OT - Employers can't get help

Discussion in 'The Bench' started by John Codman, Oct 5, 2019.

  1. John Codman

    John Codman Platinum Level Contributor

    I have been trying to find a contractor who will tear down a badly-built addition to our house, then rebuild it properly. I am now on the third contractor who wouldn't show up to go over the plans and prepare an estimate. I did find a contractor who said that he would be delighted to do the job, gave me what I think was a fair estimate, then stopped answering my phone calls. I finally (after about a month of chasing him) did get my plans back. Another contractor told my wife that he was so far behind that he wasn't taking any more jobs until he got caught up. The reason? He can't find help - even at good pay. He said that he had contacted local vocational schools as he would take kids right out of high school and train them. The vocational school contact person said that enrollment is way down.
    I don't want to sound like the old phart who is always saying that the world is going to hell in a handbasket, but a very high percentage of young people are simply not interested in getting there hands dirty even for great pay. I have heard that there is a major shortage of semi-drivers, I read about a power plant in either Arkansas or Alabama (I don't remember which) that was put on hold because they couldn't find enough qualified welders. There is even a predicted upcoming shortage of airline pilots. I have a 40ish young friend who along with her husband is an airline pilot for a major international airline. If you could see their house you would get an idea of airline flight crew pay. I was trying to get the AC compressor on my Dodge replaced and the place that does the auto service on our daily drivers won't replace the compressor because they haven't been able to hire a tech who is ASE certified in AC. Most new houses in the central New England area have wooden chimneys with asbestos sandwich metal ducting. The reason? The builders cannot find bricklayers. Someone has to do the work; It's beginning to look as if we may have to import labor, I wonder if anyone else has thought of that?
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
    Mike B in SC likes this.

    STAGE III Lost Experimental Block

    I feel your pain John. The “good ones” are all booked forever once people find out they will actually show up & do a good job & the “guys with a truck” and zero ambition except to waste your time are endless.
    Hope you will luck up on a good one from a good referral or the likes.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
  3. Mike B in SC

    Mike B in SC Well-Known Member

    I agree with everything you said!
    Mike Sobotka and Mark Demko like this.

    STAGE III Lost Experimental Block

    Not sure if you have it in your neck of the woods but we have an app called Nextdoor Neighbors (you can just use it for your neighborhood or within a few miles).
    It is free and it is where we got real reviews from real people on contractors,crime alerts, items for sale etc etc
  5. Briz

    Briz Platinum Level Contributor

    I'm sort of on both sides of this fence. As a contractor I stopped bidding anything more than what one guy, me, can do in a day or less and as a home owner trying to get people to show up and bid a job or to actually do the work. Had one project I ended doing self after 5 years of trying to get someone to show up. Kids want top dollar to start with no experience or seasoned guys that would be worth the pay if they went drunk our show up on time.
  6. gs66

    gs66 Silver Level contributor

    It’s about to the point where we don’t need more jobs, we need more workers. You can’t swing a cat without hitting a “Now Hiring” sign.
  7. Golden Oldie 65

    Golden Oldie 65 Well-Known Member

    There are 'Help Wanted' signs everywhere around this area and they've been there for months. Not a good indication of the state of the workforce. Gotta wonder why there is even an unemployment rate, which would be high if there are people looking but no jobs, but with plenty of jobs available but no one looking?
  8. bw1339

    bw1339 Well-Known Member

    Kids these days have been brainwashed into going to college, to get a questionable education in exchange for many years of debt.

    Most of them will be lucky to make what a decent electrician makes.
  9. UticaGeoff

    UticaGeoff Well-Known Member

    I feel your pain. I have had difficulty finding good subs in Florida. I've gone through so many I can't count. In Florida, it's called "Florida Time". If they have an appt, your lucky if they show up that day. I can't figure it out.

    I did find one good contractor, originally from from NY.

  10. The Big Guy

    The Big Guy Nailhead Nation

    It’s a nationwide problem. I have more jobs available at my business that there are people who want to fill them. And I pay well. Don’t even get me started on the Millennials. I have a few that work for me that do a great job, but for the most part that generation is a real problem when it comes to a job that involves actual work. I tell young people that if they have any interest at all in the trades, to pursue it. Be an electrician, be a plumber, be a mechanic. In 10 years from now when there aren’t any, you’re going to make a fortune.

