Working in the trades runs in the family for Chelsy Snyder Anderson. The third-generation tradesperson explains some of the ins and outs of the industry.
What is your advice to women in trade navigating a male-dominated industry?
This answer isn’t male/female specific but will help when it comes to job site survival. Be a listener rather than a talker (aka don’t gossip, complain, or brag). Be confident but humble.
In the construction industry, we’ll call mentors “site superiors,” or friends. Find a friend that you feel comfortable asking questions and you know you’ll get an answer. You can either ask your HR director or leader that hired you, who you can reach out to for job site questions.
Why is it important that we advocate for younger generations to pursue careers in the trades?
The skilled trades aren’t going away anytime soon, and we need to replace the outgoing generation. The baby boomers in this industry have either already retired or will be fully retired in the next decade. The gap is closing for replacing those numbers. It takes long consistent hours, physical labor, and mindful work to get there. It’s important we advocate for kids in this industry because having this skill set is crucial to humanity.
What do you look for in the next generation of tradespeople?
At Dean Snyder Construction (DCS), we’re constantly pivoting trying to find ways to be creative and appeal to the next generation of tradespeople. Ultimately, we look for those that have the ability to learn and are hungry to have a career here. Some applicants may not have any construction knowledge, which we see often.
Rather than turn these individuals away, we’ve had to re-assess how we hire them. As long as we find good people who are willing to show up on time and put in the work, then we’re willing to train them and do what it takes to retain them.
The other thing we’ve noticed about the next generation is that they are very tech savvy allowing us to accelerate training with newer technology that DSC uses.
What is the most rewarding part about a career in the trades industry?
Not only having the opportunity to build, but having the creative ability, patience, and resilience to see it through. Whatever the trade is, welding, plumbing, carpentry, etc., the construction will be there for generations to come. Your creation isn’t something that gets buried online, rather it builds value over time. That home you bought and remodeled yourself created wealth for you and your family. What other industry can you say that and quite literally build capital with your skill set? Tradespeople are artists.