It is said that there are nine words that form the most terrifying sentence in the English language: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” This political humor is based on the reality of what is known as the fallout from unintended consequences.

As a matter of fact, the consequences of government regulation often negatively impact businesses. The intent is to help the masses. One of the biggest is the continual push led by federal dollars to educate our children via four-year colleges versus trade schools.

As an illustration, in February 2024, National Comfort Institute CEO Dominick Guarino wrote a column about how it’s time for the HVAC Industry to get serious about rebuilding our workforce. He explains the problems. He makes suggestions about what we can do to better support a stronger push for younger people to consider the trades as careers.

The real challenge is increasing awareness of the great opportunities in HVACR. Our industry is truly unique in the variety of knowledge necessary,” he wrote.

The problem, as I see it, is that this is an uphill battle. Today most high-school counselors still emphasize how four-year colleges are the key to future success and rarely talk about the careers and income students can earn working in the trades. They don’t address how the trades can help students avoid the crazy debt they’ll accumulate going to college.

Furthermore, I saw an interesting podcast recently where Glen Beck interviewed Mike Rowe about the issue of unintended consequences. The interview is, “This “MIND-BOGGLING” Attack on Freelancing Has Mike Rowe Sounding Alarm.”

During that discussion, Beck and Rowe talk about a federal “act” called The Labor Pro Act. It is intended to protect the gig economy (Uber and Lift Drivers) from being denied access to benefits and protections received by those who work for companies.

The intention is good, but like all government proclamations, it is open to interpretation. The ideas behind it are spreading beyond their intent; thus his concern for freelance writers, graphics designers, and small, independent businesses.

Rowe says, “The idea is to protect the masses from failure. RISK is a four-letter word and failure is not acceptable. Yet, the greater the risk the greater the reward. Is the government trying to change that? Not intentionally.”

In addition, He says that this thinking strengthens the idea behind needing college over trade school.

“Why not lay all the options on the table and let the grown-ups decide what fits best?” Rowe asks.

Finally, tradespeople like High-Performance HVAC™ contractors actually do well. We know that. It requires hard work and continuous education. More importantly, to attract more young people into this area requires successful young people in the trades today to tell their stories. Such storytellers need to be from the right generation.

As Rowe says, “This country needs persuasive voices talking in a credible way about the value of all forms of education. It is critical we don’t ignore the part of our workforce that keeps the lights on, the water clean, and our buildings comfortable and safe.”

All things considered, I couldn’t agree more. Lets bypass the unintended consequences, keep the faith, and find those young people to tell their stories. If you have such people working for you, we’d love to help them share. Please reach out to me at