More Leads Online Podcast Episode 017
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Nathan Young, More Leads Online (00:00):
Hey guys, this is Nathan Young founder of more leads online. And your host of the home service leaders podcast. I’m here today with Kate Cinnamo. All right. I though it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. Who is the executive director of Explore the Trades, which is an organization that’s based out of St. Paul, Minnesota. It’s actually like way bigger than that. I think. And their mission is to recruit people to the plumbing, heating, cooling, and electrical chariots, and probably just trades in general. So, Kate, thank you so much for being on the show with me today.
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (00:35): Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (00:38):
Absolutely. We did a bunch of pre-show conversations. We were joking about coffee and other stuff, so I already know you’re super cool, but your story of getting into the trades is also awesome. So tell us a little more about who you are, but also like how you got here.
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (00:53):
So my background, so I got into the trades, I think on a different path than some other folks may have. And I’ve been in this position at explore the trades for about 40 years. And prior to that, I had worked over 10 years in the senior healthcare and housing industry. So not doing any of the clinical work, but really focusing on fundraising, community relations, grant writing for those organizations and for that mission. And you know, like I’ve shared with you before, it was one of those days where you were at work and you, it just kinda hits you like, you know what, I’m ready for something different. I’m just ready for a change and had found this organization on LinkedIn. It sounded interesting. And to me, the concept of an organization that focuses on the plumbing, heating, cooling, and electrical industries to bring people in which at that time, four years ago, I think the media was starting to cover a thing called the skilled labor gap.
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (01:56):
Oh, what’s that, that sounds interesting. Yes. I never would have considered an organization like that to focus on those trades. So I thought, well, I’ll give it a shot. And so here I am. So I came in eyes wide, open, no experience in the trades. My family didn’t have any experience in the trades. And I vividly remember kind of those first two weeks on the job and my manager who I just love. I think he’s fantastic. He told me, he was like, Hey, you will learn to love these industries. You will learn to love them. And at that time you think, okay, sure. But the more you’re in it and the more you understand and you kind of peel that layer back, you know, the veil back to say there is so much more here that I never knew, which means basically a lot of the population doesn’t know either. So kind of a long story. So that’s how I got here. And that’s, you know, I’ve kind of been on this journey as well as I talked to people about coming into the industry, you know, I’ve kind of learned alongside them. So it was, it’s pretty cool.
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (03:11):
Give me like a top three things that have sort of like, oh really, since you got here, like since you got into
this position, three things that if like, wow, I didn’t expect that. Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (03:22):
The number one item that comes to mind is, you know, from my perspective and yours and everybody, else’s in the industry, if you’re going to talk to people about the industry and tell them why it’s important and why they should consider these careers, you know, you have to understand the business too, and how everything works. I think that was the first thing that shocked me is in the business. Here’s what the technicians do. Here’s what the call center does. Here’s what dispatch does. So when you understand the business and how those shops run, I think that’s really interesting because I think a lot of people, the stereotype is, oh, the plumber gets his bag and he goes in a service truck and he shows up and that’s it. And it’s like, whoa, there’s a whole science behind that. So number one, how the businesses run. Secondly, I think it’s, you know, you really realize, and it hits home, the training that these men and women go through. It’s not a traditional college path. It’s not that four year pass. However, it is a four year path roughly, you know, depending on where you are, but the amount of education and training that they’re doing to get to the point where they can start running service calls is fascinating to me. You just think, again, it goes back to the stereotype of, oh, well I didn’t go to college. So I’m going to be a plumber and snap your fingers. And you’re a plumber. And it’s like, that’s not how that works.
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (04:53):
And then the third thing is, you know, the more that I’ve had the opportunity to talk with men and women who are in the trade and we’re running service calls, it’s interesting to me to hear why they like it. You know, it’s, you’re not at a desk all day. You’re not confined to the same building every day and you’re in the community. And I think what’s common is they have this feeling of, well, I know that Mr and Mrs. Smith had something going on with the water heater or it’s in the middle of July. And my neighbor doesn’t have like the air conditioner broke. So it’s really going out and you’re helping your neighborhood, all these people to live comfortably. So I think that’s a really admirable trait that they all carry of. Well, I’m making everyone comfortable and I’m the reason why you get to hit the light switch and the power comes on. You know, it’s just, there’s so much more behind that that, you know, they carry that. I don’t think the general population even realizes
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (05:56):
Totally bought into that. You’re saying I actually, I want to dig into a little bit of, one of the things that you said is like, so I recently had Zach Ausherman of Ausherman painting and we were talking about this huge discrepancy between cause he’s a painter, right. And, but his co I mean, like they’ve been running that business for 50 or 60 years. Like his dad started the company. They have guys who have been with the company now for 20 years, they’re hiring new apprentices and the apprentices are just blown away, right? Like the difference between being a DIY buyer. And he, and I touched on this, which is like, well, there’s this perception that a painter is just any person who can walk into home Depot and pick up some paint and brushes in a bucket. And like now you’re a painter. And you just said this, which is like, there is sort of that perception, including in some of the other right, a bunch of the other home services or trades or whatever. But you touched on this, which is that tradespeople actually need to be really highly educated.
