I was catching up with my good friend Kumar recently about a myriad of things, and one of the topics of conversation was real estate. Being a realtor and real estate investor, he spoke about the risk involved simply due to the rising costs of materials and labor.
He told me that for every 7 skilled tradesman that retires, there are only 1 skilled person to replace them. I did some research and apparently the average age of skilled workers is 43, 27% of which will retire in the next 10 years. According to National Tradesman Day, for every 3 tradesman that retires, there is only 1 trained person to fill their role.
This shocked me for a variety of reasons. Not only because that would mean that it would make investing more expensive, but because skilled tradesmen and women build nations. Literally.
A shortage of tradesmen spells disaster for a nations growth, development, and economic potential.
This inspired me to tweet that young black men should get into the trades and help fill that labor shortage before it gets out of control. The tweet went viral (as many of my tweets have tended to do lately) but it also sparked a lot of conversation.
If you’re a young black man, I recommend getting into the trades.— Stef. 👨🏾💻 (@STEFisDOPE) December 27, 2023
My homie put me on game a couple days ago that for every 7 tradesmen that retires, there’s only 1 to replace them.
Get in that field. Get in your bag.
Being a black man, I always want to see other black men win. Not out of racism or hate for any other race, ethnicity, etc. but simply because when one of us wins, all of us wins. Even if symbolically. When more black men are seen as skilled, hardworking, viable, valuable, etc. that sets a better tone for us as men and for our community overall.
But, on a more tangible level, the more black men in needed roles, making good money, means job security, financially stable homes, happier wives, and healthier, happier children.
That also potentially means less black men engaging in unnecessary illegal activities, less black men in the prison system, and less black men being used to paint the rest of us as criminals and other negative stereotypes.
The intention with my tweet was to inspire men from a community to be a driving force in mitigating that shortage of skilled labor, making themselves a necessary part of the nation’s economy, and creating more financial stability for the community overall.
The good news is that there is still time to get mentorship, training, and certifications in the most essential trades.
In the replies and quotes many people replied with resources to help people get started in trades, some of which I compiled below.
Check them out and good luck.
Let’s get to these bags, gentlemen.
- Become an Insurance Adjuster
- Awaken Foundation
- Riverside Center for Innovation
- City Colleges of Chicago Air Conditioning and Domestic Refrigeration Certificate Program –
- City Colleges of Chicago Electrical Construction and Technology Certificate
- City Colleges of Chicago Plumbing and Fire Protection Certificate
- Georgia Hope Career Grant
- Love, Hope, and Healing Inc.
- Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Program