All Episodes

May 24, 2024 5 mins

Mark Erlich, a former carpenter who is now a Fellow at Harvard, gives us a look at the jobs market, and the ascendance of the “toolbelt generation.”

See for privacy information.

Mark as Played

Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:01):
Wind Down with Janet Kramer, an I'm Heeart radio podcast.

Speaker 2 (00:07):
I want to introduce you to On the Job and
host Avery Thompson. Avery shares stories of people making changes
in their professional and personal lives. Whether it's a successful
athlete transitioning into a new career off the field, a
fly fishing tour guide trying to introduce a new segment
of folks to the joys of the outdoors, or a
stadium beer and hot dog hawker who doubles as a
CEO of a red hot startup. We'll find out what

drives them and what lies ahead. These are heartfelt stories
of people finding their lives. Work on the Job is
brought to you by Express Employment Professionals. This week, Avery
talks to a former carpenter who is now a fellow
at Harvard.

Speaker 3 (00:43):
Welcome to On the Job. It's hard to believe it
that this is now our eighth season. We've got a
lot of great stories coming your way. If you're not
sure how to feel about the economy these days, you're
not alone. It's an admittedly confusing time right now to
make sense of what's going on out there. I gave
a call up to Boston, Massachusetts to speak with author,

labor historian, and fellow at Harvard Law mark Erlin Mark Earley,
thank you for being on the podcast. Let's jump right
into it. How's it looking out there to you?

Speaker 1 (01:18):
Well, I actually think it's looking quite good. You know,
there's the issue of perception and reality and how it's
perceived politically. But the reality is that the job market
keeps climbing, that we have come out of the pandemic
better than really any other country in the world, and
I think there are a lot of opportunities. I would

say that to the degree that what our future holds
in some ways is dependent on the election in November
and whether the current trends continue or whether there's a
sharp turn to a different set of politics and economics.

Speaker 3 (01:55):
As Mark told me, there's only so much crystal ballgazing
one can do. As a historian. He knows that unforeseen
surprises are both unpredictable and inevitable. However, there is one
thing that we can all see coming our way, and
that's AI.

Speaker 1 (02:13):
I think for the majority of jobs, I don't think
in the short term is going to be much of
an impact one way or another. I think twenty five, thirty,
fifty years out. The impact of AI is probably going
to be incomprehensible in many ways.

Speaker 3 (02:30):
And at least for now, it seems unlikely that AI
will be able to replace a plumber or an electrician
anytime soon, which is a great thing because those types
of jobs, the sort of skilled trade jobs, are having
quite a resurgence these days. And Mark, a former carpenter himself, says,
not only are those jobs quite plentiful these days, they're

also finally getting the respect they deserve.

Speaker 1 (02:57):
Yeah, I think that's been an interesting process. I think
that's for two reasons. One is that guidance counselors and
high schools and sort of families works kept saying college, college, college, college.
You got to go to college if you're going to
have a secure living, And what happened when you graduated

you had a pile of student debt and you were
a barista or an uber driver. On the other hand,
if you do blue collar work, if you frankly, if
you go say through an apprenticeship program, you are earning
while you learn. There is no debt. You're learning a skill.
In four years and you've become a licensed electrician or

you become a master carpenter, or whatever, and the occupation
may be, and you have been you've been making money
that entire time, and you're well on your way towards,
you know, having a secure livelihood. I think for too
long we devalue that kind of work in the society.
And I'm glad to see, like the enrollment of vocationals

schools is increasing all over the country, and that seems
to me kind of like one hundred and eighty degree
shift from say even twenty years ago.

Speaker 3 (04:08):
With soaring enrollment in technical and vocational schools and a
strong jobs market in the blue collar sector. Some have
even started calling gen Z the tool belt generation. And
as public opinion of the trades continues to change, so
too are the people drawn to them.

Speaker 1 (04:26):
You're seeing women in the trades being elevated to leadership
positions in the industry. It's a very healthy thing, very
good thing.

Speaker 3 (04:35):
And a similar trend is happening with foreign born Americans.

Speaker 1 (04:39):
My parents are immigrants. I'm a big support of immigration.
I think this country was built on immigrant labor. And
the only difference now is that instead of being folks
from Southern Europe or Eastern Europe or wherever, they're coming from,
Central and South America as well as other parts of
the world.

Speaker 3 (04:57):
Hopefully, in a few years we'll have a lot more
men and women driving their children around and pointing and saying,
you see that, kids, I built that for On the job,
I'm Avery Thompson.

Speaker 2 (05:10):
Looking for a job is lonely, endless searching, phone calls
that go nowhere.

Speaker 3 (05:15):
Applications that vanish into thin air.

Speaker 1 (05:18):
What if you could link with dozens of local companies
who are hiring right now with just one connection. That's
Express Employment Professionals.

Speaker 3 (05:28):
Find us at expresspros dot com. One connection, endless opportunities
and no fees ever for job seekers Express Employment Professionals
expresspros dot com.
Advertise With Us

Popular Podcasts

Dateline NBC
Stuff You Should Know

Stuff You Should Know

If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks, then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.

The Nikki Glaser Podcast

The Nikki Glaser Podcast

Every week comedian and infamous roaster Nikki Glaser provides a fun, fast-paced, and brutally honest look into current pop-culture and her own personal life.

Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.


© 2024 iHeartMedia, Inc.