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The Mill #14 – The Growing Skills Gap

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Last Updated Apr 22, 2022

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The Mill #14 – The Growing Skills Gap

My dad built those skyscrapers in the Eighties and I can play with their stuff there. Yes, but why? Awesome. But why is that looked at as a negative that people don’t immediately jump to. Someone’s building a skyscraper, they think that’s a whole big degree. Like, Oh, engineering architecture the whole night.

Somebody’s going to put the damn thing together.

Hi everyone. I’m Taylor Poole and this is Tye Dynda, and this is today’s RMFP, The Mill. So today I ran across a specific article around how people view the trades industry from a job standpoint and the article talked from two different perspectives, and I think it’s kind of a fun one to kick around.

So that’s what we’re going to talk about today, so how does society view the trades and the construction industry from a career standpoint? Okay. If you’re asking me, let me set it up, bro. Alright. So I think the most common thought is that ‘college equals job security in life’. And if you went into a skilled trade or the construction industry, people consider it a risk.

Yeah, no, I wouldn’t say that’s the general consensus. So, I think personally, like I have the, I had the complete opposite view from the standpoint of the construction trades. Actually, I was going to say, you’re looking for a back and forth debate here. It’s not going to because we both agree on that.

Yeah. Well, but you went to college, you got a PR degree. Yeah. I actually enjoyed this industry and I tried to get in it even before going to college. But yeah. Trying to get into what were the conversations that happened with you and your friends? Because no one cared. Yeah, because everyone knew I took woodshop classes for eight years and they were like, oh, he’s just really good at it.

I’m not even tooting my own horn. I was really good. I got a big scholarship for that. That’s right. You got a scholarship for your shop? Yes. So did you make a really nice birdhouse? No, it just was $1,500 bucks towards my college education. Or tools if I wanted to go that route. Okay. So for those of you who don’t know, Tye grew up in rural  Pennsylvania, in a tiny town. How big was the town?

600 people. Yeah. So most places in the United States don’t have shop classes anymore. Yeah. And that actually we don’t either. They changed it to robotics. And what was it? I don’t know if they changed it literally the year after I graduated. Okay. But that goes to the point.

Why do you think so, and I’m going to put this out to you. Why do you think people view college, security from a job standpoint and the trades as the risk? Where do you think that that specifically comes from? Because I think a large part of me thinks it’s because people that are in the trades typically will bounce around because you take where you can get more money.

And I think that at least in my area, we have the mechanics, like the local mechanics and everything that just kind of got into their own little thing by doing that. And we’re able to make a career out of it because the community is dependent upon them at this point. Instead of, oh hey, my car broke down or hey, you want to come over and help me build a shed.

I think that, but on the other hand, those people bounce around like my father, who was in construction for the first 10 years that I was alive. He only did construction with heavy equipment and everything. The last 15, he bounced around all the PA going from natural gas locations, just working his way up the chain, but it was all around and no, that’s not right.

Necessarily the lumber or anything, but it’s still, I would put them under the same roof. Okay. But, but, but so if he worked in the oil and gas field, I mean it’s hard labor, it’s rough. Another neck world. Yeah. They make good money, yes. Around because you have to go from place to place typically.

Oh yeah. But the average person stays in a job for less than two years now. So is that really bouncing around considered the rest of the world? I trust me as someone that has had literally two jobs since college, I was at one for eight months and I’ve been here for the rest two years.

You’re going to look up, not normal. You’re going to leave me. No, not anytime soon. Anyway, I won’t tell Amanda. I know, but I mean, a perfect example is so we do these videos and everything. And yet for the last year and a half, we’ve been trying to find a solid video person to stick around and build up a portfolio with us.

And if any of you are watching this, I mean, no offense by this, but we’ve had three in a year and a half. So what’s that five months max for each of them, if we wanted to average it out. Well, to be fair, one guy was only a rapper. Oh, seven days. Seven days. Yeah. But I mean, it’s just, I understand it’s bouncing around and everything, but you make good money.

You know, elementary school, junior high, like I’ve got, I’ve got multiple uncles that are journeymen carte journeymen carpenters. You’ve got a couple who are master carpenters. There’s a few that are superintendents and have been for 30 plus years. They were 20 years ago, like I completely get it.

They were making like the foreman and the supers on the job. They were making 23 bucks an hour. That’s not the way it is anymore. Those guys are making six figures a year now. And so, I’m having to go back 20 years to get to that point. Like how come the stigma has stuck around even for two decades, because most guys that I know who work in construction, are trippy. I blame the media.

