The US student loan debt hovers at $902 billion. Meanwhile, Millennials and Gen Z’ers are unable to find jobs with their four-year degrees. Their debt continues to mount as they work any job to cover the bills. But this common tail doesn’t have to be the norm.

Skills tradesmen and craftsmen jobs are out there and in high demand. We tackled the topic of filling jobs in skilled trades today on this episode of Conversations from the Edge by Service Logic. Joining the conversation was Greg Crumpton, Vice President at Service Logic, and Gary McCreadie, Founder of HVAC Know-It-All.

The skilled tradesmen we have all grown up calling to fix our air conditioners, plumbing, or roofing, are beginning to retire. Crumpton referred to the phenomenon as the “Silver Tsunami.” As these Baby Boomer craftsmen close out their careers, no one is stepping up to fill the shoes. But why?

Greg explained how common trade skills have long had an image issue with the younger generation.

“We need to show them that the trades are cool,” McCreadie said. Tradesmen are in fact artists, masters of a craft that we need and use every day.

For many skittish Millenials who entered the workforce as the Great Recession hit, they may be asking “Is this job recession-proof?” To that McCreadie said: “Service isn’t recession proof…but resistant.”

Things will always break, and service and maintenance calls are made regardless of the state of the economy. McCreadie and Crumpton wrapped up their conversation with sage advice. McCreadie painted the picture of the end of a long workday as a tradesman as a rewarding one – “You’re doing something honest, and you’re helping people out.”

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