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (07:00):
And this is kind of one of the things that we have found out at explore the trades, you know, with the focus of, we want to bridge that technical talent gap, and we will refer to technicians as technical talent because when you look at all of the components that are in these jobs every day, and I think it feeds into the whole notion of stem, you know, which is a big movement in education and in science, technology, engineering, math. And when you take all those components apart, that is what these three trades do. I
mean, if I’m a plumber and I’m 16 water pressure, okay. What are the calculations of water pressure angles with the pipes? Same thing with HVAC, you know, you’re working with refrigerants and the chemicals and all of the math that goes into that trade and same thing with electrical, you know, you’re dealing with science, math all the time.
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (07:53):
So like, there’s no way I could just say I’m going to be a plumber because I don’t want to do all that math. Like that is, that is not my, that’s not my jam. And to your point, you do have to go through all this education and training. Like you have to understand how all these pieces work. Otherwise things can go very wrong, very fast. So the knowledge and the capability of these trades people, I mean, we can just talk about this all day. I know, but it’s just that perception that they don’t, which is what we’re trying to change.
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (08:34):
Exactly. Well. And do you think that even, so I talk, I, you know, we’re a marketing company specializes in home service companies, so we do web design and SEO and stuff, and we’re like building websites and we’re always asking like, Hey, can we, you know, can we showcase the fact that you’re licensed and bonded and insured? And, and they’re like, you know, nobody cares about that. And we’re like, well, we really want to put it up. Like actually the people who, people, homeowners, who are educated, know that there’s a difference between now in the, I think this is, I don’t know how nice this vernacular is, but sort of that there’s a difference between like a legit company and a Chuck and a truck. So some people really do know that. I mean, like, as homeowners now, I’m a little more familiar, but would you say that that is still something that’s like a lot of people don’t understand how significant it is to actually have some of those licenses.
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (09:26):
That’s a good question. So I think, you know, because you and I are more familiar with the industry, but then maybe some of the general population, the way I kind of consider it is if you’re calling about your water heater or your air conditioner or the power, I would say, you know, a lot of people are calling those service companies because it’s an emergency, you’re in a crisis situation. I don’t have any hot water. It’s the night before Thanksgiving and the family’s coming over tomorrow, you know, it’s just, yeah. You know, it’s all of those crisis emergency calls. And I think what has happened is over, you know, maybe over the last generation, whatever people have had unfortunate experiences with who’s ever coming to their home was maybe late kind of sloppy, you know, things of that nature. So I think those experiences kind of carry with the industry.
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (10:21):
However, when you flip the coin, there are a number of home service companies who are, like you said, they’re insured, they’re licensed, you know, the trucks are coming in, they’re clean and the technicians are coming in and it’s a clean and pressed uniform. And the professionalism that carries with those companies is huge. You know, and, and that’s a big deal. And I think there’s a trend right now where some of those companies are saying, you know what, we are going to raise the awareness of the trade. And these are professionals and it’s not just blue collar, I’m showing up in the truck. It’s, you know, and I’ve heard the phrase, it’s kind of the new blue collar where it’s very professional, clean, clean cut. You know, I, I think it’s just, it’s okay for the industry to say, you know what? We are important and these aren’t second class jobs. And I think that is important for homeowners. And I think the more that, you
know, to your point, the digital marketing and the branding, I think it’s starting to make a difference. You know, everything’s looking really sharp and it’s not just the one truck Chuck anymore, and it’s really nice to see kind of that best in class show up at your doorstep.
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (11:40):
Yeah. I actually have, I want to, I’ll come back to this story in a little bit, but we had, uh, recently our AC broke just like, you know, half of the city. And, uh, so anyway, I want to all dig into that in just a minute, but I actually wanted to ask you, so like tell us a little bit more about explore the trades, what you guys are doing, because I have some questions very specifically about the organization. And I want to hear a little more about the organization and how it’s affecting people, introductions to the trades, how it’s affecting contractors and home service companies. Like tell us just more about explore the trades. Sure.
