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Trade News

From the Desk of Mike Colon, Blue Collar Black Book Founder
May
21

Everything I Need to be a Great Leader, I Learned In the Boy Scouts

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A long, long time ago, before the greys, the kids, the house, the wife or the work I embarked on my first major journey. It was the path to becoming an Eagle Scout. I heard a lot of people carrying on about what becoming an Eagle Scout meant and all the lessons I would learn along the way. One term always popped up in every conversation, Leadership.

Almost 20 years later I look back and reflect on the experience that made me what I am today. Lace up them boots we are about to take a journey over some rocky terrain but I hear it's beautiful on the other side.

Before we start, STOP. Leadership is not a position or a title. It isn't handed to anybody from a superior. By it's very nature, it cannot be forced upon someone.

An Oath and a Promise

The first step is to take up the mantle of something bigger than yourself, your duty and purpose. In Scouts this was your oath, the Scout Oath. Duty to God & Country, Duty to Others, Duty to Self. First major clue here folks. Duty to self comes last. Most “Leaders” today put their self first. If you are worried about your self than you cannot be sufficiently worried about your other duties or the people you are responsible for.

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May
21

To Union or Not to Union

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Unions! You don't have to love them or hate them but people do. Constantly. I don't think I have ever met a fence rider when it comes to talking Unions. It seems like such a no brainer to me but if you can commit to doing some exploring down a seemingly dark and bottomless pit of information, without the necessary safety gear, after 5pm without extra pay, then click on that flashlight and lets get in there deep because I want to get to the bottom of this issue.

 

Before we go further I will confess. My dad was a union plumber before he started his own plumbing company. To this day he still pays his dues. He also pays me to work for him and I have never been a union plumber but then again he trained me. Although as a police officer I was a union member. That being said lets get into the issues.

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May
18

PASSING THE BUCK: Who Really Pays The Cost For Low Quality Materials?

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As I type, I am fighting a full scale war with my blood pressure over this topic. In life it seems the one responsible rarely bears the burden or pays the price for their actions and I believe that in the end we will find it to be true for this topic. If you seek out to get low quality materials then you really have no reason to complain. For the rest of us... where the hell do you even find good materials anymore? Dust off your riot gear we are about to do battle.

 Let's get down to the brass tax of this issue. What does this actually cost and who is footing the bill?


The Tradesman and or The Contractor

Bad materials cost tradesmen, contractors and business owners significantly every year. TIME. MONEY. REPUTATION. They are all effected.

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May
13

Construction Labor Supply: The Dinosaurs Will Rule Again!

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There is a growing concern among construction contractors, tradesmen and others that the supply of people entering the construction industry has slipped far below the rate at which people are leaving the industry. I whole heartily agree. Why are people leaving? Why aren't they entering? Who cares? Why DOES IT EVEN MATTER? Strap on a harness we're about to go for a ride.

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May
10

Today’s Trades: No Place for Wimps or Neanderthals

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Today's “blue collar” environment is radically different than that of say our grandfathers generation. The fundamentals are the same. You still have to be extremely tough to take a career of punishment but more that ever skills that were never necessary before are now essential. I am talking about education and lots of it. You can no longer be a guy that “just knows his trade”. I'll tell you why and in the process I will explain many of the areas of education from our generation forward that we will have to master in addition to our our trade skills.

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