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Old 11-28-2023, 01:02 PM   #1
JayJay
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Default Classtique Upholstery

Another data point - I just placed an order with Classtique for a complete interior for my '30 Town Sedan that I'm restoring. Mike gave me an estimated ship date of 11/19/2024, so he's a year out. He told me that if he can get some good workers in it might be earlier, but that's apparently what his constraint is. (BTW, same story I heard from Steve Mitchell, seems to be a recurring theme.)

I thought I had heard somewhere that Classtique was able to ship the side panels and headliner well in advance of the seat covers. I asked Mike about that and he told me there is no truth to that, he makes the entire order at one time. Which makes sense to me.
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Old 11-28-2023, 01:33 PM   #2
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Here is where many of us are struggling right now, -is it is not a lack of being able to hire someone. It is the lack of finding anyone that has the ability.

Training is the key to making good workers, ...however I am finding the issue is now there are people that are willing to work however they honestly do not have the skillset. I am basically running wide-open from 6:00AM until 6:00PM just trying to stay ahead of 4 employees. I have never been so exhausted in my entire life as what I am experiencing now. I am finding that 'problem solving' abilities are basically non-existent, ...not only in my line of work but in many of the vendors I deal with. In a nutshell, Smart Phones have ruined society where memorization and reasoning are a thing of the past. In the case of Mike, imagine if he spends 50% of his time for a whole year training an employee (-watching over their shoulder, showing by example, explaining, etc.) and just about the time that employee is competent to make a kit with minimal supervision, that employee decides to change careers leaving Mike with a year of wasted efforts. It isn't just Mike, -or me. It is so many different vendors and suppliers I deal with on a daily basis. I have a Roadster that we are 95% completed with but needed to respray a deck lid door. My local paint store had eliminated the Concept paint line about two years ago. I began using a different paint store in a neighboring state however 3 months ago they quit handling PPG Concept. Three different paint stores have tried matching this paint and no one has the talent or ability to match the existing paint. Their solution is for us to repaint the vehicle!! Multiply similar problems with tire manufacturers, chrome shops, engine part suppliers, etc., etc., and you quickly find this hobby is losing ground. Ohh, and my friend who owns a transmission shop is ready to close his doors because of the same basic reasons.
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Old 11-28-2023, 01:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: Classtique Upholstery

I imagine myself back at age 17 joining a full blown, structured apprenticeship program at a restoration shop. Did this exist in the US? The closest thing I know of today is the college that prepares students to work in restoration, focusing on a specific discipline such as metal shaping, interiors, or drivetrain.
I wonder if young people from outside the US would view a formal apprenticeships as an attractive proposition? It would need to either provide housing and meals, or sufficient interim income to cover it. Anyway, just letting my mind wander.
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Old 11-28-2023, 03:11 PM   #4
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I understand the help problem. I have been retired since 2008 and spend my time restoring Model A's and classic Mustangs. I use to teach at the local HS, teaching welding, machining, building trades and automotive. A few months ago I was asked if I would substitute as a certified teacher in the vocational education programs, due to lack of lab certified substitute teachers. I agreed. Without a certified instructor the students can not go into the labs. There are 20 students in each of the labs which have a potential to learn a trade. Within each group there are only about 10 students that have any interest in learning. The welding group especially has the opportunity to get certified and leave school making great pay. I would think that these young adults would understand that they are missing a great opportunity.
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Old 11-28-2023, 03:22 PM   #5
Marshall V. Daut
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Default Re: Classtique Upholstery

What??? Learn a trade, get a job, move out of Mom and Dad's free basement room and actually WORK for a living?? What a radical idea!!! What are you smoking???
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Old 11-28-2023, 03:24 PM   #6
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When our daughter was in high school (she's 51 now) the district shut down all the shop classes and even home economics for the girls. They went heavy into college prep classes. The dropout count increased when the students who could get an A in shop but hadn't a clue about trig decided to start flipping burgers or pumping gas.


Baldwin Park school district saw the problem and went heavy into automotive education with a lot of support from the industry. https://architizer.com/projects/bald...nology-center/
They even offer adult ed - https://bpace.bpusd.net/apps/pages/i...REC_ID=1975709
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Old 11-28-2023, 04:10 PM   #7
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I remember that I started seeing more problems with kids as far back as the early 70s. It was becoming more acceptable for couples to get a divorce. There was a stigma to it before that time but after the disaster that was the Vietnam War, kids started to change and less parental supervision was the beginning to show results. The high school I went to started shutting down their vocational courses due to lack of both student and parental interest. Young adults had to go in the military to be able to afford any higher learning to include trade schools. Many young adults don't want to join up any more. Too many single and over protective parents is having it's affect in the modern era. Mass communication devices are a distraction in a lot of workplaces so they don't help at all in this respect.

