As the CEO of Toofetch.com, Andrew speaks to people in the skilled trades every day, from welders to plumbers to carpenters to electricians. His goal, of course, was to talk to them about their work so he could help them by providing the tools they needed.
But he quickly noticed something else in his conversations. They were talking about a bigger problem.
They couldn’t get enough people to work for them. There simply aren’t enough people coming up in the skilled trades to do the work Andrew’s clients had.
This was not news to Andrew, nor should it be to you. The skilled trades labor shortage has been a recognized problem for several years, and more than a few organizations have been formed to tackle the problem.
Andrew kept hearing the frustration in his customers’ voices, but what could he do about it? He just sells tools.
Turns out, he could do a lot using the most powerful tool inhis possession. His voice.
Being a Beacon
Over time, Andrew felt a calling to use his voice and his platform to shine a light on the problems his customers were facing. He felt not enough attention was being paid to the skilled trades gap, and he decided to do something about it.
“I just got fed up,” he told me. “I have all this information, and I want to put it out there.”
So he began making videos about the different aspects of the skilled trades gap. His videos address the opportunities in the skilled trades, the need for shop class to be brought back to schools, and the stigma surrounding blue-collar jobs.
The short, TikTok-style videos are visually arresting andfun, with colorful captions and clever animation. His magnetic charisma and unmistakable New York accent all but force you to listen to his message.
Through those videos, Andrew speaks to young people,educators, parents, and anyone who might someday need the services of a plumber, electrician, HVAC technician, or any other tradesperson.
In other words, everyone.
His mission is simple. He just wants to shone a light on theskilled trades gap and celebrate the men and women who work in blue collar jobs. “I want to be a beacon, or a voice,” he said.
That’s it. No foundations or programs or fundraising. No ulterior motives to try to sell tools. Just awareness.
People Are Listening
Andrew is not an overnight success. A natural introvert, he didn’t just sit in front of a camera and start making viral videos with ease. It took him years to work up the gumption to get in front of a camera, and even then he started with promotional, infomercial-style videos that no one saw.
Andrew felt a calling to use his voice, and he responded. He didn’t know how it would turn out or if anyone would listen.
But people are listening. His videos get hundreds of thousands of views on LinkedIn, which means he’s reaching people with his message. In my estimation, Andrew is having a greater impact, using far fewer resources, than just about any well-funded government program or corporate initiative.
And oh, by the way, he’s making his company’s brand more visible, too.
We all have knowledge, ideas, or stories inside us that canmake an impact on the world. Maybe it relates to a large, societal problem like the skills gap. Maybe it only affects a few people, like our teams or followers. Maybe it will help your customers.
We’re all called to use our voices in some way. It’s our duty to answer that call, like Andrew did. Maybe not to make videos on LinkedIn, but to take what’s inside us and put it out into the world.
You never know who you might reach.