How Manufacturing and the Trades Built America

In this MFG eCommerce Success episode Kayleen McCabe, TV Host & Contractor, DIY Network, contractor & custom furniture designer at Kayleen McCabe LLC, and Co-Founder of the McCabe Foundation talks about how manufacturing and the trades helped to build America.

Do you know how manufacturing and the trades helped in building the United States?

In this MFG eCommerce Success episode Kayleen McCabe, TV Host & Contractor, DIY Network, contractor & custom furniture designer at Kayleen McCabe LLC, and Co-Founder of the McCabe Foundation talks about how manufacturing and the trades helped to build America.

Kayleen sheds light on the rising demand for trade professionals that’s outpacing vocational training and helps to restore America’s respect for the trades in the process. Kayleen encourages Veterans and students to consider a career in the trades through a variety of mediums.

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Come learn how manufacturing and the trades helped to build America!

Kayleen recalls her childhood days. At the age of five, she was taught to handle tools by her grandfather. Her parents have always been her role models. She liked Inspector Gadget and Optimus prime.

She worked with a master craftsman Franco Castro on the show. He gave her confidence and taught her so much. However, it was all her hard work that she passed those early stages of success. She started TV as a technical staff. She was a freelance artist who looked for a new job every few months. Meanwhile, she kept getting promoted. Soon, she realized that she was more into the field than office work. She used her contacts and bagged a competition show called Stud Finder. On the show, her team would renovate the houses. There she utilized her skills with tools. There she also let participants tell their spontaneous stories. The program stretched from five episodes to one hundred. It was both an easy and hard job.

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As a frequent contributor to the History Channel, she came into contact with heavy and sophisticated machines and tools. Like a nerd, she particularly talks about Milwaukee Tools, Black+Decker, and DeWalt. As time passes by, her interest in machinery and tools also increases.

Similarly, she highlights the power of faith in doing business. She again mentions Black+Decker, their past financial issues, mortgaging their car and house, and investing that money into the business. It takes guts to do business, a “kind of leap of faith because they truly believed in what they were doing.” Their hardiness and grit are fairly appreciable.

Kayleen encourages everyone to work physically. She is delighted to meet school teachers, counselors, technical educators, and even hotel waitresses. She thinks it is a humbling experience and is necessary to make money.

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Damon comments on the average income of welders to which Kayleen adds that before the Covid-19 Pandemic, she was teaching 50,000 students per annum. She frequently used to go to Russia and Gaum. Life was always on the go. After the deadly waves, she found herself in a position of a school teacher. Now she is a career teacher with about 150 classes and over 100 second-graders. She is happy when her students do math sums fluently and play with tools. She views them as potential contractors.

For students’ career counseling, she holds webinars with their parents. She talks about university, workforce, military, apprenticeships, and trade schools, and then she does a half an hour webinar and she brings in experts usually the superintendent from the Department of Education or somebody from the Chamber of Commerce. She opines that “out of 10 jobs, only three require college. So why are there 100% of kids into this?” She powerfully argues why there must be college and/or university education while apprenticeship could suffice all professional needs. University education gets many graduates under debt which cannot be paid off until they are forty-five years old. Of course, she doesn’t deny the importance of education. She is truly aware of the importance of architecture, drone-makers, halo lenses, computer graphics interface (CGI), and the like.

Cur Anderson has his finger on the pulse of the situation and questions Kayleen about her McCabe Foundation. She answers that twelve years ago, this foundation was co-founded by her and her father with an aim to outreach students and veterans. She is proud that she can teach any age group.

Curt truly gets impressed when Kayleen mentions that she wants to be a chaplain and worries about mental health.

She concludes that irrespective of gender, race, and background, she promotes something that can give people the possibility of a great career, a great livelihood, a great passion, and a feeling of worth.

The conversation ends with Damon and Curt appreciating Kayleen for her vision. They both thank the latter for her time and words of wisdom.