But anyway, but, but I mean, I know guys going and getting ’em. I know a couple of dudes who just started some electrician apprentices or apprenticeships. Uh, they just started them. They have zero skills whatsoever, zero history, anything. And in the Denver market, I don’t know how it is versus other markets throughout the USA, but in the Denver market, they’re starting those guys at 19 bucks an hour with no no skills whatsoever.

And they’re going to go for a few years or to a four year apprenticeship and go through their four year apprenticeship. By the time that they’re done, they can be making 80 or a hundred thousand dollars. And that’s without any money responsibilities. Yeah. It baffles me. Um do you use you as an example because people can see you, but it baffles me that you went to school.

For a PR degree that was considered it’s the business degree. It’s a safe degree. Yeah. Uh, not, not necessarily because again, small town, it was, everyone saw it as a communications degree. We have three local newspapers in the surrounding County. They were like, Oh, if you don’t find anything here, well, you’re going to go work for a newspaper.

And is that really what you want to do? And I said, no, I have a lot of other things I can do than just write a newspaper. But that was the stigma of getting a communication degree. But again, in small towns, USA. So, okay. But, either way, a communications degree typically, but I mean whatever a business communications degree doesn’t matter.

It doesn’t matter what it is, but you ended up with 40,000 plus dollars in student debt. 50 plus I’m just under 45. Well, and for everybody watching it , go to some crazy private school. He went not even like a big state college. There were 3000 people. Yeah. Freshman to senior, mentally Mansfield University, shout out, Snow Mounties.

We just made a new logo. Yeah. To literally two people. That’s probably what Tye’s mom is. There’s Curtis that follows us on Instagram. I doubt he’s following or watching. Hey Curt, if you’re watching, nobody likes your dog, but doesn’t have a dog. I mean, Curtis Scott was talking about Cruz. I wasn’t talking about that character.

This dog had a turtle at the time. That’s just, that’s another story. But anyways, you went and you did a degree. You took on $50,000 plus debt and I know for a fact that entry-level jobs with a degree in this industry will start at 12 or 13 bucks. 12 bucks is what I made at my cable company.

I’m not going to name them by name, but yeah, I got a job as a marketing coordinator at a cable company back home, $12. Do you know what that paycheck looks like a two week paycheck? Put gas quick math after taxes, two weeks, $560.27. I know what I have in one week of bills and student loans alone in one month, 600 bucks.

And that, and that’s my point. How is that more secure when you can literally with zero schooling, walk into a trade and into an apprenticeship? Like I’ve seen job ads on Craigslist currently in the Denver market for $25 an hour for labor, like lady her house. Cause I tried to get into that before applying for this job, no one will even look twice at you if you don’t have any experience.

And if you don’t have tools, I found out that tools are a huge one. Yeah. Well, I get, I get that to a point in the tree. I get that to the point. Well, I do understand that that is an investment. Like it’s like I do 100% get it part of the deal. But when I show up bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to go, hey, and you never get a response.

So let me ask you something, and I was clearly good at carpentry for somebody who’s been around. I’ve been around the construction trade for I’m going, I mean, about in a year, it’d be about 15 years. That’s how long I’ve been around it. Okay. I get that from the standpoint of the market that we’re in, the market that we’re in, guys don’t have time to train.

We’re like, no, I will agree with that. It’s literally like they are so overloaded that it’s there. They need to pull somebody off plugins. Here’s what I need you to do. Go take care of it, go get it done. And unfortunately we’re not in a job market where that exists. Like it’s hard to find anybody for any job right now because the economy is so good.

Yeah. But then the fact that, um there is a skilled trades gap within the construction industry. Like that limits actually finding guys who have been working out. No, absolutely. Like I can show up with all the enthusiasm in the world, but I’m still going to need a minimum of a month to get my head around everything that’s going to be going on around me.

That’s just a thing. And then on top of that, you’re building a product you’re creating, you’re creating a product that gets checked over by an outside through permits and inspections. There you go. Then it gets inspected. So that way it can pass code. Sorry, I got lost. I was like, what’s it called?

But they got to go through the inspections. And so you’re looking for guys who know enough of what they’re doing, so you can pass your inspection so you can move on to your job. Where’s that like, where’s that fine line of bringing somebody in and sitting there and training with them, but then you got to also make money.

