Removing industrial arts from high school in the United States started an economic backsliding that must stop. It also has hurt the electrical trade. Encouraging students to use only their heads and look down on making things with their hands hurts the electrical trade.
Now for the good news … Many smart individuals seek to reverse that trend. For that reason, I'm excited about the Maker movement and related programs.
Technology that inspired the Maker movement is now so affordable that fabrication (fab) laboratories (labs) are opening nationwide. In Martinsville (VA) Patrick Henry Community College is opening the Thomas P. Dalton IDEA Center downtown.
Matthew Wade is the lab coordinator, introducing students to 3-D printing, basic fabrication, and design concepts. This is one of approximately 60 in the nation.
Now students in Martinsville can experience technology, design, and engineering not available at the local schools. An opportunity for many to experience industrial arts in an exciting new way.
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Many students will get interested in working with their hands for the first time. Great news is that for Martinsville “students” includes all grade levels.
It will be a solid economic boon to have technically able kids in the future workforce. There is another reason I'm sharing this with you. Because answering this one question will grow your business fast!
“What is it you can do in your own community to promote the trades? “
This answer is essential because it develops a future workforce. To grow your electrical contracting business, as well as boost your community’s economic well-being you will need people. With the shortage of quality technicians, you’ll pay top dollar even for average.
Encouraging, supporting, or even sponsoring programs to introduce the electrical trade to students gives you an opportunity to market your business. This can be done tactfully and with measurable effect.
In several programs I've talked about the power of themed student assignments, safety programs, and energy saving advocacy. At Chopticon high school I had the good fortune to discover engineering through volunteers from the Patuxent River Naval Air Station.
There are many ways to activate this kind of community partnership that profits generations. Depending on your business, there may also be recruiting opportunities at the high school and community college level. Overall, marketing opportunities are abundant with the right approach.
For example: If the local high school is talking about solar or electricity in general, then why aren't they featuring a core services from your business? This could be a demonstration board you also use at trade and home shows to feature a solar system.
Feature that same board at the local museum as an exhibit. Use it to help students with science fair ideas. Something educational sits in your warehouse ready to get elevate your business in a positive way.
If you have a “fab lab” in your community, then know hundreds of opportunities exist to partner with them. It helps them, students, and certainly your business.
Give this a try. These kinds of events get you free publicity, drive leads to your business, and build your community. Think about it this way …
Ever get quality leads from a home show? Partnering in your community will boost your lead flow. You can even recycle props and demonstrations in an educational way.
The key is delivering huge value to the children with an interactive experience. It is easier than you might think. Especially since schools are already talking about electricity.
Do this well to boost the power of any paid advertising. There are even follow on opportunities to amplify your impact with certain styles of press releases after the event.
Martinsville is fortunate that Matthew Wade and team are getting this type of program off the ground. If you have questions about using this concept, then book a no-obligation consultation or write the office to discuss specifics.
There isn’t any reason why you couldn’t have two of these opportunities in hand within the week.
Justin Hitt is the Publisher of COMMERCIAL ELECTRICAL PROFITS. He helps commercial electrical contractors create and keep profitable customers while transforming business relationships into profits guaranteed.