Inspiring the Young Generations to Enter the Skilled Trades Industry

April 26, 2023
Greg Crumpton


HVAC technicians, plumbers, electricians, welders, and construction managers are only a fraction of the incredibly vital trade careers and skills needed in any advanced society.  As of 2022, however, there has been a skilled trade labor shortage. The National Association of Business Economics concluded that 57% of their Business Conditions Survey respondents stated there was a shortage of skilled workers in their fourth quarter report, and that 90% of contractors were preparing for a labor shortage. And yet, the demand for these positions to be filled have raised, with demands for concrete masons at 904%, electricians at 130%, plumbers at 129%, and carpenters up to 121%.

How does lack of exposure and misinformation shape how trades are viewed, and how does this affect the career market for the future?

On today’s episode of Straight Outta Crumpton, hosts Greg Crumpton and Gabrielle Bar talk with Paige Knowles, Social Media Manager/Ambassador at Let’s Build Construction Camp and Trades Advocate at KickAss Careers, about inspiring the next generation of skilled trade workers and students.

With her skills and knowledge of trade, Paige Knowles focuses her efforts on trade advocacy and the impact that brings. In this modern age, one of the most influential ways of doing this is through media. Books, TV shows, movies, social media influencers, and even podcasts help reach the younger generation by showing them the importance of the trade industry. This encouragement ignites curiosity and passion for trade careers, which is especially helpful among girls and students who may not have experience with trade in their daily lives.

“I think it’s good to start reaching out to the kids,” Knowles said. “There’s a lot of books going around now that explain how things work, to get kids thinking about that earlier. I think shows would be a great way, because growing up I had Bob the Builder and that’s how I knew that things existed, and that there were skilled trader workers. I think that’s what I’m trying to do, too, with the books. I really want to create some sort of content to reach to the kids to show them more.”

Knowles, Crumpton, and Bar also discuss…

  1. How Knowles was inspired at a young age to learn about trade, her background, and how her parents helped to influence her path.
  2. A sneak peak of Knowles’s new and upcoming children’s book; another book in the “Plumber Paige” series.
  3. The Kickass Careers program, construction camps, and other programs designed to inspire young children and teens about the trade industry.

“It’s really rewarding to see kids wanting to hold tools. Like holding wrenches. That’s pretty exciting for them and for me, because I am making a difference, then,” Knowles said.

Paige Knowles is a young Skilled Trades Advocate, construction management student, business owner, a published author of two children’s books, and social media influencer. Paige attended Lehigh Career and Technical Institute and was president of SkillsUSA for two consecutive years. She’s involved with Let’s Build Construction Camp for Girls and is an ambassador at Kickass Careers and Observer tools.

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