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (12:14):
Yeah. So it’s more the trades, like I said, you know, our focus is bridging that technical talent gap to the plumbing, HVC and electrical trades and what our goal is because there’s been kind of a gap in that market to say, you know, it kind of focuses on. Everybody knows how to get to college. Everybody knows what that process is like. Okay. So the media is covering the skilled labor gap. What does that mean? Oh, everyone should go. And, you know, look at the trades as a career possibility without navigating college. Okay. Well then how do I get into the trades? Which is a good question. You and I know a lot of other people know, but a lot of people don’t know. And so we’ve had the opportunity to compile information and resources on our site that is really designed for those who are new to the trades, whether you’re a student, a career changer, whether you’re a parent looking for information, if your child says, Hey, I’d like to become an HPAC technician.
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (13:17):
Oh no. Tell me more. So, you know, we’re also talking to parents, we’re also talking to educators because, and this is going to be a whole topic, Nathan, but you know, for the last 25 years, 25, 30 years, you’re seeing schools cut their budgets. Okay. Well, when they cut their budgets, what are they taking out? They’re taking out auto and shop class and all of those hands-on classes. Okay. Well now for the last generation, you’ve just, and I, sorry, I could go on a whole tangent on this, you know, for the, so for a whole generation, we’ve lost that awareness. There are a number of young people in school right now who would be perfect for these traits. The problem is, is that they don’t know about them because they haven’t had the awareness to them.
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (14:07):
Literally no exposure whatsoever to the idea that you can even get involved in that. Right.
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (14:12):
Right. And it, and it’s, I think things are different now where maybe mom and mom and dad are working on whole projects, you know, like in generations, before, so these students are going through and they have no idea what is out there. And so by the time they graduate high school, it’s like, oh, what college are you going to? Well, I guess I’ll choose X, Y, Z, right? I’m not, you know, maybe because my friends are because mom and dad told me I should. So, you know, we also want information to be out there for educators, because even if they’re not familiar with it, that we can be, you know, we want to be that resource to say, oh, well, I had a student asked me about becoming an electrician. I’m not quite sure, but I can find all of the information over here. If we can help level the playing field to get real
information to them. I think that will serve us immensely. You know, as that market, that student market continues to change year over year. And then, you know, we also have information online from contractors. You know, if they’re looking to build that talent pool resources for them to use in some of their recruiting strategies. And then we have information for those who have exited military service, you know, just to say, Hey, you’ve built the skillset in the military. That’s an extremely transferable skillset. When you’re coming into the trades,
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (15:35):
It sounds like you’re fighting the battle on three fronts. So you’re fighting the battle of last generation. All of us went to college. We did, which means all of us who are now teachers in my generation have no clue how the traits work. Right. So then you’re fighting the battle of a student is not being introduced to a student now. So like, my kids are three and five, so a little bit older than that. But, um, so like, let’s say a middle school, high schoolers are not being introduced. Right. They’re being told about college. Part of the reason they’re being told about college is because we, the generation, the new generation of teachers only know about college. So it’s like the kids don’t know that there’s an alternative that is just as education heavy. And, um, we can get into that salary potential later. Cause I think it’s almost exponential, uh, especially in the short term right now.
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (16:40):
So the kids don’t know to ask the educators, don’t know to tell them. And it sounds like there’s a disconnect between the sort of the home service companies or the trades, uh, companies that exist currently and getting into those spaces in the first place. So there’s like no exposure whatsoever. And there’s like this systemic lack of exposure. Like no one who could tell them knows anything about it. So how, how are you bridging this gap? Like, yes, you have resources, but just having resources. And I’ve learned this the hard way so many times and putting resources into a place does not get people to see them. You can have an, a building full of gold that if no one knows where it is, like no one goes in there. And so you have all these resources, but like, how are you connecting the resources to all of these people?
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (17:41):
We have the opportunity, you know, work, you know, working with a number of home service contractors throughout the United States and throughout Canada, you know? So we have relationships built with these companies and we’ve, you know, we’ve had the opportunity to say, Hey, here are videos and downloadables and all this content that is ready to use right on our site. So through these relationships, we’ve made the case. And, um, I should back up that explore the trades is a nonprofit organization. So I work with the board of trustees and all of these trustees are owners of service companies and in each, each of their communities, and then it kind of scales through their network of peers to say, you know, like you said, I’m in St. Paul. I probably can’t reach everyone out in Southern California, but I know some people who can, so it’s making the case to contractors.
