Industry can attract young people by speaking their language

Industry can attract young people by speaking their language 

By Joel Leonard

Dr. Larry Keen, vice president of North Carolina Community Colleges, recently said that due to lack of demand by college-age students, numerous community colleges across the nation are being forced to eliminate their maintenance training divisions. He urged industry to figure out ways to entice young adults to pursue a career in this field.

I took that challenge personally. After watching “The Late Show” with David Letterman one night, I woke up at 3 a.m. with the following Top 10 list in my head.

I have already shared it with more than 400 maintenance professionals and numerous college students to get their feedback. They agree that this list may open some minds to the opportunities that are available in the maintenance sector. So I hope you print out this page and pass this Top 10 list on to young adults.

 Top 10 reasons to pursue a career in the maintenance field                            
10. It's OK to get dirty on the job.
9. You get to carry a master key and venture into places few have gone before.
8. You get to work on the most important projects.
7. You get to play with cool tools (infrared cameras, ultrasound sensors, etc.).
6. You can earn lots of overtime pay.
5. Companies cannot survive without maintenance.
4. You get the opportunity to learn how the company really works.
3. Guys dig women who know how to use tools.
2. Women dig guys who are good with their hands.
1. Earning lots of money per year buys a lot of beer.

With a little effort, we can show America’s youth that maintenance is a cool field after all. 

E-mail Joel Leonard at


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