Oh yeah, no, absolutely. Like that, that’s one of my big things is, as I’ve always found, at least in this industry, it’s better to hire guys who want to show up and want to be there. Even if you can’t work as fast as you need to. Um, that’s because. You put, in my opinion, you put a year into a guy after that.

For the most part. If you’ve worked with them and built a decent relationship. Yeah. Usually there is a relationship, usually after a year with somebody who’s decently driven, they can run their own crews, they can do their own stuff and that they can, they can take care of them, they can’t do all the crazy jobs, but they can run a labor crew.

They can do basic framing that it’s just that that’s the aspect there that I find. I find it interesting. So where’s, where’s that dynamic of, of looking at a, um a kid who’s in high school currently, who in our world like you got everything from looking at, going to a big corporate company such as a Zillow or a Google or something like that to like, there’s only so many jobs and those places are hard to get into.

And then every, so not to interrupt you, but where I’m coming, like, okay. So how I got my interest in it. You know, it’s the stupid, cheesy, generic story. All my grandfather built a birdhouse. Okay. Well then that bird house turned into a shed with plywood and some plexiglass. So I had my own little shed and then it turned into me actually being able to like it. I would sell bike ramps to all of my friends because I had just extra wood laying around.

And I was like, yeah, I can do this. And I found an interest in actually working with my hands, which. That doesn’t happen all that much anymore. And then on top of it, when I was in middle school and I was like, okay, I get to go to shop class. Now, the first thing I made was a magazine rack because that’s what he, the, the shop teacher required of everybody to just see what they could do.

That’s interesting, it was really that man was very weird. Magazines are dying. You give it to your grandparents and it’s fine. It’s used for TV guys that aren’t on TV and then it, then it just kind of evolved from there. And I would make a gun rack for my grandfather, make a gun rack for my uncle and make a whole case for myself.

It evolved from that, and then I was able to go and help people build decks. And like whenever local Joe Schmo asked you know how to do any of this? Yeah. I can help. And one of the other things, when you were a senior, you got to build blueprints for your own house and make it out of balsa wood.

And then you could actually like to start building, it was more of an arts and crafts one because you were a senior. Okay. So like, I appreciate the story of your grandfather working with you and teaching you things now, but hang on. Hey, here’s the flip side of that. So I told you my father was a carpenter for 30 plus years.

Yes. Okay. I mean, he’s done everything from, from framing, like huge projects all the way down to just trim carpentry. Like he, he actually physically, we worked on the three tall buildings here in Denver, back in the Eighties. That’s how he and my mom made it through the Eighties recession. Like, I can go, my dad was a part of building that building right there.

My uncles helped on this one. Now I come from a family of four kids. All right. I have two other brothers. I’m the only one, like one of my brothers he’s, he’s somewhat decent with his hands, but he would prefer not to touch anything. My other brother will not touch anything. And we grew up under the same house with the same tools at the same exposures, all that stuff.

Like, I enjoy working with them. You know, I’m the marketing director of Rocky Mountain, but like I work in construction. I worked with my hands, I enjoyed it. And like, to the point where I’m putting in my own Harbor flooring on my house right now, I can pay for somebody else to do it, but it’s just like, no, I don’t know what else touching I want to do.

Because I take pride in it. So, it’s like, like my thing is there is a cultural shift, whether you want to recognize it or not. I mean, my brother’s not, we’re not that far apart in age. It’s not like we’re talking decades here. And so, I just, I really wonder, I don’t know, like what the CU is like, I want to say are the younger generations lazy?

No, it’s not a lazy thing. It’s an interesting thing. If, as somebody that loves video games, I was given a video game console, the ripe old age of like four, because my dad had a second Genesis. Yeah. That has been something I just grew up with and have always been drawn to because it is interesting to me.

It’s the same with why I liked working with my hands because I was introduced at an early age and then I was able to build on it. It didn’t just disappear. Like I got to build on that and I saw a result of, hey, I can do this with my hands. I can, I can make this. And that to me is something that has always just been into me being able to make something because video game Minecraft you’d literally do real-world stuff just in eight pixels.

Yeah. And you, you cut down trees and then you build your house. You can, it’s something it is. I can see it in my head and I visualize it and then I can do it. But that’s why stuff like that and even working with my hands is something that interests me. Everything that you’re talking about comes down to interest as a child.

