The Road Ahead: 2021

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“There’s a reason the windshield is bigger than the rearview mirror.”

It’s one of my favorite expressions to lean on during difficult times, in both work and life.

As we all hope to put the unprecedented challenges and uncertainty of 2020 behind us—the COVID-19 global pandemic; punishing economic downturn; historically high unemployment; and societal unease and division—I can think of few moments in my lifetime when those words were more needed.

Like many of you, Team Surehand faced (and continues to face) our headwinds head on and adapted as best we could to the “new normal”—living and working at a distance; helping our children learn from home; and being there for family, friends and neighbors adversely and often tragically impacted, health-wise and financially.

Despite the swirl, we remained focused on our mission to reduce industrial labor shortages and underemployment in the skilled trades. While our ability to expand our employer roster was slowed by a significant reduction in hiring activity in our beachhead market (Oil & Gas) last year, the team made steady progress toward our goals. In 2020, we:

Solid accomplishments, but there is still lots of good, hard work for us to do together. According to the latest research estimates, there are 10 million unfilled manufacturing jobs globally—with 3 million skilled trades openings projected in the U.S. alone by 2030—representing $2.5 trillion in economic impact.

These jobs—and the skilled tradespeople who make them go—are too often unsung and under-appreciated; largely due to the decades-old narrative that a college education and white collar career is the best, most-rewarding path for those considering what comes next after high school, military service or a mid-life career change.

It’s about time we challenge that narrative, increase awareness of the skilled industrial trades and underscore their importance as the backbone of our economy and the world around us.

More, faster.

As we look forward to our work in 2021, we remain committed to positively impacting the skilled trades and the industrial employers who need them to get the job done. Highlights from the road ahead:

Most importantly, we stand unwavering in our support for the working class—helping blue- and gray-collar professionals realize their full career potential and enabling those who wish to follow in their footsteps.

I could not be more grateful or proud to serve the all-in team of professionals I’ve had the privilege to fight the good fight beside, each and every day.

Here’s to that good fight and a better, brighter year in 2021. Stay safe out there…

Christopher Brenchley

Co-founder | CEO

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