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Skilled Labor Challenges


RockPride
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Nice job, you did very well -- and Paula is fantastic, and makes it so easy. You represented yourself and your company very well.

 

I will in support of your point, the great folks at Riegler Blacktop have really embraced this message of consider the trades, and they do a lot to support and educate this mission. College shouldn't be for everyone, and the trades can provide a very lucrative and stable career-path.

 

Nice share. :thumb:

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1 - First and foremost, like it's been said, college isn't for everyone. A lot of times kids will graduate high school, go to college with no idea what they want to do, and acquire $1,000's in student loan debt. Then maybe go work in the skilled labor field down the road. They'll be behind for years. it really does start in the home.

 

2 - I think this "rental concept" is going to blow up in a matter of a few years. There are far too many high end apartment complexes going up. Way too many. These markets won't be able to sustain them for the long term.

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1 - First and foremost, like it's been said, college isn't for everyone. A lot of times kids will graduate high school, go to college with no idea what they want to do, and acquire $1,000's in student loan debt. Then maybe go work in the skilled labor field down the road. They'll be behind for years. it really does start in the home.

 

2 - I think this "rental concept" is going to blow up in a matter of a few years. There are far too many high end apartment complexes going up. Way too many. These markets won't be able to sustain them for the long term.

 

I'm with you 100%, @RockPride. I've been working in the construction industry for 16 years now, and the lack of skilled labor is bordering on astounding at this point. I've told people for years..."It takes 6 or 8 months to find a welding certificate. If you're at least 18 and can do that & pass a drug test, I will guarantee that I can help you find a job in a matter of weeks and have you walking in off the street making at least $40K." And hell, at this point, I'll bet if you find the right company, you could pull down a pretty easy $50K.

 

One of the things I think has a surprising amount of impact is parenting. The WWII generation that lived through the Great Depression and the war knew what it meant to struggle to get by, and being from an era with an abundance of factory workers and farmers, they pushed hard on their children, the baby-boomers, to go to college to "insure a good career". Then all of the sudden we have the generation of baby-boomers who were essentially the first American generation to really get pushed towards college (whether or not they chose to follow up no it). Then the baby-boomers have pushed their own kids to go for college, with either a "I got a degree, and I expect the same of my kids" type attitude, or a "I didn't get a degree, and I won't let my kids make that same mistake" type attitude. And suddenly we're living in an era where blue collar jobs, which is what this country thrives on, have a sort of stigma attached.

 

My mother-in-law retired as a school district administrator and career educator from a lower-middle-class school district, and one of her biggest frustrations was seeing kids who really were just not cut out to go to college, and seeing their teachers and guidance counselors try to talk up trade schools and programs like that, only to have that completely shot down by the kids' parents who felt like college was the ONLY way for them to better their lives. And that's just not the case. I have a bachelors degree and an associates degree in construction management and have been successful in a career in that industry for approaching 2 decades now, and I have 3 high school buddies without degrees - 1 military, 1 mechanic, 1 carpenter - who all make comfortably more money than I do in a year.

 

 

 

As for rental properties...yeah, I just looked back through my estimate files, and I've put together bids on 12 new multi-building apartment complexes since June 1st. That bubble is going to burst, and it's not going to be good.

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I currently live in one of those luxury apartment complexes, and don't have any intention on buying anytime soon. There's a new one going up basically right by us where a 2BR/2BA is going to run you over $1500 a month.

 

I don't mean it to say that there's no room for those complexes in the real estate market, but the rate that new complexes are being built is scary - and that's coming from me as someone in the construction industry who benefits absolutely directly from those complexes being built.

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I don't mean it to say that there's no room for those complexes in the real estate market, but the rate that new complexes are being built is scary - and that's coming from me as someone in the construction industry who benefits absolutely directly from those complexes being built.

 

I get what you're saying. They are popping up all over the place. My area of town has had crazy growth (complexes and new subdivisions) just in the 18 months we've been there.

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I currently live in one of those luxury apartment complexes, and don't have any intention on buying anytime soon. There's a new one going up basically right by us where a 2BR/2BA is going to run you over $1500 a month.

 

You don’t want to be paying rent when your 70. The problem is it’s hard to save money to put a down payment on a house, when people are paying $1500 a month in rent.

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As someone who has been in the trades since the age of 16, I'd say that some of the biggest issues is repeatability and prefabrication.

 

In my subdivision, I'm watching homes being built in 2 months. Carpenters are basically given prefabricated kits to assemble. Homeowners have a limited choice on the construction of their homes. It's taken originality out of the building process and it just seems boring to me.

 

As a side note, I've talked to one of the general contractors that's been building homes in this area for awhile. He's been telling me that the builders in this area are planning for yet another housing recession that he expects to hit within the next year or so.

 

Modifications from original plans cost way too much. I suspect a major cause of this is the limited availability of skilled craft workers that are willing to accept the challenge. Ultimately, I'm not sure what the fix is, but I suspect that wages need to increase for the skilled craft worker. But that does nothing to help the housing market.

 

As a parent, if my children (who are 9 and 5 years old) show limited interest in their education then I will push them into the trades.

 

It has worked for me. I started out as a mud man for brick layers, moved on to firefighting, then installed industrial remediation systems and now work as a pipeline control technician for a major utility. It took me some years to make the wage that i've wanted, but where I am now I'm able to support my family on my job alone.

 

I'll be honest, I don't see this trend stopping anytime soon. Not to paint with a large brush, but no one wants to come out of high school and turn wrenches.

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