Here’s my question for you. How do we, as well as the construction industry as a whole, okay. I’ve heard this kicked around with lots of different, lots of different groups. And I’ve heard it kicked around in a way of complaining. I don’t want to, I’m asking this question, not in a way of complaining.

How do we, as an industry? Bring back the interest into younger groups. There’s a, I forget how many, how many shop classes are left in the state of Colorado, but it’s only like three of them. And one of them specifically, basically, is it pending vocational schools or just high school? High school, high school is not vocational schools and vocational schools.

I still think there’s only like four or five. Well, yeah, I was going to say, and we’d, could’ve gone to one. They only had metalworking. There’s not, I know there’s a community. Uh, no Pickens tech has, has some there’s. The Lincoln college of something. Um, I know there’s one up, up North, like in Fort Collins and there’s one or two down South, one in Pueblo and one in the Springs.

But I mean, yeah, I mean, you got to stay there. Just say 10 million people with only five or five schools disappear and they’re tiny, tiny schools. These are not yeah. Big, big things. Well, and again, even people that do Excel at it, I mean, what’s the chance of them actually getting into the industry?

Legitimately. Well, I mean, I think if you went, I think if you took the time to go to school first for this, I mean, it’s a lot cheaper, but again, I couldn’t get a school. I’m not even kidding you. Yeah. Yeah. I bet. From back to school because I tried and so, yeah, so, so, so there you go. So how do we, as an industry.

Like, like to some, let’s be real to some degree keeping the, keeping the supply, Dan and the demand up is actually good for the industry. Well, yeah, it’s like, it is. Oh, it is. But if it continues this way, but when one gets a little too high, then, then it gets a little weird and we start, we start, we start leaving our stuff open to innovation.

That’s not good. Yeah. Now. No drones or robots, but then the buildings have no soul. I mean, this beautiful wall was hand-built by some of our contractors. And I mean, I love it. I think it turned out really good. It’s not even just like the logos, like, like let’s be real. I’m going to geek out here for a second.

This is Ipe wood here. We had one of our woodworkers, he put this together. So Garapa here for the lettering of HIPA, the hardest wood known to man, and this sign is mitered, it’s got the plugs. Like it is amazing. The craftsmanship that just went into the side, let alone the reclaim wall like this.

I mean, there’s just so much, so much care that went into this entire project. And I mean, I don’t see a robot. Ever being able to replicate some of the stuff that’s on here, not by itself. I mean, lasers, 3d lasers, the whole wall. Yeah. But it hadn’t been, but it takes the whole soul out of it. Like there’s a reason there’s the term ‘crap’.

No, I understand that. Goodness, like the brand or like the professor. Have some pride, young man.

My biggest thing is  that there’s a trade school at one of the elementary schools or a shop class at one of the elementary schools up in Brighton and the guy who puts it on, it’s funny, completely out of his own pocket. I just found the guy who did what’s his name?

Mike something, the guy who did dirty jobs, he’s got to grow micro. He’s got a new show on Facebook. It’s called giving back or something like that, but no, I think I’ve seen it as well. We shared the video on our Facebook account. If you want to go scroll through our feed. I will try to see if I can get Amanda to link this up somewhere on our page so people can go watch it.

But he’s a basketball coach at an elementary school, and he cares so much about the trades cause he worked in it for 30 plus years. I think he worked for Key Watt for 30 plus years before he retired to go do this. He’s retired, yeah. Legitimately LARC, one of largest construction companies in the US, put in multiple decades.

Like I think it probably was good. And then I don’t want to be a basketball coach. He’s teaching kids, but he’s paying for this or that thing out. Like it’s all his money. The only thing he charges the kids 50 bucks a year to basically go towards materials. And he’s always going to say, is that all for materials?

Because he only has like 20 kids. A thousand dollars does not buy enough wood for projects for an entire year for shop class, not even close. And so, so micro, he did this, this episode on the school and they go and they get, now they do great things. Give $10,000 with the tools. I think they gave him like $30,000 or $50,000 to expand the shop and stuff like that.

And that’s really, it’s like great is great. It’s a great heartwarming story. Yeah. But we live in a state with 10 million people. Yeah. And there’s the thing is not, everyone’s going to like it, maybe someone is interested in it, but  it’s just unrealistic for goodness sake. It’s in Brighton.

Brighton’s a small community. It’s not in the heart of Denver. No, not even in Castle Rock in between the two tiny, it’s a tiny little place. So, so you’re gonna maybe get the 20 kids a year out of Brighton, 20 kids a year is not going to help build them, I mean, in Denver alone, we have 17 multi-story cranes in downtown Denver.

