Attracting New Talent
Like any other leader, Audrey Monell is concerned about the labor shortage affecting the contracting profession.
As a result, she’s proud to serve as a role model and often speaks to young women about the opportunities for a good career in the PHCP industry that don’t require an expensive college degree.
One big way she does this is through an annual Women in Industry workshop to introduce young adults to the trades.
She actually held the first one last year on a Saturday between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Phoenix offices of Farnsworth Wholesale Co. Reps from Moen, Gerber, Nibco and Sharkbite and other companies volunteered time to lead hands-on stations that included toilet repair, sink/faucet replacement, pipe assembly and AC repair and more.
“We need to break the stereotypes and help more women realize that a career in trades such as plumbing and air conditioning is a fantastic option that not only pays very well, but provides numerous career path opportunities,” Monell says.
Monell says they had 10 people registered for the event, but only one woman showed up.
“In our eyes, it was still a success,” Monell adds. “Of course, at first we thought it was going to be awkward, but she was the star of the show, got to do all the demos and had all our attention."
Plus, the woman who was working at a call center at the time – the type of place that pays a low hourly wage and monitors bathroom visits – got a job with one of the rep firms to help out in the office.
“She just broke down crying in front of all of us since she had no idea that there were so many opportunities out there for a person who did not have a college degree."
So in other words, job placement for the Women in Industry workshop: 100 percent.
When we spoke to Monell last month, she was planning for the 2019 rendition.