Brandt Introduces Trade Up Initiative
Brandt is proud to introduce our newest initiative, Trade Up. This program aims to increase awareness of skilled trades career opportunities among students between the ages of 13 and 18 years old.
For the past five years, skilled trades positions have been the most challenging jobs to fill in the U.S due to a shortage of technically trained workers. In Trade Up, Brandt employees go to schools and speak directly with students about training and career opportunities in the industry.
“My best experience was at the Houston Career and Technical High School. Thomas Stright, Senior Virtual Designer, and I visited this high school to meet with the CTE Director. While we were there, we were able to visit with several classrooms and talk with students about trade apprenticeship,” Hattie Morse, Trades Recruiter said. “We met two of the top students from the Skills USA championship, who both expressed interest in learning more about Brandt.”
Scott Boswell, Vice President of Mechanical Field Operations, started as a Pre Apprentice in the Plumbing and Pipefitting trade 31 years ago. He is passionate about encouraging the next generation to explore the skilled trades.
“For some high school seniors, the thought of sitting through a minimum four more years of school as well as dealing with the associated cost of college is not an appealing thought,” Scott said. “They want to start earning money and they can do that while they learn a craft that involves working with their hands. They can become skilled at MEP crafts which will always be needed due to the rate of construction that is required to accommodate an ever-growing population.”
Skilled trades are an excellent career path for those who want to work with their hands, want each day to be different, and enjoy challenges that enable them to learn and grow. Apprentice programs provide an opportunity for students to work, earn money, and attend classes toward becoming a licensed Journeyman.
“I think most young people do not truly understand where the skilled trades can take them in their careers and the monetary compensation that is involved with joining an apprenticeship program,” Scott said. “You are able to work during the day and go to school at night. By the way, top notch journeymen craftsmen do quite well financially.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Manpower Survey, skilled trades jobs are hard to fill because many candidates lack strong technical skills. As workers in the baby-boomer generation begin to retire, there will be a significant reduction in the available skilled labor force. Brandt’s Trade Up initiative addresses this predicted shortage by showing young adults that skilled trades are a worthwhile and fulfilling career path.
“The skilled trades are a viable option because there is no limit to where they can take you as long as you are willing to put in the work and dedication it takes to get there,” Scott said.
As Brandt’s Trade Up initiative moves forward, our goal is to provide educators a means to propose skilled trades as an alternative to attending a traditional four-year college. It is critical that skilled trades are represented as a respectable career decision for the next generation. Becoming a trained Plumber, Electrician, Welder, Pipefitter, Sheet Metal Worker or HVAC Technician offers a rewarding career path while allowing workers to contribute to society through their work. Skilled Tradesmen built this country and continue to build American dreams.