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Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (18:39):
Like you said, they’re trying to build that talent, but we’ve missed a whole generation. So their average age of their technicians is probably what, 45 50. Okay. Well guess what, they’re going to be gone soon. And it’s, you know, you’re kind of battling it on the education front with teachers and parents to say, Hey, you know, please consider looking at these. And here’s why, and here’s the training and here’s the salary. And, you know, just the benefits of working in the trades. So meanwhile, you’re trying to change
that perception. We’re also having to talk to the contractors to say, Hey, if you’re looking for a new plumber, you can’t just put something in the newspaper anymore and expect 10 people to show up because they don’t exist. And so it’s the whole notion of, you know, you gotta play the long game. Sometimes you have to be able to say, I’m going to grow my own.
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (19:44):
I’m going to start hiring apprentices. And I’m going to put together a training program and I can build them from scratch. You know? And, and I know that for a lot of contractors, it’s probably not their ideal situation, but what else are you going to do? You know, if you don’t have people to run the calls, then that’s less trucks on the road, you know? So you really have to be invested in, in building your own talent bench and creating those partnerships in the community and start thinking, well, maybe if I connect with, you know, the high school here in town, or maybe I connect with the rotary, maybe there’s something that I can do with the book club at the library. You know, it’s starting to get creative on who can I talk to? Who can I reach out to? You know, because those traditional recruiting strategies aren’t going to work anymore. So, you know, we’re working on two sides to say, Hey, everybody look at the trades, Hey, everybody in the trades, here’s some new ways to bring people in.
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (20:53):
Well, that was definitely going to be my next question, which is so like, yeah, you’re based in St. Paul, but you’re actually, so you’re non-profit and you have people on the board of directors and you have people involved in explore the trades, like all over the country. Would you say that? Not just here in St. Paul or Minneapolis, but, uh, like I just moved from near Chicago. And so you would say, Hey, anybody home service company in Chicago trades company in Chicago, you should get involved with exploring the trays because we’re going to help you with a bunch of resources that you need and connections. And we’re going to accelerate this whole, like hiring and training and whatever stuff for you. Like we’re working actively on your behalf. No,
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (21:31):
That’s exactly right. And I’ve had contractors, you know, I’ve had conversations and, you know, a recurring conversation is, Hey, okay. So I was invited to be part of career day at the middle school or the high school, or I’m going to trade school. I do have anything I can give them. What should I talk about? And it kind of makes me laugh, like tell them what you do. You have a wealth of experience to talk about why you came into the industry and why it’s important and why these are good jobs. So a lot of the resources we have online, you know, we wanted to create to answer some of those basic questions. So if you were going to a local job, fair an event in your community, you can go to our website, download it. Then you can take it and print it as many times as you need to, you know, as we can help explain here’s the general career path for a plumber and electrician and HPAC tech, then it’s a, just a quick glance to say, well, if I become a licensed technician, that’s cool because I can do that for a long time.
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (22:38):
And I know I’m going to get paid really well. If I’m looking for other opportunity in that field, I could be the service manager. I could be the GM, I could be the sales manager. So I think as long as people understand the different levels that exist within the industry, that’s a whole new idea that you can be a plumber for the rest of your life. Absolutely. But you can also do X, Y, Z. So there’s a whole growth opportunity there too, that, you know, we’ve, we’ve put on paper for people to use. You know, that’s an
idea that contractors can use when they’re reaching out to say, oh yeah, by the way, this is what a service manager does. That’s pretty cool.
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (23:20):
Right? So it’s just like, are not exclusively technician or business owner technician. Right.
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (23:29):
We, we don’t even have time to start about call center. What does a dispatch review, by the way they need HR people, they need accountants, they need a marketing team. So it’s, you know, the more you get talking it’s, you can see the wheels turning like, oh, well, that’s pretty cool.
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (23:47):
One of my recent friends, Skylar was talking about how he was involved in something where they were doing, like, you know, like where your college sweater or whatever day at high school. And there were just like all these kids who are like, you know, I didn’t, for whatever reason, whether they don’t want to, whether they don’t feel like they can with whatever they’re effectively just like, you know, kicked out of this idea of like, oh yeah, rep your school. And so they started going in during like career days or like college days and having the trades hub and like being like, Hey, you know, come get your, come get your plumber shirt here, come get your electrician shirt here, like rep rep this, this is what you’re going to do. So anyway, there’s, it sounds like there’s a ton of those resources and you guys are making those available as a contractor.
