I was having a discussion the other day about finding mechanics. I'm sure it applies to some degree in other trades but in the SF Bay Area, it's next to impossible to find a trained mechanic.
There are a variety of reasons for this; number one being the cost of living. An article in The Business Insider really solidified that for me. It had to do with the median salary reporting requirements. For Google, the median is $193k. For Facebook, $243k. For Apple, $150k. The second thing that matters is kids aren't choosing to get into the trades. This is true both in the motorcycle and car side and when they do, they could leave with $40k worth of school debt-not including the tools they need to own. The third thing is that unemployment is fairly low-it's a good thing but also makes finding employees difficult-and this is true for all employers.
There are a number of other factors like the seasonal nature and how mechanics are paid. The later is being addressed simply due to changes in state law.
Other trades are experiencing similar declines in entrants to their respective fields.
I wonder what we can do to change that? We discussed scholarships, pay increases, and any number of things to improve. I'm also a fan of MikeRoweWorks and his effort to value the trades as a career path (tho the COL here in the Bay Area makes that hard).
I sometimes wonder if the only people left in the area will be those working for tech companies. Everyone else will be bussed in. It's a joke but I could see it happening.