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people, parents, episodes, caitlin, passion, teaching, milwaukee, house, trades, tools, called, real, talk, built, happen, chaplain, kids, awesome, nice, career


Damon Pistulka, Curt Anderson, Kayleen McCabe


Damon Pistulka  00:06

Welcome everyone. Once again, it’s Friday and it’s the manufacturing ecommerce success series. I’m one of your co hosts Damon Pistulka. And I tell you what, the backstage conversation this morning is incredible. If it is anything like the rest of the show, you are going to be in for a real treat. I’m here with my friend and CO apart and co host, Kurt Anderson. Take it away, Kurt.


Curt Anderson  00:33

Dude. I’m like I’m too starstruck. I don’t think I can. I know. The show like I’m too nervous right now. So Aileen McCabe on the show today. So let me just tell you a little intro here. Yeah, general contractor. She’s a woodworking guru expert. She is a word. Workforce extravaganza. She’s a TV show host. Do it. Do it yourself. Networks are rescue renovation. She’s been on machines that built America, one of our favorite programs on the History Channel. Kaylene. Happy Friday. How are you my friend?


Kayleen McCabe  01:12

Awesome, great team. And thank you so much for hanging out this afternoon. This is


Curt Anderson  01:16

gosh, I guys I have so drop a note in the chat box. We’ve got nowhere here listener. Margo is here. They’ll drop in


Damon Pistulka  01:25

ill I just saw Galen.


Curt Anderson  01:28

Yeah. Dear Gary. Oh, guys, you have to you have to connect with Caitlin McCabe, she this is just an extravagant this healing. I don’t know if you realize like how big this is for us. So anyway, I have a quote for them. You know, I love my quotes, right? Yes. I have a quote for you ready for this one? Are you guys sitting down? Are you ready? I have a quote. I have a need to introduce the next generation to the skilled trades, and we’ll tackle whatever it takes to do so. He lead who dropped back. Where’s that quote from? Do you know who dropped that quote?


Kayleen McCabe  02:03

I think it might be somebody I’m familiar with are


Curt Anderson  02:06

on the stage right now. Awesome.


Kayleen McCabe  02:09

Yes, it’s a it’s true. I’m so passionate about this. Because I love what I get to do I get to work in the world of construction. woodworking and furniture building is kind of my hobby, passion as well. And we need everyone to know about this awesome career path. Because it’s not just about this. There’s a lot of other things that go into it. But yeah, like that cool. I’m gonna put that into my palm pilot.


Curt Anderson  02:31

Hey, do that. So I’ve got an array here. I’m gonna throw it on my wall. So they mean you’ll see it here next week. So all right, all right, Caitlyn. Let’s dig in my first question for you today. Now I did a little cyber stalking in the friendliest plate kind of way, if you will. And I found this little, this little video of you and you’re talking about when you were a little girl. So let’s go back in time when you were a little girl. And you’re out in the garage, maybe at dads or grandpa’s? What were you were you changing oil read like changing oil in the car?


Kayleen McCabe  02:58

Yeah, well, actually, my first memory of working with tools, I was four, maybe five, my grandfather taught me how to use a bandsaw. And I made little hearts from my parents got on my fingers still thanks, grandpa. Like you can say 10 out of 10. So I started with that when my grandfather was super handy. He like made a pipe organ out of a vacuum cleaner, a copper, a lot of wood. But then that really translated in the house because we put it on addition and to make money for the addition, my dad rebuilt Studebakers and so I was probably around the same age, maybe four or five, six.

And I remember being on a creeper of my own. And um, he was teaching me lessons that we use all the time now like you see with your fingers. You know, I was frustrated. I couldn’t see you to a bolt through cyber how like you see with your fingers. I don’t think he understood how big of a lesson that was or wasn’t intentional, you know, but for him, it was just like I’m teaching my daughter how to do stuff. So it’s awesome because now I have I have toys that I take care of. Most the time. I brag a lot more than I’m fixing sometimes.