Right now it is only 17. 17 right now, last year I was split 33 or 34. I think that’s all one that was 26. I think they’re set to, I think they’re set to raise. Yeah, I think another eight cranes this year, but yeah, they’re going to be putting an 80 story building in downtown Denver. I don’t know when they break grants, either 2019 or 2021 was up closer to here.

No, it’s in downtown Denver where I bought the block and everything. It’s either 80 or 81 stories. Um, But it’s, they may have already broken ground on it now that they are thinking about it. I actually think I know where it’s at. Um, but anyway, but anyways, those 20 kids per year, over a decade it’s going to produce 200 jobs.

Each one of those buildings needs 200 people to build it. Yeah. Like again, it’s a great heartwarming story, but it needs to be more than just one person, but not everyone can do what he’s doing. God bless him for that. I’m not looking at him. I’m not looking at him. I pick up the slack on it. No, it is. It’s a great thing.

And I wish more people would do it, just even that little bit. It does help. It does help, but as this brand, not the brand, skews me as this industry as a whole. Like, where does it come down with like, like from the companies like the construction, the actual construction companies, the big GCs to, to vendors like us we’re sponsoring this classroom specifically around education in the construction industry.

That’s the purpose of this classroom. That’s why we’re here. We’re trying to expand this, this actual thing. And there’s, there’s nothing like this in, in the entire state, other than this.  There’s one other construction coworking facility down in the Springs, but they’re not doing anything. Further education builds a community.

It just exists for people to rent shops and so it exists. And so at what point where the, wherever the line is, where does it come from down to the, the companies, the manufacturers, the vendors. To actually start giving back to either the schools or the high schools. Like I know in the state of Colorado two years ago, they passed the law that now guidance counselors have to at least give students a pamphlet on trade school.

That was, it was mandated law. I think it passed two years ago that they had shown it to them as an option. But here’s my thing. I’m like, cool. Here’s a pamphlet. Let’s talk about the 17 colleges you could go to. I just say, I mean, yippee. Yay. It’s still not going to do anything. I mean, you can, if there are some kind soul guidance counts.

Sure. They can walk them through both. If they, if they show a general interest in that pamphlet. Most they’ll have it on the desk. Say, take one on your way out. Or just here you go. There’s just, there’s so many different jobs in this industry. Like you don’t even like we need guys who can work with their hands and build things, but all the way through, like you got sales guys, you’ve got project managers, you’ve got superintendents, you’ve got architects, you’ve got designers, you’ve got salesmen.

You got And people who run logistics, operations, you’ve got marketing. Like there’s so many different things that actually exist in our industry, but like people scoff at the fact that it’s, it’ll be like, it just surprises me like right now. Um, I forget the statistic, but the specific, specific number.

Um, but we’ve got, we’ve got multiple and not one or two. We have multiple sales guys. Making six figures plus at our company and they’re selling lumber they’ve been around for awhile, they’ve learned the trades. They’ve learned how it all gets installed in their teams. They’re contractors and they’re building relationships and they’re benefiting off of it.

You know, I don’t know exactly how well all the different commissions work at other places, but I mean, I’ve met some of the guys over at Home Depot and Lowe’s. Those guys do not take pride, but not very many of them. Thirdly, you know that there’s guys over there who just absolutely adore what they do, but then there’s other guys who literally are there to push a room and make their wage.

It’s just, yeah, like other jobs there, there’s like there like it’s one of the fundamentals. We have food shelter food, clothing, and shelter. Construction is a shelter. And the only respect that it gets in, like the real world, is from a REIT from a real estate standpoint. But like we bill the dwellings that everybody lives in, it functions literally.

It’s baffling that it’s not the sexiest industry, but there’s a lot of money to be made. And there’s a lot of opportunity because it isn’t that sexy of an industry. So there’s a lot of opportunity. Yeah. If you asked me in college if I’d be working for a lumber company in four years, the answer is no, the answer is, I don’t know where I’m working, but it’s not straight to the lumber industry.

I didn’t even know I was going to be in Denver, but I assumed it was going to be somewhere like a cable company or somewhere downtown or a multimedia agency or whatever. It wasn’t a lumber company, but it worked out really well. And it’s, it’s crazy to me that outside of a Home Depot, Lowe’s, ACE Hardware, or for 84 lumber, people don’t realize how big this industry is. Like the top 50 largest companies in this industry worldwide only own 50% of the market.