Businesses that deal with the old car hobby have the ebb and flow attached to the economic conditions at any given time. I just hope they survive this odd situation we are having currently. I also hope we don't lose a whole generation of potential antique auto inthusiasts. We are the ones that have to spark that interest in any way we can.
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Old 11-28-2023, 04:13 PM   #8
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Default Re: Classtique Upholstery

I'd like to just say something about the employer side of this situation. I am guessing we all have had an employer that hired a manager that was terrible. Perhaps the owner was terrible. Yes I read these comments and I agree with them all. In fact I think a lot of these above really are just the tip of the iceberg.

However I have worked for employers/managers that were just terrible, and drove all the best people away. I worked for one company, and the saying was "we train the best, and keep the rest".

I had a nice discussion with a recruiter at my last company. We were getting ready to start a new business unit. I asked her out of a pool of 60 people how many will still be here in a year. Her answer was less than 10. Likely range will be 3 to 8 Gene. I asked her if hiring people about 50 or older tend to stay. Her answer was yes, and in some cases even 45 and up. She said it was that way the last two places (diff type of companies and diff state) she work and hired for.

Just something to think about. We can see that these issues effect us all. And supply chain effects our economy.
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Old 11-28-2023, 04:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rotorwrench View Post
I remember that I started seeing more problems with kids as far back as the early 70s. It was becoming more acceptable for couples to get a divorce. There was a stigma to it before that time but after the disaster that was the Vietnam War, kids started to change and less parental supervision was the beginning to show results. The high school I went to started shutting down their vocational courses due to lack of both student and parental interest. Young adults had to go in the military to be able to afford any higher learning to include trade schools. Many young adults don't want to join up any more. Too many single and over protective parents is having it's affect in the modern era. Mass communication devices are a distraction in a lot of workplaces so they don't help at all in this respect.

Businesses that deal with the old car hobby have the ebb and flow attached to the economic conditions at any given time. I just hope they survive this odd situation we are having currently. I also hope we don't lose a whole generation of potential antique auto inthusiasts. We are the ones that have to spark that interest in any way we can.
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Last edited by Gene F; 11-28-2023 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 11-28-2023, 05:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Classtique Upholstery

Times they is ah changin’

And I don’t like any of it!!!
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Old 11-28-2023, 05:31 PM   #11
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Well said Brent..........


and now the problem of painting your roadster.
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Old 11-28-2023, 08:32 PM   #12
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I remember that I started seeing more problems with kids as far back as the early 70s. It was becoming more acceptable for couples to get a divorce. .
I think it began when it started to take 2 incomes to achieve the American Dream.
The house my parents built in SoCal in 1954 cost 12 grand today it's worth about 900,000. My mom stayed at home until my sister and I were both in high school. She went to work and they saved her money to buy a retirement motorhome. In the 2 families across the street one worked and the other stayed home. The wives got into a keep up with the Jones thing and the guy whose wife didn't work finally got a divorce because she was driving him to the poorhouse. Of course once people had 2 incomes the powers to be raised the prices of everything - heaven forbid a taxpayer should advance out of the middle class.
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Old 11-28-2023, 09:03 PM   #13
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Default Re: Classtique Upholstery

I think that US society has done our young folks a disservice with the message that "you ain't worth anything without a college degree". This started after WWII with the introduction of the GI bill. All of a sudden it became desirable to get a college degree and thus a "proper" white collar job. The trades became devalued, and with it became the devaluation of trade education in high schools. That attitude was what a lot of baby boomers (including me) were brought up on, and that has in turn been pushed down to their children. Today we end up with a lot of folks in college who really should not be there, and as a consequence a lot of garbage college degrees that aren't worth the paper they're written on and do nothing to prepare young people for real life. Today we are at the predictable end point of that societal devaluation of the trades.

Couple that with the shift to a fully volunteer armed forces, we no longer have individuals who entered the military more or less involuntarily and were given a trade whether they wanted it or not. I'm not in any way advocating that we reinstitute the draft, I'm just saying that a stopping point in a young adult's career for two to four years in the military is no longer viewed as normal or desirable.

My $0.02 worth, and likely overpayment at that.
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Old 11-28-2023, 11:14 PM   #14
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Default Re: Classtique Upholstery

In High School I took Wood Shop, Metal Shop, Driver's Training, and Auto Mechanics. Haven't regretted any of that.

I don't think any of that was offered to my boys except maybe Driver's Training. Even that isn't offered any more.
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Old 11-29-2023, 02:32 AM   #15
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It's not just in the USA, we have a similar problem here in Australia. I work at a small rural, dual brand, dealership. We have six immigrant mechanics, all good employees, and two Aussie mechanics. Why? because we couldn't get any Aussie mechanics to sign up. We're not the only ones. One workshop up the road from us has been advertising for over two years. When there is more money being a delivery driver than being a mechanic, it's going to be hard to find employees. Also, FIFO mine work pays about three to four times as much per hour, so that's where they go. Then there is the attitude that you need year twelve education as a minimum, I don't know the equivalent in USA education, but it is the year level for seventeen to eighteen year olds. Plus quite a few want to start at the top instead of doing the hard yards at the start. Crazy times, and I don't see much improving soon.
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Old 11-29-2023, 04:08 AM   #16
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after reading all of this, I believe it pays to become a bank robber.


