Bill Ellison has been running his own electrical business for 30 years. He’d like to turn it over to someone else, but there aren’t many options.
Bill Ellison, Ellison Electric: “We’re going to be needing a lot of electricians here pretty soon, and I’m hoping to retire myself. I can officially retire in three years, but I’m going to hang on a little longer. I don’t know why the kids don’t do it. I try. I talk to them. I’ve been to a lot of high schools educating them. They just don’t seem interested.”
According to a recent study by ManpowerGroup, electricians, mechanics, butchers, bakers and chefs top the list of hardest jobs to fill in the United States, for the fourth consecutive year.
Angie Hicks, Angie’s List founder: “Young people aren’t going into the trades like they used to, and this becomes a problem for homeowners because it becomes more difficult for them to find people to do work around their home and maintenance work.”
Angie’s List has been working closely with the service industry for 20 years, and it’s trying to educate youth about the many skilled trades opportunities available to them. This recent career fair in Indianapolis brought together experienced contractors and middle school students, where kids were taught what skills were required for different jobs and even what wages to expect.
Bill Ellison: “A journeyman electrician like I'm at can make $65,000 a year. That’s not too bad. And if you pay attention and put your nose to the grind, you can start your own business and hopefully make more than that.”