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Disparity of qualified journeymen installers?


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It's not just you! I think we are all having the same troubles. They want top wages, but don't want to work, or at least as hard as the sign industry requires. It's like pushing wet noodles up a hill most days! Drives me nuts. Most of them don't have any initiative what so ever. You have to hold their hands and tell them every single thing to do. Then don't dare ask one of them to do something that "isn't in their job description"! Holy hell breaks loose. Sometimes I wonder who the hell works for whom? Had one tell me last Friday, I'm going home - I've got to run an errand. Not, can I go home? I looked at my husband and just shook my head. Who works for whom? Then throw family in the mix! Not a good mixture

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If it's anything like the UK then the amount of ongoing red tape and officious "training" racketeering is driving skilled tradesmen away from their trade.

I have to have so many bogus qualifications with short expiry dates that I've personally just stopped doing all site work.

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The problem is that there is a shortage of qualified labor in the trades at the present. The current sentiment in the country seems to be that only a college education and a job that is nothing more than shuffling papers is the correct path to success. Hence, many are pursuing that avenue.

I always have believed that it is extremely important to build the buildings, the roads and all the rest of those things that are vital to our country and will continue to believe that. However, the generation coming up are seduced in other directions. Why get your hands dirty for $50,000 per year when you can shuffle paper for a Wall Street firm, bank, insurance company or others for much more. And your hands can stay clean. Remember, aren't we told by the financial experts that we are no longer a "Manufacturing" economy rather a "Service" economy? Well the new generation coming up and many who could transition into the trades aren't doing so. Our business and government leaders spoke and the people listened. You raise little Johnny and from the day he is able to first walk, you extoll the virtues that can only come from going to college and working with his head. Why the hell would he want to work with his hands. And guess what, he isn't.

Which leads us back to the present scenario, we all are having problems finding good help if we can find help at all. Until we once again put a face of dignity on becoming an Electrician, Sign Hanger, Plumber, Factory Worker or whatever, this will only continue to replicate itself. Maybe it is an honorable thing to work with your hands as it is the head that drives that function. Hopefully we will transition into this mindset. But in the meantime, get used to the shortage.

Best of luck to all........

Dominic

"Don't be afraid to see what you see" - President Ronald Reagan

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Even if you find qualified help it seems they can't be satisfied. I don't know about everyone else, but the last 3 or 4 years have been pretty lean. We started 2008 like a house afire and at the end of August we were way ahead of our previous best year. But by mid September it all started to go to hell, by years end we were off 25% in sales. 2009 found us down another 10%. In 2010 we rebounded to abour where we were in 2007 and things were looking good, I thought we had turned the corner. Boy was I wrong, 2011 was the worst year I've ever had, and sales were down to about 2004 levels dollar wise. I lost 40 grand last year and now I've got employees grumbling that they are not satisfied with their pay, need more paid time off, etc. During all of this I did not lay any one off and made sure they all got at least 40 hours per week. I had a stretch where me and my wife could have done it all by ourselves and wouldn't have been busy, we went 3 weeks without rolling our bucket truck and over 2 months without rolling the crane. Because at the first of last year it looked like things were improving I booked an all expenses paid 7 day cruise for my staff and their significant others, I also gave them a vacation bonus, and they get a Christmas bonus of $100 for every year they been with me. This bonus is net, I pay the taxes so they get the full amount. I also pay half of their medical insurance and they have a paid retirement plan. My employees also get incentive bonuses every quarter if we meet our sales targets. Even though we lost money last year, we had a really good 4th quarter, so in January they got their bonus. Although things are much better this year so far, I still haven't made it into the black yet this year, and I have to make 40 grand in profit just to get back to where I was January 1 of 2011. I tried to explaining this to them, but it doesn't seem to register. My top paid guy takes home $150 less every two weeks than I do, but he only works 40 hours for his, I never work less than 70 hours a week. Sometimes I just want to say !#$% it all, shut the doors and go home. Don't get me wrong all of my employees are not this way. But I really get tired of the ungratefulness. Does anyone else have this problem? How do you deal with it.

