A huge demand exists for people in the trades, especially the skilled trades like HVAC, electrical, plumbing, etc. Almost every trade employer cites a shortage of workers as one of the main problems facing the business. Pay scales are high and going up. The Bureau of Labor Statistics(BLS)show average...

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Not everyone has the talent and personal characteristics to become a skilled trade worker. Too many high school counselors think the trades are for people whose academics are not good enough for college. It reveals more about their ignorance than the intelligence of the students they point toward the...

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I write this as the proud father of two grown daughters and absolutely giddy grandfather of four impossibly charming granddaughters, ranging in age from 6 to 15. (Any mistakes I make can be attributed to inhaling too many estrogen molecules. It was worse when our household also included two female...

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I was at a daughter’s house recently when she talked about an HVAC service firm that a day before had fixed her balky air conditioning system amid the sweltering summer heat. It was a company I recommended to her because I knew the owner and had used their services. My daughter spoke about how pleased...

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Those of you who have most of your life ahead of you will long remember the year 2020 as when the world turned upside down. Millions of people in our country have gotten sick and tens of thousands have died. Those of us who haven’t live in a way we could scarcely have imagined not […]

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One of the reasons why trade workers are in short supply is because the trades have a reputation as being “gritty” work. The word gritty in this context gets interpreted as hard and dirty. I won’t sugarcoat it. To some extent, this is true. Trade work does involve more physical effort than desk...

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I didn’t, not until reading an article that appeared in the May 23, 2020 edition of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The U.S. Tax Code runs to tens of thousands of pages in volumes that occupy an entire bookshelf in tax accountant offices. Even the best among them have trouble keeping up with all the...

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I read a lot, always have. Much of my reading is to satisfy personal interests and has little application to my professional life, but I always have my eyes peeled for bits of information that are relevant to the things I write about for trade audiences. In that vein I will share with you some […]

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The name Charlie Horton means nothing to most of you reading this. But he meant a lot to me, and he was a great friend of the trades, so I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce him to you. Charlie was the founder of industry-leading trade magazines Supply House Times and Plumbing & Mechanical...

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