The rest of them are companies like Rocky Mountain Forest Products. There’s so many mom and pop shops that exist throughout, throughout the world. You know, specialty retailers are maybe their trusted manufacturers or maybe they’re just a small distributor for a local market, but there’s just so much that goes on.

There’s a need for building everywhere. I was telling him about an article that I read the other day and we’re actually going to do another mill on this topic. Go into more detail and in a future episode, because it’s a really interesting, interesting topic, but currently right now in the United States, we are not able to build homes and, or tear down old homes and replace them faster than where the demand is for them.

And it’s something crazy to the point of like we’re talking. I think the last statistic I saw for 2017 is we were over 350,000 homes behind the demand and that’s, and that number is pretty much held. True. For year over year for year over year, over year. It’s just continuing to get bigger and bigger and bigger.

And so like, there is a need to build these, to build these out. There’s a need to replace old dwellings that are falling down. There’s a need to repair buildings in downtown Denver, where we want to save them from a historical standpoint like, like this industry has so much to offer, yet it’s looked down upon in the grand scheme of the world.

I get such a kick out of people asking me what I do for a living. No, if it’s necessarily looked down upon, it’s definitely not held to what it should be like as far as in the light, but again, we’re in marketing. I don’t think it’s promoted in essentially the light where it’s, ‘hey, you could be doing this dude’.

I know so many different guys that I went to high school and college with. Who they’re making decent wages, probably $50,000 a year. They got these huge student debts and then they come talk to us or come visit our shop and stuff and, and we’re making decent money and they’re like, we get like, we get frowned at.

And they’re like, I don’t know if I could work at a place like this. See, and I guess I haven’t experienced that because of all of my friends and all of social media. And whenever I promote or talk about this place, they’re just like, that’s cool. Yeah, well, that’s because you can get a specific job though.

Like when I tell people that I’m a marketing director at a lumber company, everybody always frowns and it’s just like, no it’s a real thing. Well, it’s a very real thing. I tell people I’m a marketing person. I don’t even give myself a coordinator. I just do marketing for this company. But they’re like, what does that deal?

And I was like, literally everything. What are you? What’s your idea? Marketing. And they just kind of list off two or three things. And I was like, all right, near about 12 or 13 things, literally had people laugh at me specifically. And they’re like,  what are you doing? I tell them what I do.

And they just kind of look at me and they’re like, so you get paid to sell sticks and rocks, but it’s really nice we’ll see. And I do base that by just straight up going. Yeah, I sell wood and rocks. Like I will come out and say, yeah, I do marketing for a lumber company. I literally sell people wouldn’t rocks.

So they don’t have anything to go off of. So either they can try and go for one step lower if they really wanted to base it. But then from there, it’s me building it up. Self-definition like the last seat, but then you just build that scene of an eight mile rabbit getting up there and just ripped himself down.

You already spit it out. Hold up at the worst. They’re going to say that it’s really cool. What do you do? He was like, well, aside from doing this, here’s what I do. I just, I just get sick. We take that approach. Just say, ‘yeah, we build stuff’. We put sticks together with metal nails and we make things from there.

So last year we sold the first round of the Stanley Hotel remodel. Everybody knows the Stanley Hotels for The Shining film. It’s a very well-known building that was built in 1917. Haunted. I heard, yes, haunted. Yeah. It looks like the phases two and three are going to be installed sometime this year.

We’ll find out probably in the next few weeks uh, if they ended up kind of rolling through with that, but I get such a kick out of it because it’s like people they’re like you tell them that we sold material over there and they’re just so excited. Oh, wow. This is where The Shining is and that got my girlfriend’s ears perked up.

And they got this beautiful theater here, all these cool things and blah, blah, blah, blah. But like, lumber isn’t sexy until you mentioned that. Then they’re like, ‘oh, tell me more’. Well I just sound cool. Think about what you’d have to do to it.

We put new wood up. We have, I get such a kick out of everybody they’ll push us down, but there’s a cool contractor who put that stuff up. We have an exotic hardwood deck. That’s on the right field side of Coors Field. Oh, that’s sitting up on the rooftop.

It’s not one of the bars up there. There’s a blue stain in there. We have stuff up at the airport. We have stuff out at, it’s not more Mile High Stadium now. It’s just the Bronco stadium, right? Yeah. We’ve got I’ve got, we’ve done sitting for some Frank Lloyd Wright remodels.

