Editors Blog

‘Cheers' to Tinkering at Home

December 21, 2009

Many Americans no longer have a hands-on philosophy when it comes to home repair. Who says so? Cliff Clavin says so and that is good enough for me.

Actually, it is an organization called Nuts, Bolts and Thingamajigs (NBT) which was founded by actor John Ratzenberger. The NBT recently conducted a survey, and the results were astounding. The poll came back that 58 percent of U.S. adults have not made or built even one item from a list of eight common projects ranging from a piece of furniture to a fence. Also, 60 percent stated they avoid handling major household repairs.

Now this is good news and bad news. The good news is when a furnace or air conditioner breaks, these people will be calling their HVAC contractor to fix the problem. Good for business, obviously.

However, if you dig deeper, you realize this is not all candy and nuts for the industry. In a separate poll, 73 percent have little or no interest about joining the ranks of blue collar workers as an adult. That would seem to be a problem for an industry that is already staring down a technician shortage once this economy makes a full recovery.

Take it from the former “Cheers” know-it-all.

“It’s absolutely critical for this mindset to change because when America recovers from our economic downturn, there will be a dire need for skilled manpower in the trades,” Ratzenberger said. “We need to convey that such occupations are honorable ones and truly contribute to the future prosperity of America.”
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