Curt Anderson  04:05

That’s perfect. So that segues right in so the question that I always loved to open up with and maybe you just answered it as a little girl growing up who was the hero in your life? So who maybe you just answered it but who was the who’s the hero in your life growing up as a little girl that brought you into this world of being a brand ambassador and everything that you have going on?


Kayleen McCabe  04:27

Well, my parents for sure they were huge, but also Inspector Gadget and Optimus Prime. And so I think those two ah, gosh, I just wanted gadget to be able to travel and do stuff and I always aspired to tinker. I was always working with my hands and noodling around with stuff and so I even I think now how I built a lot of my custom pieces is very much inspired by transformers because there’s a lot of like compartments and hinges and things do things and so yeah, I was gonna marry optimist Prime a putt putt golf. That’s real. Haven’t yet but who knows, you know, I can


Damon Pistulka  05:07

never know


Curt Anderson  05:08

it might still happen, right? So that’s, so let’s, let’s step forward you’re picking a career path. And boy, you are so passionate. So anybody that again, you guys, you have to connect with Caitlin here on LinkedIn, follow all the amazing work that she’s doing. What led you to your passion have fallen like being this trades advocate like how did we get there?


Kayleen McCabe  05:30

Alright, so real quick I was a 911 dispatcher for a long time, actually. I was dispatched a lot of stuff people don’t call 911 to say Hi, it’s nice outside and so grateful that I had that experience. It really gave me perspective on the larger portion of the world. You know, sometimes it’s not always sunshine, sometimes it’s there. I loved it. I loved it. On my days off, I would actually watch the early episodes of Trading Spaces. And I remember remodeling my kitchen one time. And then I realized I needed a break.

And my cousin was a producer on Trading Spaces. And she’s like, take your vacation days come and be a production assistant. And I remember my first day there. And I was like I was leaving a six figure job, great money to like $100 a day. And I thought I was just gonna get coffee for people like alright, fine. I mean, it sounded really nice having such heavy responsibilities. So then, like, do on creamer sugar, maybe a sandwich, I don’t know. Instead, I ended up working with a master craftsman Franco Castro on the show. And he gave me this safe space to fail, but taught me so much.

And that’s where I fell in love with it was like why did I choose this as my career path to start off with I love it so much. It was hard work. It was long days. It was really. I mean, at the end of the day, I call it my reverse French manicure. We’re like there’s more dirt underneath. And then on top, like I earned that I loved it. And that’s when I was like, Whoa, I finally found my passion. This is it. This makes Libby still gives me goosebumps to think about like, the projects I’ve done like I built this, you know. And that’s what it’s like, I have to tell other people other people need to know about this career path.

Because I could have gone to college I didn’t. For the longest time I actually had that is like the thing I was most embarrassed about. I didn’t want people to know that I didn’t go to college. But instead now I’m just embarrassed. I don’t speak another language, which that’s pretty embarrassing besides, but Well, that’s really where it started was just, I found this genuine love and passion for doing something and realize I can make great money. I was working with amazing people. And then there’s this huge shortage. And so for me, it was like, why am I not telling all my friends ever? Like, are you breathing? Come join me. It’s


Curt Anderson  07:55

that is awesome. So that leads you to your show to the being on the rescue. Renovation show?


Kayleen McCabe  08:03

No. So rescue, rescue renovation actually came about because so I did television behind the scenes for a long time. But TV is also hard. You’re a freelance artist. And so you know, you’re looking for a new job every few months. And it was in the same industry. But I kept getting promoted. And then I started working in an office and I was like, office, I don’t function well in an office. So I came back to Colorado, I still had friends in the industry. And they were like, you gotta apply for this competition show called stud finder. And I’m like, if it’s a dating, so I’m good.


Curt Anderson  08:38

Wait, I thought Damon was on that show.


Damon Pistulka  08:43

Not even.