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (24:32):
Yes. I, maybe I’m listening to this podcast, like maybe I know you personally, and I have this, so I’m going to circle all the way back to that thing. I mentioned earlier, here’s the story that happened to us recently. So our, again, our AC went out like half the city, so we did what everybody does. So we called up and we were like, Hey, we don’t have ACU. Uh, and we actually use a property management company. And so they got ahold of the primary contractor they use, and that’s a company called vector services and they’re here in St. Paul. And so the guy shows up at our house, right. And he fixes the AC we, and then this is a whole other thing, but then he’s like, we’re going to have to replace it because we actually can’t get the parts. And we don’t know when that will ever happen again.
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (25:24):
Um, for that par+cular set of, you know, this type of unit. So we’re going to have to replace it. So then he comes back like three times basically he’s there. And as he’s coming in, I’m sort of having, uh, trying to be respectful and making it like, not very long shorter conversations with him about like, you know, what’s the size of your company? What kind of software do you guys use? I host this podcast called home service leaders and you and I had chatted. And the third time he was here and finishing the AC, uh, swap out. Um, and he did a fantastic job by the way. And he’s a super cool dude, but he was almost 50. I was asking him like, who’s going to replace you. And he was like, I’m going to be out in four or five years. I have no idea who’s going to replace me.
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (26:09):
Like, we’re not training anybody right now. You know? And I said, how are you hiring and recruiting? And he was like, ha right. Yeah. And he’s, he gave me sort of like a, you know, it’s, it’s one out of 10. Anyway, we got to get through nine people that we have to let go in order to find one. And which breaks
my heart obviously. But I said, Hey, have you ever heard of Explorer the trades? And he was like, Nope, what’s that? And I was like, like you’re in the same city. Like, so how do you, aside from like having you on the show, how would something, someone like vector and I literally texted him that you and I were having the show today. I texted him this morning and was like, Hey, I’m having Kate on the podcast today. Like you should subscribe. So you can listen to this stuff and goes, but right. You should probably listen because we’re going to talk about you for five minutes. But like, how is that gap there? Like, how do we have vector who does a fantastic job who can’t hire anybody and doesn’t even know you exist? How do we help bridge?
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (27:22):
That’s a good question. I think I should do more with my digital marketing. So, so it’s funny you bring that up. So I, I actually just had a meeting earlier this week with the company that does our digital marketing and SEO and all that stuff. And so we’re looking at our numbers and it’s really interesting because when someone types in how to become a plumber trades, how to become an electrician, we are the number one spot in those, in that search function. So it’s like, okay, well we own the market essentially on some of those key phrases and really what it boils down to is. And I know that there’s a ton of other websites,
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (28:07):
Sorry, I literally was searching like, while you were talking. And I was like, is that legit? And I was like,
that’s a pretty hefty state. Oh my God, you’re right.
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (28:20):
There you go. But then on your book, Nathan, what’s cool is that there’s a ton of other organizations out there who are doing the same thing. We are, we just happen to own some of the top spots, but really what we need to do is I feel like at this point in time, it’s really a grassroots effort. You know, if we can get in with the contractors and they can use it, you know, I’ve noticed based on some of our numbers and, and just tracking website downloads and things like that, it’s a lot of people who are coming from the education world as well, which is good. That’s what we’re trying to do. So at this point, it’s really a lot of grassroots, a lot of digital marketing, a lot of utilizing the who, Google grants that we get every month, uh, to push out our information.
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (29:12):
And that’s, that’s really where we are. I think it’s really, community-based in terms of contractors. Okay. If we can provide you the information, that’s how we get it out. Because as much as we want to inform, you know, that next generation of talent, it’s also almost worth more when it comes from the contractors, because, okay. Yep. I got some information from it’s for the trades. That’s cool. If I can talk to a real life who has done this for their career, that’s where it is. And we, you know, we could go on about partnerships that contractors can be, but if you look at them and all of a sudden the industry to say, okay, who’s responsible for training and educating the next generation. We are, you know, because no one else is going to do that. It’s up to us. And the more contractors can get involved in, involved in their community, partnering with the school.