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Even if you find qualified help it seems they can't be satisfied. I don't know about everyone else, but the last 3 or 4 years have been pretty lean. We started 2008 like a house afire and at the end of August we were way ahead of our previous best year. But by mid September it all started to go to hell, by years end we were off 25% in sales. 2009 found us down another 10%. In 2010 we rebounded to abour where we were in 2007 and things were looking good, I thought we had turned the corner. Boy was I wrong, 2011 was the worst year I've ever had, and sales were down to about 2004 levels dollar wise. I lost 40 grand last year and now I've got employees grumbling that they are not satisfied with their pay, need more paid time off, etc. During all of this I did not lay any one off and made sure they all got at least 40 hours per week. I had a stretch where me and my wife could have done it all by ourselves and wouldn't have been busy, we went 3 weeks without rolling our bucket truck and over 2 months without rolling the crane. Because at the first of last year it looked like things were improving I booked an all expenses paid 7 day cruise for my staff and their significant others, I also gave them a vacation bonus, and they get a Christmas bonus of $100 for every year they been with me. This bonus is net, I pay the taxes so they get the full amount. I also pay half of their medical insurance and they have a paid retirement plan. My employees also get incentive bonuses every quarter if we meet our sales targets. Even though we lost money last year, we had a really good 4th quarter, so in January they got their bonus. Although things are much better this year so far, I still haven't made it into the black yet this year, and I have to make 40 grand in profit just to get back to where I was January 1 of 2011. I tried to explaining this to them, but it doesn't seem to register. My top paid guy takes home $150 less every two weeks than I do, but he only works 40 hours for his, I never work less than 70 hours a week. Sometimes I just want to say !#$% it all, shut the doors and go home. Don't get me wrong all of my employees are not this way. But I really get tired of the ungratefulness. Does anyone else have this problem? How do you deal with it.

My husband and I have said the same thing for the past 2 years - why do we even try?? It seems the harder we work, the less it pays off. And don't get me even started on the ungratefulness.

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I think it all starts well before. I blame all the schools who got rid of Wood Shop, Metal Shop, and Auto Shop. You can even put Ceramics in there too somewhere! :crazy:

You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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I am at the point where I do all my own work with one helper, over the years when I look back it cost me more to train and send out others to do the work. The equipment last longer, less maintenance, less complaints and if their is any complaints they are dealt with on site before we even leave. you know what they say " if you want it done right, you have to do it yourself". do less and make more and sleep better at night. It is a dangerous trade and very hard to find good people. Canada's problem is our people work until they can find enough hours to collect something for free, it is too easy for people to collect goverment money.

 

63 foot Elliott v60

50 foot 8 ton crane/auger

Skid steer with forks and dirt bucket


www.signworksinc.com

www.wehangsigns.com

Signworks Inc.
Toronto, Canada
416-653-7227
1-877-912-7446

 

 

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This is what I was talking about in my worldwide protest post... it's my lovely generation that expects everything for nothing. They expect that the college degree they have in their hands translates into a six figure salary. They turn their nose up at starting from the bottom and working their way up. WHY?!?!?! It's drives me crazy!! They are delusional enough to think that they should be handed everything on a silver platter. I don't get it. I don't understand how someone doesn't have the desire and the motivation to make their own money. I'm a trust fund baby, but you would never know it. Why? Because that money isn't MINE. I didn't EARN it. Generations ago, someone in my family worked his tail off and decided to save instead of spend. That money remains untouched. I like EARNING MY PAYCHECK. I found a job where I didn't start at the top. I don't earn a six figure salary. I have friends that make more and I have friends that make less. I pay my bills from my paycheck and save from my paycheck. I'll never understand how people leech off the government or their parents or scam people to get money.

The point is (surprise! I'm rambling again!), it is hard to find good people to do good work anymore. We are searching right now for new customer service reps and we are experiencing the same thing. Granted, like Matt said, it's a different field than what y'all are talking about, but I can still relate.

Hopefully the next generation has a little bit more sense than mine does.

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