Kayleen McCabe  08:45

So thing actually kind of helped with the application process. And I want stud finder. And with that came for me, the big deal was a $2,500 gift certificate to Home Depot, like yes, boom, right? Exactly. Heck, I got a trial saw, I was so upset that that was really what I was like, Oh, good. But the other part of the prize was five episodes of something. And so it was what the network we kind of went back and forth and talked about it. But I you know, I had worked on the formative shows of the industry. I mean, I worked on Trading Spaces.

That’s what started at all. So I wanted to show where we could talk about the reality. I didn’t want to be like, Hi, we’re going to install cabinets and then have a closeup of like man hands. I don’t I’m really going to install the cabinet’s. Like I’m actually going to do the work because I want people to see like, Oh, she can do it, I can do it. But then also look at like all the other people like it’s not just you know me, but here’s the thing. I love it. It’s great. I don’t have control over the Edit though. And so you know, you can shoot your heart out you could be there every day and do the best that they can really choose the story that they want to tell. And five episodes turned into 100, which was great.

And it was really easy. And it was so much fun. And oh my god, y’all got time for story, and boy do I have, oh, I’ve seen some crazy things. But the part of the story that they were telling in the episodes that I had no control over was the alteration of the timeline, the quality and education of people doing the work, and then also the budget. And those three things are so critically important to be successful in the fact that TV shows weren’t showing permits being pulled, or inspections ever happening, or an actual price tag, or like the whole crew it takes to make it happen.

They never show the days where it’s like July, we’re in a house with no AC. It’s a bunch of people sweaty with tool bags on it’s like smellivision they don’t show that they want like all the like, Kaitlyn being quirky, you know, which is fine. And you know, it’s been off the air for a while. But um, yeah, so that’s where it’s like, I want to get out there and really share the passion for this industry. Just how wonderful it is. And yes, some of its cool. Some of it’s hard, but you could be in an office all day with recycled air. Cool. Yeah. Alright. Sorry, the office people. I’m sorry. It’s just not my jam.


Damon Pistulka  11:13

No, it’s just it’s the truth. So I’ve had one question than I 100 episodes. You’ve been in a lot of renovated a lot of houses. What’s the nastiest thing you found?


Kayleen McCabe  11:28

Oh, Hantavirus is real. First of all, folks need to understand that that is a real disease. When you’re messing around places that might have been and there’s droppings, you need to mask up really, really well. Because that will make you sick. I did one where we’ll one it was an old shed, and pulled off the walls.

It was not insulation, it was totally floor to ceiling packed full of mice poo. And then when we peeled off the ceiling, oh, I still have Oh, I totally remember this. It was up there. And it was on camera. And so I pulled it down and I just got a faceful of like feathers and bones and feet. It was so yeah. We want to raise now thinking oh my goodness. And then we checked it out. And I put in like a pool table and a high end sound system and like heated floors and light. It was bonkers.


Damon Pistulka  12:26

Yeah. Yeah. That’s awesome, though, because I you know, it’s amazing what you could do. I mean, yes, you come it is nasty. That’s funny and everything. But it’s amazing what you could do just by getting it, take it down to the studs, and then get going.


Kayleen McCabe  12:39

Yes, with a plan though, because I’ve also met a lot of people who are like, we were on what we’re going to do. So we’re gonna take it down to the studs, and then like, magically, the idea will appear like No, please. I always say I want the big box stores to put a thing on sledgehammers.

And it’s like, you can buy this if you can answer. What are you doing after you’re done with this? Like, do you have a plan? If you don’t, you don’t get hit by a sledge hammer, which quick tangent. The only reason we did demo with sledgehammers on the shows was to wear people out so they get out of our way. And then we could do real work. Like in real life. I use a saga. I’m not wasting my time with a sledge hammer girls.


Curt Anderson  13:22

Oh, that’s awesome. So 100 episodes. I mean, that is a massive accomplishment. Kudos to you. Do you miss it?