Like we have these huge, amazing projects and cool things. The Denver Zoo for goodness sake. There’s a new one. I don’t know if I told you about this and they’re redoing the monkey house over at the Denver Zoo. Oh yeah. Actual living and breathing monkeys from different rain floors throughout the world.

It’s going to be our sitting cause, cause it’s a historic building and it has to match like that’s cool stuff, but it is very cool. That’s just it. But then when you tell people they’re like, ‘Oh, you work at a lumberyard’. Like it’s ridiculous. Jumping streets to just build houses in decks and fences, which isn’t fun unless you’re the one doing it. My dad built those skyscrapers in the Eighties and I can play it to them in their cells there.

Yes. Awesome. But why is that looked at as a negative? Because people don’t immediately jump to, oh, someone’s building a skyscraper. They think that’s a whole big degree. Like, Oh, engineering, architecture, the whole nine yards. Somebody has got to put the damn thing together. You’re 100% right.

Right. But that’s not where people’s mind jumps to. When, when you think of carpentry, you think of Tim, the tool man.

He had a neighbor that was a peeping Tom. That was it. But it’s just, it’s just, my grandfather helped build NORAD. No, like really cool. But your mind might go straight there. Most normal people don’t. But, that’s my point. Why don’t they? Because somebody created that with bare hands, it wasn’t pushed out.

It wasn’t publicized. It. Wasn’t written about, it’s not filmed. It’s not made public for people, it’s done because it has to be done. Not that I want to self promote or I want to promote or anything. Think about the new football stadiums that are going up in Las Vegas and the amazing one that’s going in LA.

There’s hundreds and hundreds of guys building that, and it is going to be one of the most amazing buildings ever built in the existence of mankind. They had to dig down a hundred feet because of air traffic. But like those guys who are building that job are going to be looked at as just another worker.

No, it’s just another guy or man. Youtube you must be. That’s all it is, but they’re going to be looked at as guys that have halfway houses or this there’s just like now when I had a buddy that was welding pipelines and then actually got busted for drug use and he was, yeah, he’s never touched in that field again.

Well, yeah. Okay. But no. I didn’t say that. That was true. I said, they’re going to be hooked that way. People in society understand that. The reality is completely different. That’s what I think is the unknown for just people in general. There’s a term that I’ve seen floating out all over the internet and social media recently, and it’s called the industrial athlete and it’s guys.

It’s true. Craftsmen. Who takes care of their bodies in part of the way that they work out. So they live these real clean lifestyles from a food and beverage standpoint. You know, they’re kind of the hipster version of the construction worker. But construction workers kind of use their job as their mechanism of exercise.

That makes sense. And it’s like this whole big movement. And these guys, like anybody who has never walked on a roof for eight hours, don’t tell them how easy or how hard something is— like for goodness sake! They’re like, it will tire you out. Anybody who’s never dug a pipe.

Oh, dug holes for piping, for trenching or, or laid rock or or frame or fricking hung lids commercial sheetrock,  like you don’t realize how hard and how much craftsmanship goes into that. Yeah, no, I agree. 100%. I get such a kick out of this, this mindset of like somebody is a lesser person because they built something that somebody else is going to use.

In reality, nowadays, those guys are making crazy money and based upon everything that exists from a statistics standpoint on job market and inflow of new workers and, and skill the inflow of new skilled trades guys, they’re going to continue to make more. They’re going to because the supply is not going to stop.

No, that’s just it. We got to have somewhere to live and work and function as long as the house needs to be built. And when there’s less and less weight, you will get charged more and more in the design of the house. We’re going to go through different design phases. Like there’s tons of new things.

I forget how calm, but there’s all these new modern structures going up all over different Denver neighborhoods. They’re tearing down these houses that were built in the 1920s. No. Are you talking about something else? Just like in these neighborhoods, it’s not gentrification because it was making nice houses.

Those houses were already fractured neighborhoods. Yeah. They’re literally like the infrastructure of the home has actually just done. So they’re there, they’re wiping them and they’re building new products. They’re ours, but they’re newer. There are some neighborhoods. I’m not going to say that there aren’t in Denver that have been gentrified, but that’s everywhere in the U S but at the same time, it’s because some of those things that were built.

