Straight Outta Crumpton: The Changing Landscape of Skill Trades

May 3, 2023
Greg Crumpton

The job market is an interesting and everchanging landscape, one where the value of professions fluctuates regularly. In the area of skill trades, older generations are now seeing younger generations finding a strong interest in this vast and vital field. At the same time, the way this specific field looks has been changing for some time, and it’s something the older generation has to contend with as a new generation steps in.

On this episode of Straight Outta Crumpton, host Greg Crumpton and Gabrielle Bar talk with Joshua George, Automation Specialist at McKenney’s, Inc. While talking about how they met and the work they used to do together, Crumpton and George cover the topic of skill trades and the work force that exists for it, including the younger generation of workers coming into it. A major topic is the younger generation being very inquisitive, showing a strong interest in the fields they are entering, mostly due to a lack of knowledge.

“There’s two different kinds of technicians” said Crumpton. “There’s those that want to give back everything that they’ve learned, and they want to see the up-and-coming ladies and gents learn everything they can, and they support ’em a hundred percent. And then you have some people out there in the trades that want to hold their information really close to the vest and not share it, and I think that comes from a scarcity mentality for the fear of someone ‘taking their job.’”

Crumpton, George, and Bar also discuss…

●Their history in working in skill trades.

●The changing landscape of blue-collar work.

●The importance of teaching and encouraging new workers in the field.

When looking at the way things are changing, both Crumpton and George notice that not all positions need as many workers as they did before. “Most of the projects going on in Charlotte that we’re involved with…they’re not heavily manned,” said George. “The area that seems to be the hardest hit is electricians. They’re the ones that are struggling the worst with it, and I think it’s because…there’s so much pre-fab work that goes in; you don’t need 35 welders anymore, you need four guys to make a connection at A and B. Whereas electricians, they can’t pre-fab stuff.”

Joshua George is an Automation Specialist as McKenney’s, Inc. Before joining them in 2015, George worked at AirTight FaciliTech (with Greg Crumpton) as an HVAC Service Technician. He has a number of licenses and certifications, such as IVU certification, electrical training, and refrigerant handling.

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