Busy, Busy, Busy

 
You call, text, email and then wait, wait and wait for a response.
 
When the contractor does arrive and performs the walk thru you then wait for proposal..
 
YEAH, It arrived.   
 
You accept the proposal.
 
And now you find out you have to wait months for the work to be performed.
 
WHY, WHY, WHY
 
The reasons are many of why the waiting time can be so long:
 
1. Experienced contractors that have been in a successful business for some time have a past client list that calls and books their projects with them frequently and if they value their work and if they are able to, are willing to wait.
 
2. The shortage of experienced trades people in the field.  Over time trade programs in schools have been eliminated in many schools districts either due to lack of funding or lack of interest.
 
3. College Bound:  The push to college instead  of blue collar trades and the looking down on the blue collar life style and getting dirt under your nails. 
 
  • Over 80% of the colleges polled in a Huffington Post survey stated they accepted over 50% of the applicants.  This combined with online college courses just adds trouble to Blue collar trades. (Huffington Post article http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kat-cohen/college-admissions_b_1408552.html 
    • The National Trend in Blue-Collar Employment.  In 1970, blue-collar jobs were 31.2 percent of total nonfarm employment. By 2016, their share had fallen to 13.6 percent of total employment. ( center for economic and policy research).  This with the housing growth, low interest rates and a building boom across all aspects of the housing economy leaves us at an extreme short handed in the blue collar trades.
  • We are now conditioned to instant gratification which I refer it to being “the Amazon Prime generation”
    • Text for instant communication
    • email instead of snail mail
    • Facebook Live instead of waiting for the evening news
    • order anything you want and have it delivered anywhere in TWO days.

 We are now conditioned to not to having to wait.

What can be done to the shortage and what to expect for the trades:
 
  1. Prices will increase as we will experience an un balanced supply and demand.
  2. Lead time for the trade industry servicing the clients will continue to increase.
  3. Unlicensed and uninsured trades people will enter the work force giving clients false hope until there is an issue or claim only to find the quick fix was not the best choice.
 
A Few rays of hope:
 
I recently visited a local Vocational Trades school in which all though they have a great trades and coop programs all trades are not taught but the high schoolers who are participating in them seem eager for employment.  
 
I also visited and observed students working hands on at Shrivers Job Corps.  Job Corps is a no-cost education and career technical training program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor that helps young people ages 16 through 24 improve the quality of their lives through career technical  and academic training. (For more information on the Job Corps https://shriver.jobcorps.gov/ .)
 
All though while visiting the vocational school I was not able to see the students working at is was at the end of the school year I was able to conduct a group interview and was quite impressed with the resumes that were presented as well as the questions the students had for me.  
 
While visiting Shriver Job Corps I was able to see the students in action in the painting division, carpentry division as well as masonry division and the hands on work they were showing was two steps above any other apprentice trades person coming into the field for the first time.
 
I did end up hiring one student from each school and they are on their way to a new career.
 
To Sum it All Up..
 
A shortage of manpower and a demand for goods (supply/demand principle) will continue to cause delays in finding experienced trades people to perform the work needed as well as increase prices across all trades.
 
Make the call, send the email and now text the individual. but be expected to have to wait for the work to be performed and or be flexible.
 
In my company we ask the customers who are itching to have the work done but we have many clients in front of them if they would like to be placed on the rain schedule.  the rain schedule will bring them next inline if we have an unexpected opening due to inclement weather.
 
Good Luck with the upcoming project and please remember the more flexible or if you can plan the project out with plenty of lead time you will not be disappointed.
 
Regards,
Ron
Ramsden 1-800- Painting