They’re from the 1920s, 1930s, and they kind of need to be torn down or perhaps new housing needs to go in. Absolutely. So that way it’s safe. Like I 100% agree with that. And so, and I just get such a kick out of it because it’s like maybe the design changes with someone who’s going to have to build it.

Yeah. Like, it’s amazing. There’s so much push for, for eco green and, and coming up with new products and finding words. Yeah. They don’t lay on the environment, but people haven’t gone and looked at how the forests are managed. Do you realize that in the United States, only 3.2% of all lumber harvested annually is clear.

Cut people don’t realize that everything else has selective harvesting, where they’re literally going through the forest and actually picking out trees. They’re thinning the forest, the forest is staying there. I forget what the statistics are, but we have I mean, it’s something crazy, like two or three times more trees in North America now than we did back in the 1930s.

Well, we cut them all down and then we went, Oh, crap, let’s dial this one back real quick and give it about 50 years. Yeah. No, it’s because it’s regulated. There are rules and laws. Now that you have to abide by if you want to do this, the legal way is crazy. Most of these companies, and it’s not talked about enough, but most of these big manufacturers, a lot of them are zero.

They’re using 99.96% of the frickin log. Yeah, because they don’t waste anything because of all the new rules and the regulations and just understanding that it’s a growing thing and it takes time for it to produce. Yeah, even when I first saw that diagram of how a log is cut up into different one by six, two by six and all of those beams and everything I said, huh, I didn’t think that much was used.

Well, then they take that and then the leftovers are either turned into concrete steaks or they. They chop it up into wood pellets or they even use it to sell us for you that’s what I’m saying. Like, I didn’t, I honestly didn’t know that and I had an interest in it, but it was something unknown to me until I saw it probably a year and a half ago.

This industry is so intricate, whether you’re a construction worker, whether you’re the builder, the one putting up the skyscraper. And you can make good money across the board and you don’t have to go to a school and get in and get your $50,000 of debt. Like most of these companies will take you under their wing and they will teach you most.

I’ll say half the, on the construction side of things. They’re looking for guys with more experience because they’re looking to plug and play right. Smaller companies that you’re in would take you on and train you because they need bodies, like bigger companies. We’ve got to plug and play the experienced guys.

They have to go because they have items, smaller companies, man, I need a body. Like if you’re warm and you’re breathing and you can put some room and pick up, then you lift up eight pounds. All right, let’s go. Let’s go. We need some Rocklin. But on the material side of things…

You’d be amazed at how many guys have spent 20, 30 years in companies. And they’re all, I mean, they’re going to be retiring in the next 5 to 10. Like we’ve got guys that are in our company right now, like old sales guys who have been there for two decades plus, and they’re retiring. And we got the new breed of guys rolling through. You hear these stories across our industry, but then you also hear the same things that we’re dealing with.

Like we could bring on three to four new sales guys right now and more yard hands and all that stuff. And we can’t find people to work at a lumberyard because they feel like it’s a degrading job. Like it baffles me. It just baffles me. That’s my thing is if a college person is coming out with 50 grand in debt, to me, finding a job right out of the gate, getting a sustainable life is more important than ‘I don’t want to go to work and be happy every day’.

Now, thankfully it did work out to where it is both, but to me, having some safety net of some sort is way more important than me going to work every day. And just, I would much rather be able to look at myself in the mirror and say, no, just get through this for five years.

And then you can go find some of the pontification of our generation to set up and create their life. On the front of the social media side, it looks like they’re living a better life than they are. It’s disgusting. Oh yeah. I knew so many people my age, so many people my age with $50 to $60,000 in credit cards, because you don’t have any of that.

Like, which baffled me. Like that was money that you could have used on buying a home, anything, literally anything, but it was so important for you to go to Coachella and you got your Supreme, sorry, sir. Have you got your Supreme? Like, and you got your $7 Starbucks coffee and then you go look and you’re like, bro, you make $13 an hour.

And that’s my thing. Like I said, make it 400 bucks every two weeks. When I had $600 in college debt a month, and that’s the minimum payment, because you don’t want to dig a hole or swing your hammer. For goodness sake. So I’m all about self worth and everything, but your pride can sometimes be tucked away for a couple of years.

You can still feel good about yourself and say, ‘hey, this paycheck feels good’. You are setting yourself up for a lifelong tangible emotional and financial pain. Like all four. Oh, I work here now like it’s ridiculous. I’m Taylor Poole. That’s Tye Dynda. And this was today’s RMFP, The Mill.

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