Kayleen McCabe  13:29

I do some days totally, there was this beautiful chaos. And I think there’s part of like, a consistency in the careers that I’ve had that have been very intense and very chaotic. Um, you go from 911 dispatching to television, it’s kind of the same thing to be honest. And I do, I’ve worked with wonderful people, we played with really cool products. And really, like I was able to help pick the, the spaces help design them. And then for every episode, as an apology, I would also build a piece of furniture or like a gift.

So something in the house was handcrafted. And at least by me, like it was a nice, like, I made a home walnut bed one time, you know, or it would be something simple, like a very nice cutting board, you know, whatever, whatever we could manage. And I missed that I was forced to create every day. And it’s like, if you want to be a good writer, you have to write every day. If you want to be good at your craft, you have to do it absolutely every day. And in the years since I’ve been up to awesome things and it’s I’m thriving in my passion. You know, I’m definitely following my folly.

But there are days that I miss when I would just wake up at like, you know, six, and then just go to the shop and play all day long because I had to or my other things oh, we have this hardwood store here in Colorado called wood guns. And I used to drive to a deck ends just to go look at their fastener section to be inspired by what to build for folks. What was the one What a gift that was to me. That was like Camelot. And they would usually pay for all of my ridiculous materials. So like, yeah, I need barrel hinges. I don’t know what for but I’m gonna build something to put it in. So yeah, I definitely do miss and we had lunch every day delicious lunch,


Curt Anderson  15:18

right? This is all good. So guys, join us, give us a hello, let us know where you’re coming from, please connect with Kayleen any questions that you have, feel free to jump in the chat box. So Caitlin, man and you’re just getting a taste of like this contagious enthusiasm that you bring your passion is just so unrivaled. So the thing is, I’m going to slide into a lot of folks here are huge, huge fans of the History Channel, and machines that built America.

So you were on one of my favorite episodes, the power tools, you know, and I want to dig into this because you’re in that episode a lot. So guys, if you haven’t seen it History Channel, machines that built America, check out the power tools. And it’s Black and Decker. It’s Milwaukee Tools. And it’s the wall. And it’s in the stories behind the stories of the founders. Yes, innovation, the tenacity and like and just watching your passion. Like you’re jumping out of your chair talking about these guys share a little bit about that episode. Oh, it


Kayleen McCabe  16:19

was so much fun. Because I knew a little bit of the history, I’ve been able to go to like the Milwaukee factory where they do have a lot of kind of the original parts, but really taking a deep dive and I love capitalism and American history in this like woven story kind of happening at the same time and how Henry Ford was actually one of the people that really helped Milwaukee Tools because we needed something called the Sharpshooter to help on their line. And you just think what a wonderful time like all of these innovators were coming together at this brilliant moment. And it was illuminating.

It gives me goosebumps now. Because now to you see, like, wow, how much it’s evolved. Because you know, Black and Decker owns DeWalt. And we have Milwaukee with rigid, you know, and so these companies are still competitors that they still kind of get along. But ah, yeah, check out the episodes, it was just, it was so fun to put the human behind the success of the company, because I just see red or orange, you know, like, that’s where they’re just brands now. But oh, it was a ton of fun. Yeah, thanks for plugging in that because I’d love to do more of those because I am a nerd for things.


Curt Anderson  17:28

How did that come up? How did you how just out of curiosity, like somebody? How did who reach out to you? And how did that happen?


Kayleen McCabe  17:35

Yeah, there. What the producers just reached out to me, they were really like, hi, would you like to come to our studios have lunch and geek out? And I was like, yeah. Oh, that was a very good time.


Curt Anderson  17:48

And, you know, let’s, let’s touch on that for one more minute, Caitlin. Because, you know, again, you think when you look around your room, your house, you track, everything is somebody’s vision. Every single thing like, you know, looking on your kitchen, Damon your office, you know, here where I’m hanging out, like everything is somebody’s vision. And watching that the machines that built America, the food that built America, you know, that whole series at the hips, you know, for all of us history out there. And I love like, again, the passion, the relentless drive to take a vision and turn it in.

