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HVAC School - For Techs, By Techs

Dec 1, 2022

Kimberly Llewellyn from METUS joins the podcast to talk about the value system around the trades and why the trades aren’t more respected.

In many cases, the people who are involved in engineering and design miss the practical details that the tradespeople would be able to pick up on. In many cases, tradespeople aren’t consulted early enough in the design process, and their input deserves to be brought to the table. Often, not everyone on a project team is on board with the project's goal, and the trades need to be on board from the beginning to work towards the same goal as the architects and engineers.

However, the trades aren’t as respected because of the current American dream’s emphasis on 4-year college, even despite the student loan debt problem many college graduates have. Despite that, building and troubleshooting systems that are necessary for survival is a fundamental skill for society.

The trades can be especially hard on people and leave them feeling beaten down. To reengage the tradespeople and affirm their value, we need to give them credit for their contributions and expertise. It would also benefit younger generations if we could map out a trades career path and make the career progression opportunities clearer.

Kimberly and Bryan also discuss:

  • Kimberly’s experiences with the trades
  • Theory vs. practice
  • 4-year college, the trades, and our current value system in education
  • Professionalism and being treated as professionals
  • Revising contracts and liability concerns (for contractors/subcontractors)
  • Having mutual respect
  • Consultation and what it means in the trades
  • Working for manufacturers and other career opportunities
  • Contracting as a “race to the bottom”
  • Funding training programs vs. investing in people
  • Mentorship in the trades
  • Underpriced bids and pricing methods


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