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (30:09):
It’s maybe becoming a guest speaker at school. It’s inviting people over to the shop to look around and understand what everything is. Like. I think that’s where there’s value, you know? Well, if it’s the
complaint of, I can never find anyone. Okay, well, what are you doing to combat that? Well, you know, there’s kind of a long Oz. And again, I know, like I said it before, I know that a lot of people, a lot of contractors, maybe aren’t on board was kind of growing your own either because they don’t have time, which is true. They don’t have the right person to do that, but it’s, you know, really investing that time. And I know that they’ll say, well, if I go to the school and I partner with them and I do the career day, I can’t hire them tomorrow. No, you can’t. Nope. You can’t, but you can three years from now, you really have to be invested in, in really kind of playing that long game. And I think as much as we’ve kind of lost time on that, there’s no excuse not to start right now. And that’s up to all of us
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (31:10):
The phrase, right? Like what the best time to plant the tree is 20 years ago and the next best time is
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (31:15): Right? Exactly. Exactly. Yup. Fantastic.
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (31:19):
Well, I have this action that I want to do called, uh, that I’m just going to 1, 2, 3, it’s one book, two
partners, and three predictions. One is one book people should read to help them grow their businesses.
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (31:36): You just kind of spring some people don’t you.
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (31:39):
Yeah. Intentionally. I’m like, all right, now that that’s, now that we’re here, uh, all of a sudden questions,
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (31:46):
Let me preface this by saying I’m a huge Disney fan. I love going to Disneyland. Like, that’s the thing, right? And I finished reading a book called Disney’s land and it’s all about well Visy and all about his journey to creating the theme park. And I know that people will say, oh, it’s a theme park, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But in the book, it took a deeper look at the creativity, the investment kind of that fortitude to say, Hey, we’re going to try something new and guess what? This is what it’s going to be. And I think it was really interesting to learn about like the guts that it took to do that. And after he had passed away, after Disney had passed away, it’s the people who took up the, to build that brand and to build the company. And it’s, what was it?
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (32:44):
My trouble is the team who carried that torch. Like I said, to really say, this is where we’re going to put the investment. We’re going to be creative when we do X, Y, Z, here’s the focus. So I think it’s certainly applicable to any business, you know, not just entertainment, not just Hollywood, but it’s everybody like for contractors, you got to get creative and you got to say, okay, here’s where we’re going to put the stake in the ground. And here’s how we’re going to bring value to the company. Here’s how we’re going to bring value but community. So it was just a really interesting read about that. There were a lot of ups and downs, you know, just all these other stories that surround the theme park, but in the end, like you can see where the guts to do that really paid off and continues to pay off. I don’t,
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (33:34):
I have no idea how I’m a business book guy and I have two daughters, like how have I not heard of this?
Shouldn’t Google know by now to have recommended that book to me.
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (33:50): Um, I watched frozen. Right,
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (33:52):
Right. Yeah. Like a hundred times. Uh, so, okay. Two, so that’s a fantastic recommendation, um, to partner companies or groups you’d recommend any trades or home service company have, or be part of, obviously explore the trades.
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (34:12):
I would say, you know, there’s a number of other, uh, organizations in our space. I, you know, that are focused on building that workforce. One organization that I have been impressed with is skills USA and skills. USA is a nationally hosted organization. So I think its headquarters is out east near DC, but they have taken on. And I, I kind of consider them to be the best kept secret and hands-on careers. And they don’t just focus on our three traits, but they focus on over 100 careers that you could do without doing a four year path. You know, it’s really kind of that vocational technical school. So they cover a wide variety of careers. But what they’ve done is along with the national office, they also have state chapters. And within those state chapters, different high schools can have their own local chapters. So being from the Midwest, Nathan, you know, that it’s like FFA, you know, it’s just that kind of idea, sorry for everyone who doesn’t know future farmers of America. Great, great.
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (35:23):
What, everyone doesn’t know it for ages. What are you talking about? I believe that,
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (35:27):
Um, but, uh, but what’s really been, uh, interesting and fascinating about that organization is, you know, they are providing training and education to students so they wouldn’t have to, or can choose to do another vocation. That’s not required with a four-year degree. So a couple of years ago, we were at the national conference in Louisville and it was fascinating. They had 20,000 students there in the conference center, they had different, it was amazing. They had different stations set up where the students would go test out their skill. So we happened to be across from the plumbing area. So for eight hours spread over two days, students had to read a schematic put together what the plan was. So there, um, I don’t, I can’t remember if they were soldering anything, probably not, but you know, you’re, you’re putting pipes together to a sink to a toilet and it was really cool because you, you had them there, you could see business owners walking around.
