Ep.73: Getting Young People into the Trades with a High School Summer Work Program with Stuart Feldt
We’re big advocates of getting young people into the building trades. Getting kids and their parents to understand that working in remodeling and construction can provide a great career is the first step.
Stuart Feldt has an internship program for high school students at his company, giving them hands-on experience during their summer vacations.
In this episode, Stuart discusses the program with Tim and Steve, where he finds the kids, and how you can start a similar initiative.
Stuart founded his company, W.S. Feldt, in 1993 as a sole proprietor in Mountlake Terrace, WA. The company specializes in remodels of all types, with an occasional custom home build. This is the company’s second year of employing high school students.
Working with high school students means taking some extra time while teaching them the proper skills, and how to do them safely. But it’s an important step to ensure there will be a steady stream of skilled tradespeople coming into the industry. Stuart talks about how he started the program, and what you can do to run your own initiative, including:
- The legal issues
- The skills to teach, and how
- Finding the right work for them to do
- Being flexible
- Accepting there will be some extra costs and inefficiencies
- How to handle the job costs
- The benefits of turning your team into teachers
- The possibility of turning it into a non-profit
- Reaching out to educators for help
- Giving an overview of the business
- And more …
A high-school outreach and internship program is one way to beat the labor shortage by providing a pipeline for your company.