Episode 11: Spotlight on Service – Changing Perspectives on Essential Work
Friday, August 14 at 2:00 p.m. EDT
‘I didn’t start out in construction. I went to college.’ How many times have you heard that from someone in the mechanical industry? Whether it’s pressure from parents or an uncertainty about what to do after high school, college often seems to be the default option.
Kip Bagley (Senior VP of Service, EMCOR Services – Mesa Energy Systems; Co-Chair, MSCA Board of Managers) had himself graduated with a degree in Physical Education and was on his way towards a Master’s degree, when one of his professors wrote down on the chalkboard what a PE teacher with a Master’s could earn. Well, Kip’s dad was earning twice that as an air conditioning tech, and the phone call home that took place shortly after basically went “I changed my mind. I want to do what you do.”
When COVID-19 hit and the world was divided up into essential and non-essential workers, it shone a new light on the mechanical industry, and specifically the service sector. These folks were keeping hospitals running and grocery stores functioning. Mechanical techs were going to work, bringing home a paycheck, and serving the nation. As Kip observes, if anything good has come out of the pandemic – besides there being less traffic in LA – it may be that more people are realizing that the trades are a viable alternative to college: one where they can succeed, make money, and have stability. Join John and Kip as they discuss how the circumstances of 2020 have impacted recruitment, perception of the industry, and what it means to be of service.