Learn the 6 things to do before hiring a marketing agency
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (36:33):
So it’s like, that’s a nice little trick because I know who already has the skill. And after the competition, I can hand out my business card. So that was really cool. And they had electrical setup the same way they had sheet metal and HVAC set up the same way. So you could see the students following schematics using the equipment. And the best picture I had was that I, that I took is that you had the plumbing field with the students. And then you also had a couple of parents bring lawn chairs and set up outside to
watch them. And I was like, they’re tailgating at the plumbing competition. It was so sweet, like just first of all, to see the periods so invested in what their child was doing, but then treating it as the same as if they were playing football. You know, it was just really cool. And I think there’s opportunity there to say, okay, well, I’m in Florida. I’m going to contact that state chapter to see where the local branches are. Because again, it goes back to, they need, you know, money and equipment and industry leaders to keep that training program going on the other side of the contractor, you can say that’s a pool of potential technicians that I can already get a headstart on. So that’s another organization that I would say would be worth the time for people to reach out to.
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (38:02):
Fantastic. Awesome. That sounds like super fun. And as you were explaining that too, I was thinking, man, I’ve like, you know, like I’ve watched like coding competitions and stuff, and like the idea of tailgating, a plumbing competitions on the way more. It
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (38:17):
Was, it was so cool. Like, and you can see them looking at the plans, you know, contractors who were, the judges could also walk around and answer questions, but for the, for the parents to be invested, like that was pretty awesome.
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (38:33):
I kind of want to do one it’s so cool. Okay. Three predictions. I’m going to break it down a little bit. So one prediction for marketing in the home services. I think you alluded to this earlier, but not to bias you, but can you make a prediction for us for the rest of this year and maybe 20, 22 home service and trades companies? What do you feel like needs to be done in their marketing to, uh, really bolster what they have going on? Maybe that’s selling, maybe that’s hiring whatever, what, what’s the shift we need to make sure,
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (39:13):
You know, it’s funny, we just had a conversation about this at the office a couple, well last week, actually. And it’s, you know, not only are we focusing on that skilled labor gap, but it’s the continuous push to say women in the trades, women in the trades getting women in the trades. And I know it’s a pretty ambiguous statement. Like what does, what does that mean?
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (39:38):
It doesn’t seem that ambiguous to me, but okay.
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (39:42):
On the operational side. Okay. How do we do that? You know, if, if women make up half the population, how are we going to do that? And again, it goes back to let’s think outside the box for recruiting. If you go to a book club, chances are primarily, most of those people would be women, right? So let’s go to the book club club, let’s make connections with other social organizations in the community, you know, and I know that, um, I’ve had conversations with women who are single moms, they’ve had a career change and they know that becoming an electrician, not only gives them a schedule that they can work with, you know, to run a household, but also the salary, like as a single parent, this is good money and I can provide a comfortable living for my family. So again, like with marketing imagery, women probably don’t tend to think about it because we never see ourselves in any of those photos. Right? Like you’re never
seen a female on a commercial stock photos. And from the consumer side, you know, I’ve been home when there’s a service call alone, you know, or if my kids are home and then you have a stranger community, Lord, and it’s a man. Okay. Trustworthy, but still, I think if you had a female technician come, there’s that instant report to say, oh, okay. You know, now maybe I’m a little more at ease than if a 200 pound guy came to my front door.
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (41:15):
I feel like every single question I’ve asked you, I could be like, oh, this could be an entire pocket. I saw it on his own, but we’ll have a series. Yeah. Yeah. That’s not a bad idea. You know, like, we’re, I hilariously I’m thinking a lot about these types of ideas, but you know, like more leads online is a web agency. And that’s one of the things we do for the home service companies that we, uh, provide service for. And I’m thinking about how many websites I’ve built. And I’m thinking, as you’re saying that about how many photos that I’ve put on those websites and thinking about how many of them intentionally included women and like, that’s literally not a thing that we’ve ever thought of, like to say, Hey guys, wait. Yeah, we have all of these best practices, rules around. Like, how did you before and after photos and what makes a good team photo and like, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. We have lots of those best practices in our web design. One of the best practices we do not have is, Hey, there should be a woman somewhere on the right. Like, is there a woman in the company asked very intentionally about it, showcase her. And, and I’m thinking of Sarah from a plumbing company in Chicago that we take care of and she’s like the best. And I’m like, why the is she not on the
Speaker 3 (42:38):
Website? Like, oh, we up. Why isn’t she on
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (42:42):
There? Like as soon as you started talking about it, I was like, oh, it. We have ripped this. I’m part of the
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (42:51): We we’ll go fix
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (42:51):
That immediately because she deserves it. Cause she’s a bad-ass so. Okay. Well, thank you for that. Second prediction is hiring. Like what do we need to change this year next year? I mean, and this is a, this is a hell of a question right now. It’s a big question. So we’ll try to keep it. This will be our next topic. Uh, we’ll focus exclusively on hiring, but, uh, in one minute, if you can give me the prediction for what do I need to do right now and for next year to adjust what I’m thinking about in hiring,
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (43:23):
You know, when you’re putting your budget together for next year, you know, I think it’s, if you can budget to add apprentices, if you can start budgeting to put training together, to bring new people on. And I, and I know that every apprentice you hired, they’re not going to say, so you have to plan out for attrition and things like that. But people have to start looking at green people because everyone’s aging out and you have the silver tsunami of baby boomers retiring. And so you got to start, you have to start thinking green because there’s a lot of good people out there and you just have to be intentional about getting the message in front of them.
