In recognition of National Skilled Trades Day, we celebrate the men and women who work hard in the field every day.
From plumbers and electricians to framers and roofers, the skilled trades are an important part of our communities.
“It’s a hands-on industry where you get paid to learn,” said Sable Homes President John Bitely, a strong proponent for skilled trades and partners with local schools and organizations to promote the industry among area youth. “There is such a demand for skilled trades in today’s market – and that is going to continue for years down the road.”
Kevin O’Brien, who’s been in the construction industry for 20 years with the past 10 years as a house framer, became interested in skilled trades after taking a construction apprenticeship course in high school where he’d spend three hours a day on a job site. Four years ago, he opened his own business, O’Brien Framing and Exteriors.
“I’ve enjoyed it since I was young and it’s something I’ve always had an interest in,” O’Brien said. “I realized college wasn’t for me and I learned that you can do just as well without incurring all the debt from college.”
O’Brien and his crew have been framing houses for Sable Homes for about three-and-a-half years.
“Sable Homes is a loyal company and are all about providing a quality product and providing opportunities to those in the skilled trades.”
O’Brien explained there likely will be a shortage of skilled trades workers as many currently in the profession will be aging out within the next 15 years.
“It’s a very in-demand field and there’s going to be such a need in the near future,” he said. “Skilled trades work is hands-on and can’t be replaced by a machine. You can get a robot to build a car, but building a home can’t be replaced by AI. There’s no way to automate the skilled trades industry.”
O’Brien shared the continuous push for younger generations to attend college has created a disservice to the skilled trades industry.
“There are so many places that need hard-working skilled trades employees right now, and there’s always room for growth,” he said. “The skillsets that you learn in skilled trades are ones you’ll have for the rest of your life.
“I love framing and I’ll do it as long as my body allows me to do it,” O’Brien added.