rise […]

The Skilled Trades Are Surging

A front-page article in the April 2, 2024 edition of the Wall Street Journal addresses a point I’ve made repeatedly in this blog. It describes the growing attraction of trade careers to members of what’s become known as Generation Z, generally defined as those born between 1995 and 2012 – which I suspect includes many […]

Starting From Square 1: Building a Career in the Trades

While starting fresh with a trades career may sound challenging, the payoff can be immense. Jessica Bannister, an HVAC professional, spent over 10 years behind a desk before beginning her apprenticeship in 2018. Jessica grew up thinking the trades weren’t an option for women like her, and is much more happy and fulfilled after making […]

How To Sell Yourself

You may not think of yourself this way, but no matter what you do for a living, at various times you will have to be a salesperson. You may or may not ever be charged with selling products or services, but at the very least you will have to sell yourself and your talents. You […]

College vs. Trades: Why Not Both?

Some of you may be debating about whether to go to college or embark on a trade career. In fact, it is not an either-or proposition. It’s not unheard of for college students or even graduates to find out they like working with tools better than whatever white-collar job their education landed them. It happens […]

College Gets More Thumbs Down

It skipped my attention for a while, but I recently became aware of a Gallup survey published last July that showed only a little more than a third of Americans expressed confidence in the value of a college education. As recently as 2015, 57% of Americans said they had “a great deal” or “quite a […]

College Costs Blow My Mind

Way back close to the Stone Age, I financed my own way through college. As a military veteran, I was assisted by a monthly stipend of $170 a month from the G.I. Bill, coupled with free tuition thanks to my veteran’s status at a state school. Even so, I was self-supporting and still had to […]

Trade Work Is Brain Work

You often hear homeowners complain about a trade worker who charged them a lot of money for a taskthat might have taken only a few minutes. What they need to realize is that they aren’t paying for the act of turning a wrench or screwdriver. They are paying someone with specialized knowledge of which nut […]