Career Development

Maintenance evangelist looking for a maintenance woman


Apr 07, 2005

One song wasn't enough. He had to write another to drive home the point that we're in a maintenance crisis. 
Newspaper and magazine reporters have dubbed Joel Leonard as "North America’s Maintenance Evangelist" for his efforts to elevate the profession, typically regarded as blue collar electricians, plumbers, and other craftsmen.  “People will ignore reading white papers, yet gladly listen to a song. So, I write the lyrics and work collaboratively with musicians who will compose and record it,” stated Leonard. Then, it's available as a free download from
His first endeavor, “The Maintenance Crisis Song,”  explains the pending shortfall of skilled labor. Baby boomers are retiring and few younger folks are entering the field. The Song was released in the  spring  of  2003  and quickly soared as an industry hit, being played in business meetings and maintenance conferences. It has been downloaded more than 23,000 times from the Internet. In August, National Public Radio aired the song during a live hour-long call-in interview with Leonard.
Leonard's second song, "Find Me a Maintenance Woman," is a country ballad, with a catchy dance tune, asking the boss man to hire a woman. Shannon  Gilbert  , of Greensboro's band, "," set the lyrics to music. "He put some real heart and soul into these words," said Leonard." 
He explained that one possible solution is for employers to hire more women. Currently, they comprise only 5% of the maintenance workforce. He hopes the song will break down some of the attitudinal barriers and encourage more companies to consider hiring women. "And there are jobs available - now, "he stressed. "In the Greensboro area alone, there are several hundred vacant maintenance jobs with starting pay around $16-$20 per hour. If a woman can rear kids, she can do anything.”

Leonard, who is an instructor with MPACT Learning Center, in Greensboro, is considering a third song. "Who knows," he added, "with Shannon's talent, we may even win a Grammy some day!"
Free downloads of “Find Me a Maintenance Woman” and “The Maintenance Crisis Song” can be found at
For more information, contact Joel Leonard at (336) 379-1444 or e-mail him at