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (44:05):
Oh man, well said, I’m going to buy my dad a silver tsunami. T-shirt by the way,
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (44:10):
That was the phrase for my senior housing career.
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (44:16):
As soon as you said it, I was like, ah, so I’m starting the website right now. Uh, somebody gets that domain, uh, and finally one prediction for just the trades in general, like for the, for the rest of this year, for the, for next year again, sort of I’m constraining you down, but what is your overall prediction for what’s going to happen in the trades over the next 18 months? Yeah.
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (44:44):
Well, I think, you know, I think we’re starting to see movement and, and I’ve, and I’ve seen this a lot in different local media outlets too, but there’s this continuous story of so-and-so business partnered with so-and-so high school, you know, so little by little, I think people are starting to understand that you have all of those potential people right in your neighborhood. I don’t care who they are, but they’re there. And so, like I said, we work with contractors throughout the country. A lot of our financial support also comes from, uh, industry vendors, you know, some of the major players of equipment, because they also know the more people we get in and train, the more people we have to install our product to fix our product, to sell our product. So it’s, you know, it’s this whole cycle and everybody plays together. I think we realize the value of what that looks like because you know, the air conditioning manufacturers aren’t going to get very far. If we don’t have people to install them for people to fix them. So, you know, it’s again, it’s this whole partnership and what does that look like? And I think that’s what we have to figure out.
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (45:57):
I’m thinking of so many things that I’m like, okay. And then I’m going to close down the show and then I’m going to go tell the guys on the team like, Hey, here are the three best practices we need to add to our, I don’t know if you guys know this, but we have new direction. So thank you so much. Oh my gosh. For your time for what you do, like thanks for existing. Thanks for investing in your role. Go to explore the trades.org because there are so many resources there for you, but other than going to explore the trades.org, where can people get ahold of you find, you find, explore the trades where
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (46:39):
Yeah, for sure. So my contact information is on the website. So I’ll just have people go there to do that.
We’re also on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest. Yes. Because a lot of moms and teachers are on Pinterest,
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (46:53): Right? That female thing. Right? Exactly.
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (46:56):
We also have, uh, information on LinkedIn and on YouTube is where all of our videos are.
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (47:03):
Okay. And if it just it’s just explore the trades, like I actually checked her Instagram, it’s at explore the trades and I was like, branding on point. You’re welcome. Um, and I do want to confirm that like, first of all, it’s a super easily navigable website. It’s fantastic. It’s, it’s really easy to find anything you want. And all of the social links are there, uh, including exactly what Kate said, how to get ahold of her personally, all of those links to all of their socials and stuff are directly on the website. So they really have done and props to your marketing team hats off to them because it is so like obvious that you focused so much on going, just get to this one.org and everything is right out of there. This is the hub it’s so easy to get to this one destination and then get to everything else from there. So hats off to your whole team. That is it. That’s our show. Everyone. Thank you so much again, Kate for giving me your time. And obviously we’ll be coming back around for that in another couple of months,
Kate Cinnamo, Explore the Trades (48:04):
It’s a series. This is going to be awesome. Yep. Fantastic.
Nathan Young, More Leads Online (48:09):
All right. Thank you everybody for listening. Once again. Uh, this was Nathan Young and I appreciate your time.
Explore the Trades
At Explore The Trades our mission is to recruit individuals to the plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical trades. These industries keep our country running. Jobs in these industries are in high demand and come with great pay, career opportunities and job security. We want to help you discover that these careers aren’t just a choice – they’re the best choice.