About the Paint Industry Labor Shortage

| June 5, 2017 | 0 Comments

It’s no secret that there is a shortage of young people entering the paint industry. There aren’t enough young people entering the paint trade.

Most states in America have about a dozen or more technical schools located regionally in high schools. Students can enroll in these programs to explore career opportunities in a variety of fields. Technical schools provide students with safe opportunities to learn the skills to build everything from furniture to entire houses.

paint industry labor shortageStudents decide which career opportunities they would like to explore based on the opportunities that are put in front of them. Unlike other trades, paint is NOT in the curriculum in technical schools. So, students are always curious to see what finish work is all about, because they’ve never really seen it before.

People often have a natural fear or dislike of painting, because it requires a lot of patience and attention to detail. To help people get excited about the craft of painting, we can’t really teach it the way many of learned painting in past decades – with a tough love, pay your dues, or “figure it out” approach.

To be a mentor these days you have to show new people how you do things and more importantly how you see things. The best training approach with this new generation of young workers is repeated demonstration. Show them how you want things done – and show them several times – then give them the opportunity to try it. Give them feedback and encouragement.

Our Challenge as Paint Contractors

So, our challenge as paint contractors is to make painting a little more fast paced, fun and exciting to learn. Young people are no different than anybody else. They want to know when they are doing things right, and they want to know when their work could be better.

Bottom line is that no one is going to do this for us, paint contractors. We have to go out and find the next generation of painters, and teach them our craft. That is the most direct route to solving the paint industry labor shortage.

Are you Up to the Challenge?

Our challenge to you as paint contractors is to find out which high school near you houses a regional tech school. See if you can reach the Outreach Coordinator, whose job it is to help these young people find work opportunities and place them in internships. Create an internship opportunity in your company, and maybe you train and retain a young employee for the long term.

Why is there a Paint Industry Labor Shortage?

The real reason kids aren’t coming into the paint industry is because they don’t know about it.

Other industries have done a better job than the paint industry as far as awareness and perception are concerned. This is our opportunity to be leaders. Reach out to technical schools.

Help a student, help a school, help your business and the paint industry. Together, we can make a better future and solve the paint industry labor shortage.


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About the Author ()

Scott Burt is a paint contractor, writer and paint trainer from Vermont. He writes for American Painting Contractor magazine, topcoatreview.com, bloggingpainters.com and is a featured blogger at JLCOnline.

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