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Petri Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Drain Cleaning, a family-owned home service company serving Brooklyn and Manhattan since 1906, is celebrating National Skilled Trades Day on May 3 by encouraging young people to consider the home service, manufacturing and construction industries as a career choice.
"For years, we've told students that they need to go to college if they want to have an exciting and well-paid career, and that's not always true," said Michael Petri, owner of Petri Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Drain Cleaning. "But the truth is that college isn't for everyone. Some people simply want to go into a profession where they can start earning money, find steady work and good pay without having to put themselves in debt to get a degree. And, now, with Baby Boomers retiring in record numbers, there are more jobs opening in the skilled trades industry than can be filled."
According to a State of Home Services study, 52% of home service recruiters have had difficulty hiring compared to 30% of recruiters in other professions.
Petri said that the industry needs to recruit more at the middle and high school levels to let teenagers know that they can attend trade school after high school for much less than the cost of a typical four-year college.
"Trade school is usually less expensive, and you can start earning money in a shorter amount of time than you can by graduating from a typical university," he said. "And, on top of that, most skilled trades workers earn more at their first jobs than college graduates. Sending your kids to trade school can result in less student debt and higher earnings."
Petri said that parents, educators and government officials should push to introduce more young people to the skilled trades industry.
"Whether it's working in the HVAC or plumbing industries, building homes or cutting hair, these are jobs that can't be outsourced," he said. "These are the people we call to fix our homes, our cars and our appliances. These are the industries that hold our country together, and we should encourage more people to enter their ranks."
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