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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Who’s fault is this?

Posted Saturday, February 4, 2012, at 8:48 AM

You know me, the reader. I found this rather early today, and it really struck a nerve. Jobs, could be untold numbers of them, going wanting for a lack of skilled workers in the "Trades" as they are called. Not glamorous jobs, that's for sure. Jobs that can't be shipped offshore, that's for sure. Jobs that once were the backbone of the middleclass, absolutely. So why so many openings and so few workers?

Is it a lack of work ethic among our young? From what I've seen here with native born Idahoans, I don't think so, but I could be wrong. These were jobs that once carried respect from others as well as decent benefits and pay. Not so much anymore it seems. Have the young been taught that it's not honorable to get ones hands dirty when working? Or is it that they see no future for them working in the trades?

Remember the days when there were such things as journeymen in the trades? I can't remember the last time I heard anyone refer to themselves as a journeyman. Is that because of the union connection to the term? The unions have been their own worst enemy for decades, that is without a doubt. So what has gone so awfully wrong that these jobs can't be filled?

This article is from a local source and has interviews with some local students. I think it is thought provoking.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Bazookaman, I agree with you that it comes from home. But i don't think it is an issue of laziness that you imply. As parents, we all push our children to get good grades in high school so that they can go to college and get a "good" job. These "good" jobs we have in mind do not include the trades.

We tell them to aspire to be college educated professionals, engineers, doctors, pharmacists, lawyers; not plumbers, mechanics and welders. Even plumbers, mechanics and welders work their butts off so that their kids DON'T become plumbers, mechanics or welders. Sure some pass along the family business to their kids, but i don't believe this was the parents first choice.

Also you have to look at the schools. Remember back when their were shop classes? These exposed our kids to the trades. Today with the school budget cuts these classes were some of the first to go.

-- Posted by Amuzeme on Sat, Feb 4, 2012, at 12:26 PM

Many journeymen trade workers left Idaho with the passage of the so called right to work laws several decades ago. The laws had nothing to do with EMPLOYMENT, they dealt solely with labor costs and big business, at that time, Big UNIONS BUSINESS.

I suspect the word journeyman is not in use today because those who journey from their HOME and FAMILIES have much more going for them than skills and work ethic, they make GREAT money but sacrifice ....

Or do they?

A welder that can pass a weld on a natural gas pipepline in the Dakotas can DEMAND plenty of money, but he had better PRODUCE or some one else will take his place, No third swings, ONE FAILURE and it's home to the family.

But you'd better have a place to stay before you journey.

-- Posted by wh67 on Sat, Feb 4, 2012, at 12:31 PM

YOU CAN TELL THE AGE OF ANSWERS HERE......SMILE.....I AGREE WITH YOU ALL..... LET ME ADD THIS....WE have to pass on the trades all my kids including my grans(there mostly girls)have been taught trades they can all use hammers and saw ,wrenches etc GET THERE HANDS DIRTY......I would like to think I am teaching them to be independent and appreciative of people who are in the trades....this includes my high powered white collar kids....I have one who went to ISU for welding graduated the 2 yr course and I can tell you the pay he demands would blow you away....yes he was in north dakota....did 9 months....said if he worked more he would be working to pay the taxes.ANYhow lets keep teaching them they deserve it....after all WE LOVE THEM.

-- Posted by lamont on Sat, Feb 4, 2012, at 1:48 PM

I can guarantee you, even if you paid Davis-Bacon wages all the time, you would be hard pressed to get most kids in HS to do what I do. It's not glamorous and it's not behind a desk or has a fancy title. But I'll guarantee you one thing. THEY CAN'T SHIP THIS JOB OFFSHORE LIKE THEY DID MY LAST CAREER!!!!!

-- Posted by royincaldwell on Sat, Feb 4, 2012, at 2:56 PM


-- Posted by lamont on Sat, Feb 4, 2012, at 4:43 PM

My desk is an F-250.

-- Posted by royincaldwell on Sat, Feb 4, 2012, at 6:03 PM

I'll add one last thing about my job. While I may complain about the wages and lack of respect from the motoring public, the fact is, I am darn good at what I do and I take PRIDE in my work.

-- Posted by royincaldwell on Sun, Feb 5, 2012, at 12:01 PM

As a 35 year employee of the State of Idaho (very happily RETIRED since 2005), I know what it's like to work for $2 an hour INSPECTING the work done by Davis-Bacon trades people and $12 an hour training Consulting Engineers charging $100 an hour.

We HAVE enabled this all, you and I, the baby boomers.

I retain the hope that this is simply an out of balance period in history and not a sign of a broken system...........

-- Posted by wh67 on Sun, Feb 5, 2012, at 12:17 PM


-- Posted by lamont on Sun, Feb 5, 2012, at 8:44 PM

One spelling in the heading of this article is wrong. It should read "Whose fault is this?" So tell me, whose fault is this, the writer or the Mountain Home News?

-- Posted by cheshire on Mon, Feb 6, 2012, at 12:13 PM

The problem as I see it is this. The trades used to hire and train bodies to do the work. Now you must have some experience or some kind of college to get the entry level job.

I have heard that companies can not find workers with the proper skills, again companies hired people, trained them, and had loyal employees. Now the training and education is up to you unless you join the military. These companies big and small want experienced trained people and will not pay for them. When they do find someone they will hire they either do not pay them enough or do not show their employees enough incentive to stay.

Most people just want a job where they can pay the mortgage and put food on the table.

(a livable wage!) Most of the job openings I see today will not even offer a livable wage. The employers say that they can not offer more, the system is broke!

No solutions here, just grumblings.


-- Posted by IdahoGrumpy on Mon, Feb 6, 2012, at 3:26 PM

My apologies cheshire, must not have been paying attention.

-- Posted by royincaldwell on Tue, Feb 7, 2012, at 4:57 PM

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Thoughts from an old progressive
Roy Pratt
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Almost 65 and retired. Raised by an East Coast liberal. I am also a child of the sixties.