Much more lucrative!
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Old 11-29-2023, 09:00 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshall V. Daut View Post
What??? Learn a trade, get a job, move out of Mom and Dad's free basement room and actually WORK for a living?? What a radical idea!!! What are you smoking???
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Well said Marshall.
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Old 11-29-2023, 09:13 AM   #18
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I understand the help problem. I have been retired since 2008 and spend my time restoring Model A's and classic Mustangs. I use to teach at the local HS, teaching welding, machining, building trades and automotive. A few months ago I was asked if I would substitute as a certified teacher in the vocational education programs, due to lack of lab certified substitute teachers. I agreed. Without a certified instructor the students can not go into the labs. There are 20 students in each of the labs which have a potential to learn a trade. Within each group there are only about 10 students that have any interest in learning. The welding group especially has the opportunity to get certified and leave school making great pay. I would think that these young adults would understand that they are missing a great opportunity.
The issue around here is there are a small percentage of students who do show ambition to learn however they lack the motor skills to be able to do the job efficiently. So while they are willing to be trained, the majority are untrainable. The local colleges (-one of which I am on their advisory board) now tell their goal with the student is to expose them to what it takes in the industry. Gone are the days where they train them for the industry.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshall V. Daut View Post
What??? Learn a trade, get a job, move out of Mom and Dad's free basement room and actually WORK for a living?? What a radical idea!!! What are you smoking???
Marshall
Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryO View Post
If the gov't quit giving them a check each month they would get hungry and have to either steal or work...until then things won't change...

TOB
Actualy Marshall/Terry, around here most (-if not all) of the government subsidies have stopped being handed out. Now people are out looking for work. All the time I get people wanting a job here however their issue is they do not have any mechanical skills necessary to do the job. Truth being told, they struggle even knowing the the very basics such as fractional wrench sizes, nor can they hold a screwdriver or a hammer effectively, ...and honestly most lack memory retention. These basic skills needed to be taught when they children. One other factor is, their cost of living is such that they must make a strong enough wage to support their obligations however their lack of skills affect their amount of pay. While the fault is definitely theirs, it is the employer/business who comes up on the short-end of the deal.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene F View Post
I'd like to just say something about the employer side of this situation. I am guessing we all have had an employer that hired a manager that was terrible. Perhaps the owner was terrible. Yes I read these comments and I agree with them all. In fact I think a lot of these above really are just the tip of the iceberg.

However I have worked for employers/managers that were just terrible, and drove all the best people away. I worked for one company, and the saying was "we train the best, and keep the rest".

I had a nice discussion with a recruiter at my last company. We were getting ready to start a new business unit. I asked her out of a pool of 60 people how many will still be here in a year. Her answer was less than 10. Likely range will be 3 to 8 Gene. I asked her if hiring people about 50 or older tend to stay. Her answer was yes, and in some cases even 45 and up. She said it was that way the last two places (diff type of companies and diff state) she work and hired for.

Just something to think about. We can see that these issues effect us all. And supply chain effects our economy.
This is VERY true. Loyalty is almost non-existent in the workforce today. The mindset of 'lack of responsibility' even expands past the workplace into their households with responsibilities such as marriage commitments, loan repayments, child raising, fiscal management, etc. This lack of maturity is beyond rampant today. So the 'expectation mindset' of today is that an employee expects their workplace company to train them ...however the company sees this as a financial burden many are unwilling to take. When the company agrees to take on that burden with the hope that the employee will be productive enough one day for them to see a ROI, often times the employee becomes bored and leaves the company for a new career path. In my situation, I am absolutely overwhelmed trying to train 4 people simultaneously. Back in the late 90s when I started this business, it took me a year or so to train a couple of guys who then stayed with me for years. Then I kept bringing on new people that 3 helped train, and then the 4th helped train the 5th, and so on. It was only after the 3rd trained employee did I become profitable. In speaking with other business owners in my area, they are experiencing the same thing. The future is definitely bleek for the trades industries.
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Old 11-29-2023, 09:29 AM   #19
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Default Re: Classtique Upholstery

I'm trying to stay out of this discussion, but I will say that I think a lot of the people who used to go into these industries, and had the brains to succeed in them, now go into other lines of work where they get paid more and the work environment is nicer.

I work in IT and we have plenty of young people on staff who are creative problem solvers, easily trainable, high ROI, self-taught or certified through vocational schools. Many of them have technical hobbies like electronics and programming.

I think in a pre-computer age many of them would have gravitated toward mechanical trades, industrial design, engineering, etc. But they make a higher salary here than they would in most restoration shops, and their skills are transferable if they have to move due to family commitments.
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Old 11-29-2023, 09:49 AM   #20
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Default Re: Classtique Upholstery

As a kid in the 50's and 60's I learned many skills by working on my old car, just to keep it running. Changing the points, plugs, condenser, rebuilding the carburetor, etc. taught me a lot, but the cars today are not anywhere easy to work on. Even the dealerships can't fix them.
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