Many people are concerned about recruiting the next generation industrial workforce. Not only must we recruit younger people, attracting young women into the industry in a variety of professions would be great.
Klein Tools just sent the results of a survey—its second annual “State of the Industry” one. This year, Klein Tools took a new direction with the survey focusing on family and asking more than 200 union and non-union electricians about their experiences getting into the field and on the jobsite.
As a sixth-generation family business, Klein Tools wanted to know how much support electricians get at home, which helps Klein create programs to better support future electricians and their families. The survey also specifically focused on women in the electrical industry, finding how many regularly work on jobsites with union and non-union electricians.
Family Ties & Influence
The Klein ‘State of the Industry’ survey found family and friends have important influence over those deciding to join the industrial workforce and specifically become electricians, particularly among union members. In fact, they may be the strongest factor in determining if someone will apply for an apprenticeship and commit to a career as an electrician.
- Three in ten electricians (30%) have one or more other electricians in the family, with union members (39%) significantly more likely than non-union members (23%) to have another electrician in their family.
- One-half of electricians (51%) were encouraged to become an electrician. More than nine in ten electricians (92%) would encourage someone to become an electrician.
- Two-thirds of electricians (64%) would encourage their children to become an electrician.
- Three in ten electricians (30%) would specifically encourage their daughter to become an electrician.
“Family is what Klein Tools is based on and it’s important apprentices have family support when deciding to become an electrician,” said Mark Klein, president of Klein Tools. “We know not all students receive the support they need when considering trade schools and we are actively working with apprenticeship organizations to ensure students have access to the resources, tools, information and leadership necessary to be successful in this industry.”
Women on Jobsites
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in 2014 women represented only 2.4 percent of the electrician workforce. Klein Tools wanted to know how often women worked on job sites in the past year and was pleased to find the majority of jobsites had women regularly working on them.
- More than three-fifths of electricians (62%) report having worked with one or more women on job sites in the past year.
- Union members (78%) are significantly more likely than non-union members (51%) to have worked with one or more women on job sites in the past year.
“This is a good start, but is still markedly lower than what we believe it should be,” said Mark Klein, president of Klein Tools. “With numerous talented tradespeople expected to retire in the coming years, we need more trained electricians filling in the ranks and we support anyone who wants to contribute to this ever-changing and challenging industry.”
The Klein Tools ‘State of the Industry’ survey was conducted by Russell Research, an independent survey research firm, which conducted 200 online interviews from January 27 – February 5, 2016, to secure a nationally significant representation. Forty percent of respondents were union members and 60 percent were not.