Topic: Promoting education for the young and… less young work force is important and NARI is doing their part! Be it through the NARI Workforce Development and NARI University, NARI has the tools to help you succeed.

Guest: David Pekel, CEO of NARI


3 Points for Success – David Pekel:

  1. Know your limitations
  2. Don’t be afraid to tell a homeowner no
  3. Become involved in a professional network

Podcast Transcript

James [00:00:00] So good to have you with us for another episode of Carrie BrosPros. I’m James.

Morris [00:00:06] And I’m Morris. And you know, as professionals were always looking for ways to give our pro listeners great information that will help them work smarter instead of harder. On this edition, we’re going to talk the next generation of tradespeople.

James [00:00:21] And we’re going to do that with an old friend who really isn’t that old. But he’s with an organization that is really a heritage organization. It is the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. He is the CEO, David Pekel. David, welcome to CareyBrosPros.

David [00:00:41] James Morris, it’s always a pleasure to be on CareyBrosPros.

Morris [00:00:47] David, what’s coming up in the new year for the NARI?

David [00:00:50] You know, we have we have a lot of new and exciting programs that we’re offering for our professional members to help them be a better remodeling contractor. And the smartest person in the room when they’re talking to clients about home improvement and remodeling and stay in their homes.

James [00:01:07] And for folks listening, David, who may not be familiar with the acronym NARI,  National Association of the Remodeling Industry, would you please explain what Neri is all about and its mission?

David [00:01:24] Certainly, that’s always fun for me to be able to do because I’m passionate, as you know, about the industry and and the value that we bring not only to the contractor community, but to the homeowner community as well. NARI is the only professional trade association exclusively dedicated to the home improvement industry. We’re represented by over fifty eight hundred companies throughout the United States, comprising more than 50000 individual professional individuals engaged in the remodeling industry. Our tagline is Remodeling done right? It’s our brand promise to consumers and to the public. That when you hire and marry professional, you’re dealing with a contractor of competence, of quality, of workmanship and high ethical standards. We support small businesses engaged in the remodeling industry through our advocacy on the Hill in Washington, D.C., making sure that our contractor’s voices are represented as a whole. We offer eight individual professional certifications, which are highly regarded as top tier certifications within our industries would further enhance the professionalism of our industry. And we also offer accreditation to companies that meet a rigorous evaluation standard by a third party review committee as well.

James [00:02:44] Now, not that we’re counting, but it’s been about thirty six year. Well, let’s see. Thirty four years since we first joined NARI about that. AndI don’t look a day over 27, I’ll have you know.

David [00:03:00] No you don’t! And we’re thrilled that you’ve continued continued your involvement in the association.

James [00:03:05] Thank you. So let’s talk about something that’s near and dear to all of our hearts. It’s no secret that there’s a shortage of skilled tradespeople all across the country. As a matter of fact, it’s not a local problem. It’s a national problem. Can you share with our pro audience a little bit about your work force development and how in areas promoting it?

David [00:03:29] Certainly workforce development and for finding people interested in getting involved in the trades is is indeed, as you said, James, it’s a nationwide epidemic at this point. Many, many high schoolers are being told that the only pathway to success today is through a minimum four year degree. Shop classes have been completely gutted from many metropolitan school systems. With the aging of the workforce, there are not young people who, like many of us who who were exposed to the industry at a young age, have mentors who are teaching them the trades. The trades aren’t something that’s represented in the conversation when it comes to what do you want to be when you grow up? We’re working vigorously on changing that narrative, and that really has to begin with the parents and at a much younger age than I believe that we as an industry originally thought. We thought perhaps that we need to be talking to the high school counselors and and to people that at that level, when indeed it’s really much sooner than that, I think, because I know I know you and you know me. We’re in that. We’re in that survey group category when we were in junior high school. You had a pathway to the trades. You had an industrial arts program. You had a home economics program. It was something that people were interested in. It was something that people got engaged and they got sawdust. They got sawdust in their hair and they got grease under their fingernails. And they learned how to disassemble a motor and put it back together and in a created interest for them today.

David [00:05:15] A lot of our young people are interested in in electronics, and it’s largely based on the devices that they can hold in the palm of their hand.

James [00:05:22] Yes.

David [00:05:23] So. So we don’t have builders and we don’t have makers. We don’t have tinker toys and we don’t have Lincoln Logs that kids are using their imagination and their their hands to to create from scratch. So we’re working on on the on the most primitive, I guess you would say, levels of trying to show people that, particularly parents, that there’s there’s nobility and great opportunity for success and esteem, as well as great financial outcomes. If there’s two, if their children do choose a profession in the skilled trades. So to to our way of thinking as as experienced individuals in the industry, the converse, the the the greatest impact for the benefit for the benefit of filling skilled labor, that filling the skilled labor gap is for parents to have a conversation with their kids and let them know that college isn’t for everyone. We understand that. And for those that it for those that it applies to. That’s fantastic. But there are people that have to build the buildings. That house the that house, the employees. There are people that have to create the spaces that’ll accommodate the homeless. There are people that have to build the hospitals that help the aged and the sick people as well. These are people that can. These are people that are necessary. They’re essential to the continuance of of our existence. If we don’t have people who are who are going to do that, who’s going to build the roads, who’s going to who’s going to provide fresh water and running water inside of our homes? I mean, it’s something that I don’t think people seriously consider. Young people today are striving to find purpose and a way to have an impact. What better way than to provide a roof and shelter over someone’s head? Something that you can point to and say, you know, I did this, I built this, I helped this family. So that conversation, again, we encourage parents to to begin to have that with with their children.

Morris [00:07:33] Boy, I tell you, you hit the nail right on the head, David, but let’s go on to the next phase, David here on CareyBrosPros. We like to ask our guests to share three points for success with our pro listeners. Could you share yours?

David [00:07:50] As you all know, for 25 years I was a design-build remodeler in the Midwest. And some of the things that I learned along the way that I’d like to share with your pro listeners that work that I wish I would have perhaps known sooner rather than later was know your limitations and know and don’t be uncomfortable saying no. This is what I mean by that as remodels and professional home improvement contractors. I think there’s a gene in us that that wires us to a predisposition to want to help everybody to rescue every puppy, that stray puppy that we see. You know, we all have specific levels of expertise. And there’s and there’s certain things that we do better than than other things. It’s okay to tell a homeowner, I’m sorry. That’s not something that fits in into our area of expertise or is not perhaps the best use of our resources. In those cases, you help to manage the consumer’s expectations. You don’t mislead them into thinking that there is a prospect that you may or may not be able to help them. And I would strongly encourage you to become involved in a professional trade association, such as an area where you can network with other people and learn what their strong suits are so that you can recommend those in those cases where you find that the opportunity that comes to you from the homeowner is something you can pass on or refer.

James [00:09:19] Awesome, awesome. Those are truly excellent points for success from a guy who knows a little bit about the remodeling business. By the way, we should say that you have some terrific collateral information for parents and for employers that will help promote is your child career ready? Promoting job security and some other ways in which to consider something other than running off to college.

David [00:09:49] Our pro listeners can find a wealth of information from our Web site. That Web site address is And for those consumers that are interested in finding a qualified, competent, professional contractor and learning more about the remodeling and home improvement process, we have a Web site that specifically is designed for them. And that’s

James [00:10:15] Doesn’t get any better than that. He is David Pickle, CEO of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. And as he indicated, you may learn more about them by visiting their Web site. It’s

Morris [00:10:32] And remember, you’ll find our guests information as well as additional podcasts, videos and articles on our Web site at

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