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So How Do You Think We Can Solve The Labor Shortage?

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February 25, 2016 at 4:28 pm

vickie

Everyone has been talking about it for a few years. Do we need schools, early recruitment? If you could solve this what would you do?

February 25, 2016 at 10:53 pm

Lefty1

What we did was started using an online application with a personality accessment. Our jobs are posted to Indeed and other internet job posting sites. Indeed has the best response.

We are sending one forman to Dale Carnigie for training to learn how to manage the people under him. He started tonight.

We also send guys for technical training. The roofers are to a day of training with GAF tomorrow.

February 26, 2016 at 1:45 pm

vickie

Great stuff. The personality assessment is very interesting. Not sure how much I trusted that as one for me came back that I should be a plant manager for an agriculture plant. WTHeck! Couldn't I have at least been a waitress.

Never tried the RCS classified? We are rebuilding that area now and want to make it the best it can be. The option to upload resumes and take tests was bantered around.

February 26, 2016 at 4:59 pm

Lefty1

The personality test is not for what job you are good for. It tells character traits like if you are a team player. Honesty is another one that shows up in the test.

Over the years I have used RCS classifieds for workers. Have found a few. The thing with the other listing sites is we get people who are applying with no experience.

If you could get traffic from people looking for work with no experience, that would be helpful to me.

February 27, 2016 at 4:02 pm

Chuck2

Labor shortage? I could hire 100 people by the end of the week if I needed them. They constantly call the office and approach me at the gas stations and such all the time as well when they see the signs on the truck. The shortage around here is in decent paying jobs not labor.

March 1, 2016 at 2:34 pm

Old School

WHAT CHUCK SAID!!! A good roofer should be making $35.00 to $45.00 per hour, plus all of his benefits. A good roofer should be making $100,000.00 a year, just like the college professors and accountants and such. If that was the case, we would be getting the good people we need and people would be falling all over themselves to work for us. IF Washington was honest with and about inflation, the minimum wage would be over $15.00 right now. I am worth 4 or 6 times minimum wage and so are most of us on here. The unscrupulous politicians and lawyers RAPE us with taxes to support all those that don't work and pay themselves 6 figures + to do it and then criticize us who do the work for trying to make 50 K a year. They are the thiefs, they are the ones that print the money or worse yet make it out of thin air, and we get the blame.

Worker shortage hughey! That is like saying an oil shortage. When the price of oil went to over $100 a barrel, we had it coming out of our ears, and pockets and mouth and nose. The same will happen when the labor rates go up to where they belong. Send the blacks back to Africa, the Mexicans back to south of the border and the Asians back to Asia. It will straighten itself out in a short order.

March 2, 2016 at 8:31 am

Lefty1

Chuck Said: Labor shortage? I could hire 100 people by the end of the week if I needed them. They constantly call the office and approach me at the gas stations and such all the time as well when they see the signs on the truck. The shortage around here is in decent paying jobs not labor.

I could hire the same people here too. We are past hiring warm bodies. I offer people a career with advancement opportunities.

Last year we took a guy that worked for us 1 year in the field as a laborer on a repair crew and made him a salesman. He was our top salesman last year.

I pay a decent wage with a full benefit package that includes retirement.

March 3, 2016 at 5:58 am

clvr83

I agree with most everything said, especially the warm bodies comment. We used to just try out whoever called next, usually an acquaintance of some guy on the crew, which was scraping the bottom of the bar. I've shut down the good ol' boy network.

With a few good hires this past year, things are looking up. I'm trying to setup a retirement plan to retain my help. I don't want to live to work and I don't want my employee's to have to either. I've spent much less time on the roof this past year and have really enjoyed getting mastering my position as trainer, salesman, & owner.

March 3, 2016 at 6:27 am

clvr83

And to more clearly answer the original post: We have to fix how we are parenting and teaching kids. Schools seem to be for learning about what Mylee Cyrus is doing. It's hard with today's technology, much easier to play on your phone than go outside and do stuff.

March 4, 2016 at 11:22 pm

Vaa Fakaosifolau

My cousin is a retired teacher in S. Carolina, she says there is no vocational training transition to get the kids from the school room to the work force. Sounds like someone in educational management there forgot what going to school was for. We have a shortage of skilled Tradesmen and Agricultural workers here, because they all took off overseas for better paying jobs. If it wasn't for the short term thinking of Politicians there should never be a shortage of skilled workers, we seem to have cycles where there are apprenticeships going for about 5 years or so, then the other political party gets into power and scraps the idea, then 5 years later there are no skilled tradesmen!. It takes a while to get things up and running again when the other guys get back in again. doh!

March 15, 2016 at 11:22 am

TomB

How do we solve the labor shortage? (In the roofing market I assume?)

First we must understand the cause; A major dynamic that's contributed to the current state of affairs has to do with the influx of ill-trained or no-skill illegal immigrant workers over the past three decades.