    We have an entire generation who has had it drummed into their heads that they have to go to college and get a degree, that the trades are beneath them. That’s total BS. I have 80 employees, and probably 4 of them have a degree. The ones that want to work make good money, far above the average for this area.

    I better stop now
    GraySky, rmstg2, newmexguy and 4 others like this.
  11. The Big Guy

    The Big Guy Nailhead Nation

    McDonalds is not a career choice, unless you make it to management. It’s a place for kids to work in the summer and for those entering the work force. It’s not a place to work to support a family. As I said in my post, I have almost 80 employees who make a good living and can take care of their families with NO degree.

    There are plenty of jobs out there that pay well and don’t require a degree. Yes, you may have to go to a trade school for 12 weeks, but you’ll have a job when you come out. You may have to get in on the ground floor of a construction company and take out the trash while you’re learning how to be a carpenter. Take a semester at a community college and learn how to weld. No, it’s not going to be handed to you on a silver platter. You’re going to have to work for it. And therein lies the problem.
    Mike Sobotka, rmstg2, faster and 2 others like this.
  12. John Codman

    John Codman Platinum Level Contributor

    We do. I have posted my request twice without an answer.
  13. John Codman

    John Codman Platinum Level Contributor

    I agree on McDonalds, but please bear in mind that half of McDonalds franchise owners started working on the counter at McDoinalds.

    BUICKRAT Torque Rules!

    It's pretty simple. Kids these days don't want to work. They live at home till they are 28, and will only leave if forcibly kicked out. They are glued to their phone as if their life depends on it, and no one has taught them how to be a productive member of society. Parenting by daycare and video games/smartphones etc, are what killed it. Neither parents nor schools teach discipline any more, and we are reaping the rewards. Saw this coming in the eighties when all of a sudden a parent couldn't discipline a kid any more, no matter what he/she had done, without fear of having their kids taken away by social services.
    grisby, Bill Nuttle, AC Larry and 6 others like this.
  15. Mike Jones

    Mike Jones Platinum Level Contributor

    Where are you located? I am always looking for a good paying second job.

    BUICKRAT Torque Rules!

    So we should start them out at top dollar? Where I come from, you started at the bottom and worked your way up. If you have no skills and the company has to teach them to you, why should you deserve top dollar? Face it, if all you can land for a job is mickey dees, you don't deserve the money. Not like it's a hard/complicated job.

    My question is: Why are there so many brainless 16-30 year old out there? No motivation, no desire to succeed, just want a handout. They can't even communicate face to face.
    GraySky, Mike Sobotka, grisby and 2 others like this.
  17. Donuts & Peelouts

    Donuts & Peelouts Life's 2 Short. Live like it.

  18. Mark Demko

    Mark Demko Well-Known Member

    X2, I actually hate to say it tho.
    There are a VERY FEW young people I have come across that are the exception.
    A few years ago we had our chimney tuck pointed, it was a young kid, an apprentice, that I dealt with, and his mentor/teacher, I told him "good for you for taking on a trade as an occupation"
    I have tremendous respect for young people working in the trades.
    Is nursing a trade? I have TREMENDOUS respect for nurses/nursing, they're angels to me:cool:
    GraySky and BUICKRAT like this.
  19. Mark Demko

    Mark Demko Well-Known Member

    X2 again!
    When I talk to someone, or someone is talking to me, even if they're trying to be a bad ass and intimidate me, I look at 'em in the eye.
    And when yah shake hands its FIRMLY, I don't wanna feel like Im handling a bag of hamburger buns:mad:
    Hell, we got a painter at work that uses a screwdriver to remove the plastic seal on the neck of the gallons of reducer, ITS GOT A DAMN PULL RING, STOP BEING A PUSSY:rolleyes::mad:o_O
  20. Brandon Cocola

    Brandon Cocola Well-Known Member

    Same here, I know 3 places looking for machinists. Everyone for the last 20 years were told they need a college degree and no trades. Now we are short in the trades and have people with too much degrees and debt. I would get into a trade but I am in big demand as a drafters and since I live in NY a lot of trades are seasonal. Its hard for me to justify killing myself in the nice months and getting laid off in the winter when I work year round now.

    I have been looking for someone to give me a quote for making my front porch into a 3 seasons room and got 1 quote that I think I could do it myself and rebuild the 455, do the suspension, brakes, get buckets and console and body work for my Skylark for the same price. That would tie up my time for a little while but it would get done.
    Mark Demko likes this.

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