The Labor Shortage

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    EricTheCarGuy 1EricTheCarGuy

      I’m sure this one will spark discussion, and I hope it does. I’d love to get your feedback on this topic as I feel it is a very important one.

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        I love being mechanic inclined. been that through my childhood. ive was never forced apon in my childhood. i love cars and getting dirty. i learned things through my years that i even teach my dad and family, just through school and personal teaching. my whole resume is all about auto shops. but it does seem that lately in Canada its declining. i wish the goverment would focus on the trades. trades is the future and without that… we and every country is fucked.. i love working on cars and if thats frowned apon well then so be it. i love doing things that make people smile. because even if its high horsepower muscle cars, or Japaneses rockets. what ever makes someone smile and gratitude that i did right. is good enough for me. im 23 and i love what my heart guides me to. i dont give 2 shits on if someone looks down to me.. whos gunna fix their expensive Mercedes


          Oh wow. There are so many contributing factors to this issue that it’s difficult to find a starting point for a cohesive discussion. I’ll try to touch upon two factors, but it may get a bit wordy, because brevity isn’t my thing, man.

          First, I think one of the roots of the issue is with our so-called education system. The system is crammed with “professionals” who have very little real world experience in any field or capacity. They’re simply people who have spent their entire lives in school, first as students and then as administrators. How can we expect them to guide, advise and prepare our youth for life in the real world when they themselves have very little idea of how the real world is bolted together?

          Second, I think that the recreational “dope culture” that is pervasive in modern society has not done us any favors when it comes to motivation and work ethics in our youth. I don’t mean to be preachy here, but you can’t expect much “nose the grindstone” activity when escapeism has become part of the accepted lifestyle.


            In my experiences, when trying to be a mechanic, it was impossible to get a job because i didn’t have experience, I can’t get experience without a job, and I was tired of paying for tools, I just saw my passion for working on cars becoming a job I regretted, and owing my soul to the tool truck.

            As far as other jobs that require skill, I see the time and money it takes to get a education for them is hardly worth the effort at this point in my life, leaving my somewhat stable job that pays well, that requires my full dedication and attention, to go in soul crushing debt to get a education that hardly gets me in the door because I don’t have experience. And most of the skills trades jobs my shop offers that I work at aren’t all that worth it, and will basically leave me stuck to the job I am at until the debt is paid, which is not what I want, if other opportunities present themselves, I want that opportunity to leave.

            Here are my experiences when becoming a Mechianic, I graduated from MCTI with honors at the top of my class with Certifications through the state of Michigan such as, brakes, suspension and front end alignment, electrical, and engine tune up… now after getting all these certifications and my honors award and all my certificates, I was ambitions and ready to rock and roll!

            I go into the automotive program and immediatly get a job, but the job was sort of a flop. The job was a Mechanic for a lawn and landscape business with a few bays and a single lift, we worked on small trucks such as Dodge 1500s and 2500s, and Ford F-150 F-250 F-350 trucks. I did work on a few cars, but most of the work I did was on trucks. Most of these trucks spent time in excessive road salt, and were rusted to peaces, and most of the tools I had at my disposal were very basic tools that just about every mechanic starts off with.

            The issue I had going in was I felt very overwhelmed and pushed, I was expected to perform like a experienced Mechanic, and I was fresh out of school, I replaced the Managers son who was now at this point working at a parts store, so the pressure was not only high for me because I was expected to work at his pace, but also know where all the places where in the town they were at so I could fix crap on the fly when it broke down in the middle of nowhere.

            Long story short this didn’t pan out well, and i became very discouraged and bored with it, I started losing focus and slowing down, and eventually when the business got slow due to lack of snow to plow, and the summer lack of grass mowing due to drought, I was laid off and had to take all my tools back to be stored at my Grandpas.

            Immediately after being laid off I tried to get another job as a Mechanic which seemed impossible, every shop wanted a Mechanic with experienced and cared nothing for my certifications or my school certificates or honor award, they wanted a guy with experience, but I couldn’t get experience if I couldn’t get in the door to a good shop where I could learn to be a mechanic…

            The end result, I was running out of money, I needed to get the job to pay the bills, at the same time my cars engine had spun it’s rod and main bearings and I owed my grandpa money on the replacement engine in the car, so… I had to get a job and pay the bills! Got a job in a shop called Volcor and never looked back at the mechanics buisness.

            Now I work at a place called Ventra that makes truck bumpers, stamps the steel, chrome plates it, and assembles the bumpers on the steel chrome plated or painted shells. Now again I have a opportunity to advance into a “Skills trade program.” But again here is the issue!

            The “Skilled trade programs.” include… “Maintenance”, and Dir repair. just the two big ones, the issue I have with these programs is their “Apprenticeship program.” Now i could walk right in and show them all my certifications and all my certificates for the auto program, and the CAS program i took to get into auto which included Advanced algebra, measuring tools, ect… but it would mean nothing to them, and for the next 8 years I would owe my soul to the company for the costs of the program they want to put me through just to work the skills trades programs they require me to take. The issue I see is I don’t see the shop I am working at as a stable enough job to rely on them with that, and most of their skills trades programs aren’t actually that skilled… Most times guys just fix things with zip ties and duct tape just to get things by, and when ever there is something big that needs fixed they just bring in a outside company to work on things, so me it’s not even worth it.

            bruce fazbruce faz

              Well Done Eric!
              As a fabricator and now Fabrication supervisor, you hit the nail on the head. I have been in this trade for 40 years and soon will retire. you are correct when you say getting your hands dirty is looked down upon in society. So much so now even the kids today looked down on getting dirty.
              During one of your examples about fabrication you said ” Fabrication is the execution of Engineering”, very eloquent! And very true. most often in my career Engineering was the first step in fabrication and that is where every true Fabricator begins each project. But today’s kids don’t want to get dirty let alone desire to use their brain. there’re only solution to every problem is Google. not to say Google is a bad thing at all. I use it nearly every day myself, AS A TOOL! Not a solution.
              Yes I agree bring back real education in our schools, just because we ride in the back of the bus doesn’t make us less important. maybe we ride back there for the comfort behind the rear axle was the smoothest ride.

              Chris OrozcoChris

                Hey Eric,

                It has been a long time since I have responded. Sorry this semester was really hard and took a lot of my time. It is truly relaxing and humbling to be able to talk about something like this because it gets me back to reality. I wanted to say something that I was thinking through the whole video: there is not a lot of money in this. Now hear me out because I know that is not entirely true. When you talk about the person who goes and washes windows and those who work in fabrication. They do not get paid too well. I think that is what deters people from jobs like that. There is a whole idea that is strong among people my age is that you need to go out and make a lot of money and be the ceo and to have a lot of money and a big house because you need to be better than your parents. They push you hard to have what they couldn’t and there is nothing wrong with that but, what is missing from that discussion is that people who have moved up in the vocational jobs and make decent money without needing to go through college exist. My uncle and other members of my family have gotten to where they live comfortable and do not have to scrape to get by day by day. They worked hard and their jobs require that they get home tired. I see them happy in that though and that is really what needs to get pushed. Go out and do what you like and get good at it. When you are good at it, it will not be work. You will also get going with money. You do not need a lot to be comfortable. Sure some things in the bucket list may never be removed but the essentials will. That is the biggest issue coming up. I hope that this helped sort of bring out the mentality of the typical millenial

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