If you’ve ever worked on housing projects where interior designers and architects are involved you know firsthand how long it takes to make decisions and changes during the actual construction process.
A few years ago as I was struggling to make it as the “new contractor on the block” it seemed that all the good advice and encouragement given to me seemed to be only that; good advice or encouragement.
As an outspoken advocate for the building trades and all they can do for our nation’s young people I have to say it has been a constant effort to spread the word locally and on the national level that trade school should be considered right alongside a four year college program.
A possible shift in how these workers are brought into the skilled trades may be closely aligned to a "Farm System" similar to that found in the major leagues. Attracting bench recruits to fill the needed roles of delivery and shop staff or field apprentice presents the need to create summer or seasonal employment positions.
The recent news of Google's acquisition of Nest, the maker of the wildly popular self-setting Wi-Fi enabled home thermostat and now smart smoke and carbon-monoxide alarm, has had the Internet a buzz about just what this may mean in the ways of privacy and home automation control.
I just started teaching once again for the apprenticeship program in Minneapolis. It’s my seventh year doing so and one of the things I like to talk to all my apprentices about is mentoring. I start the conversation with a list of about 10 guidelines of advice I have learned along the way as both an apprentice and master plumber. Finding at least two mentors is number nine on my list.
The apprentices in my classes are eager to learn and they are already out on the job everyday working their tails off to earn a nice paycheck. Over the years I have had students from all age groups and backgrounds and this year is no exception. I take the time to talk to each of them about what it means to work for a living.
This is the first "real" job for some of my students so this is a great chance for me to get them started in the right direction with a few extra tools in their back pocket.
If you ask any one of my close friends or colleagues whether I have a tendency to talk less and listen more you’ll likely get a very convincing argument against the notion that I remain reserved in my opinion.
Small business owners all over the world have finally started to embrace social media as a viable tool to attract customers to their business. Be it the local florist or used car lot, chances are any business you interact with has a presence online, and has made efforts to interact with new and existing customers via social media. If you have a Facebook or Twitter account, you have seen the growth of popularity in marketing businesses via paid or viral ads and postings.
Last month I revisited the after effects of neglected boiler system water and aluminum heat exchangers. If you recall, you’ll remember the particular problem I encountered was a cracked heat exchanger and a loss of system pressure. The results were error codes flashing left and right with intermittent operation only made possible due to the incorporation of an automatic glycol feed system and a reset button on the boiler control.