Our Youth in the Trades

By Phil Benevides on Contractor Advice

Engaging Our Youth in the Trades – Supply & Demand

Source: fotosearch.com

Source: fotosearch.com


I’m not an economist by any means, but the fundamental idea of supply and demand is simple enough for even me to understand.  Again NOT an economist, but here’s a layman’s explanation; the price of something INCREASES as the supply DECREASES. The more rare or scarce something is, usually the more it costs.

The same concept applies to people or workers. If the amount of workers available for a specific skill doesn’t match the demand, then prices change. This can be a good thing OR a bad thing.


Source: gazette.com

Source: gazette.com

For example the bad, almost 2-million construction jobs were lost in the most recent recession that began in 2007 according to the Huffington Post’s analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data.   Even then finding work in construction was extremely challenging due to the screeching halt of construction in the U.S. during this period.

So the excess of construction workers, with very little demand really hurt the construction industry and those who depended on it to make a living.

This left many construction workers to find completely new sources for employment, and since this recession lasted so long many of those construction workers are not returning. They either went back to their home countries or found employment elsewhere according to David Crowe, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders in an National Public Radio story on the subject. So now as our economy is regaining it’s stride and growth is in our future, Construction projects are making a resurgence.


With this resurgence, there is a mismatch that NOW works in the favor of skilled trade men and women like carpenters, plumbers, and electricians. For the past two years Forbes has reported on the ManPower Group’s annual talent shortage survey, which has ranked skilled trades as the #1 hardest job to fill in the U.S.

Source: gfps.k12.mt.us

Source: gfps.k12.mt.us

We are now experiencing a demand for skilled workers in the trades, which bodes well for us currently in the trades. But more importantly this poses an opportunity for our talented and motivated youth to enter a fulfilling and lucrative career as a skilled trades person.

Let’s not let this opportunity be overlooked or missed by our sons and daughters. There is a satisfying career waiting for our children to pursue. And unlike the NBA or Hollywood, this field needs them and consumers are ready and willing to pay for their development and services.

Again the concept of Supply and Demand is clear, a career in the trades is a great option for our youth. Let’s help them get there!



  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/05/which-industries-lostgain_n_525504.html
  • http://www.npr.org/2013/01/17/169611619/homebuilding-is-booming-but-skilled-workers-are-scarce
  • http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/05/28/the-10-hardest-jobs-to-fill-in-2013/
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About the author

Phil Benevides

Carpenter / Assistant Editor

Phil is a 28-year old Air Force Veteran who decided to transform his passion for construction and home improvement into a career. Inspired by his Grandfather who built his home from the ground up with his bare hands in Portugal, he received his formal training in Carpentry at the North Bennett Street School in Boston, MA.Phil continues to grow his skills as a carpenter and leader, while exploring new products, methods, and tools!

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