The demand for tradespeople is at an all-time high. It is an incredible opportunity for today's youth, or for anyone feeling unfulfilled with their current job. For those people with positive outlooks and a general interest in learning new skills, the opportunity for advancement is remarkable.
I started working in high school for a teacher who painted in the summers. I loved it. We traveled all over doing projects, meeting every type of person imaginable, and working on some incredible homes. As a painter, I provided a skill set to someone who wanted me there at their home, someone who needed me, and someone who appreciated me caring for their home. It's a truly rewarding experience. I went on to start a painting company my sophomore year at U of O (Go Ducks), and we now support the families of over 100 employees. An even more rewarding experience.
Trade work is some of the most fulfilling work out there. You start with something ugly and broken, and you end with something fixed, protected - beautiful. At Webfoot we're always in the market for people who want to explore the trades as a career. My recommendation when choosing a company to work with is to understand what their career paths looks like. Do they have a defined training process? Can they point to someone they've developed from zero trade skills to a supervisor or manager? Lastly, beyond trade skills, how else do they invest in their people? These questions will help build a framework for understanding how you could grow within their company. Because in the end, don't we all just want to be growing and working towards becoming the best version of ourselves? Don't we want to know that others care about our development and future?
More and more people are learning that the trades are not a last resort but a great starting point. Never before has there been simultaneously a vast decline of people leaving/retiring from the trades and a rocket ship incline in the need for these valuable skills. The boomers are shifting rapidly towards needing help with most of their household projects- and there's a lot of them. :)
I write this for the trades. We need you. We need your friends. You can have a seriously great career with benefits, retirement, the works- a career that's also fulfilling and helps people in the community. Join the trades, I'm sure glad I did. Seriously.
Owner, Webfoot Painting Co.