Both the "workers" and employers, with their respective opportunistic demeanor's/antics, coupled with our gov't's "PC" environment have managed to create a haven for them, running-off most traditional young American blue-collar workers who historically enjoyed earning a fairly good living in the roofing industry.

So, now here we sit, devoid of 30 +/- years of entry-level roofers & unsustainable wages in the private sector. Now we've managed stagnate wages that aren't so attractive to the illegals as well.

Making big bro responsible might be a good place to start. Vote.

March 19, 2016 at 6:50 pm

Vaa Fakaosifolau

Robots? :lol: ha! yeah right. It one of the few jobs where I think we are safe (for now?)

March 20, 2016 at 9:33 am

twill59

LOL Chuck. the last time at a gas station somebody approached me about "work", it was a union guy wanting to make some cash

March 21, 2016 at 8:45 am

GKRFG1

It's definitely big problem with no easy solution. There is so much talk about "you need a college education". I agree that in this day and age that it is a requirement for many but not everyone is cut out for that. There needs to be more trade school education in high school. The illegal labor force has gradually taken over the trades which has pretty much closed off the ability to find even entry level jobs in the construction industry. It's always been "who you know" that would get you a job. Nowadays with foreign crews the ones they know are foreign, they get the jobs. Contractors complain they cannot find good help otherwise. But the pay is low and the work is hard. Nobody is attracted to this kind of work for poverty wages and the time it takes to learn the trade is long so kids don't see the light at the end of the tunnel. Parents these days do not instill a work ethic in their kids. They allow them to waste their time laying around and aren't expected to actually have to work to earn their keep. Too many kids hooked on video games and Facebook and other such nonsense. Too many kids into partying. So many different aspects to this problem and very little progress towards solving the problem. It's a struggle to find good help. Wish I knew the solution.

March 21, 2016 at 9:12 am

RoofDude

GKRFG Said: Its definitely big problem with no easy solution. There is so much talk about you need a college education. I agree that in this day and age that it is a requirement for many but not everyone is cut out for that. There needs to be more trade school education in high school. The illegal labor force has gradually taken over the trades which has pretty much closed off the ability to find even entry level jobs in the construction industry. Its always been who you know that would get you a job. Nowadays with foreign crews the ones they know are foreign, they get the jobs. Contractors complain they cannot find good help otherwise. But the pay is low and the work is hard. Nobody is attracted to this kind of work for poverty wages and the time it takes to learn the trade is long so kids dont see the light at the end of the tunnel. Parents these days do not instill a work ethic in their kids. They allow them to waste their time laying around and arent expected to actually have to work to earn their keep. Too many kids hooked on video games and Facebook and other such nonsense. Too many kids into partying. So many different aspects to this problem and very little progress towards solving the problem. Its a struggle to find good help. Wish I knew the solution.

Wasn't too long ago, a guy could make a good living just doing new construction work. Seemed to be where lots of guys cut their teeth, & transitioned into remodel work, or re-roofing, etc.

In the early to mid 90's I had multiple decent paying gigs that were Home Builders. They paid a decent rate, had plenty of work, & everything was beautiful. Doing a good job for the most part kept the scabs, & cut throats away.

By the end of the 90's the big Builders stopped calling, stopped sending me work. No conversations about it either. Just didn't have anything for me. I didn't lose any sleep because I was busy doing re-roofs, & making more money anyways.

By the early 2000's I would get occasional calls from builders to diagnose issues, & or fix problems...they weren't interested in having me roof their homes, just fix this one that was a huge pita for them....hmmm...

A few years later, I got a call from a Builder whom I had done lots of roofs for 15yrs prior. Claimed they were really busy & their current subs couldn't keep up. Asked me to take on a couple dozen homes going into Christmas/January.... I said, okay. Went down to their office to give em current Insurance, etc.... They literally were offering 1/2 of what they paid me 20yrs ago...!! Im not exaggerating. HALF..! I laughed, & got up...

By 2010, I was doing anywhere from 2-4 reroofs per year, of homes that were less than 5yrs old...!! Yowzers...! Fact is, the quality, & the pay in the current new construction resi world were terrible. Not a lot of young bucks wanting to dive into that world either. A few but, not many. The construction trades are dominated by immigrant workers today. Being bilingual is a must in most areas now.

It is much more challenging today, than it was 20-25yrs ago for a person to start out in our trade. A lot of the avenues are still there....just more difficult than ever, with lower pay. If I was a young buck starting out today....a big commercial company, or labor union would be much more appealing to me than starting from scratch. Both of which I wanted nothing to do with 25yrs ago.

At least that has been my experience.....

April 3, 2016 at 9:53 pm

Alba

we've chased away the illegals around here,the wages have gone up a little bit and still can't find decent help.

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