And when you watch how Black and Decker came together, and struggling couple entrepreneurs in Milwaukee tool I love when you were talking it I don’t know if you knew this statement it when it got started, it burned down to the ground. Right, Caitlin? And I was watching it last night. And so they’re like, hey, what do we do, and one of the partners kept it going. It was named after one of the owners. And he changed it to Milwaukee Tools that guy could have just thrown in the towel. So like Caitlin just shared a little bit like any anything, any other insight that you want to share, like the tenacity that you saw from that side


Kayleen McCabe  18:51

of things? Well, I think it really goes to show how far grit does pay off. I mean, we talked about Black and Decker, they like they, they sold their car, they mortgaged their house alone, it was they leveraged everything to help kids that are passionate, they really believe that something and so but sometimes you fail.

And I think that’s so this is beautiful story in that episode because yeah, Black and Decker, which kind of, you know, makes it along the way and I believe they were the ones that got the contract for the Navy. Yeah, yeah, that release to stay in them for a while. But you know, but then you have the walkie tools, which suffers this traumatic loss with the fire and they have an employee come in, and take it over and then run it successfully.

And so just you know, you have to try. And sometimes you fail and you have to get up and see what’s going to happen next. You have to continue with that. And just sometimes, sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and when I heard that they mortgage their house and their car and they got like $30 Order somebody just Yeah. Oh, times are so different. But you know, take that kind of leap of faith because they truly believed in what they were doing. And that’s where I’m like I see A little bit of myself in their story. And I think we all kind of can like, All right, yeah. There’s hardiness and grit. That’s appreciated.


Curt Anderson  20:06

Oh, hardiness and grit, man. That’s right there. So yeah, that is so good. All right, so let’s slide in. So again guys connect with Caitlin, you want to check out that episode? Let’s light into your superpowers. Now you are truly an advocate for workforce for trades for you’re really the champion for women getting into the trades, young people get into trades, I’d like to talk about your camps and some of the other things your foundation just share a little bit like how did you how did this become such a passion, that you’re just leading the charge here? Um,


Kayleen McCabe  20:39

so we after we did five episodes of rescue Reno, I was like, you know, I there was a few different things like pairs that broke the camel’s back. And I was like, this is an itch. Like, I don’t want my legacy to be I got more people pantry space, like, that’s cool. But like that, really, is that really making my heart sing. And so I was still traveling, though, a lot for the network.

And so what I would do is when I was at a town for like a trade show or something I would Google search, what school is close to me. I would call the schools say hi, I think I’m famous, can I talk to your kids, and they love me? Oh, my goodness. I know. And so I was able to do full school assemblies, the high school students, and for me, it’s very important that I get to talk to the full school because when I was in high school, I was accepted into college super early, like taking a CTS and SATs in sixth grade, like Uber nerd.

I but I was also homecoming queen and on the yearbook staff I would have never been taught to and I wasn’t about being in the trades. So now when I talk to schools, I want to make sure I’m talking to everybody because like choir nerd like me, it’s all math. Like nobody told me it’s all math, it’s all fractions, just love it. No, you’ll be. So I was like, Alright, I then that just kind of grew. And then teachers started to talk to their counselors and principals would be like, this lady came who we have her back. And then I started to get involved with the association.

So like, the Association for career and technical educators, SkillsUSA, NCC, or like all these different groups and organizations that are supporting education involved in it, creating curriculum I just sort of networked in and now, I mean, I like Yes. Are you breathing? Come join us for real, but like I go. And I see young ladies at restaurants waiting tables, which is awesome. Everybody should learn to wait tables I did. It’s a that is a humbling experience. To see take eyeliner, and then draw a straight line up against a wall. And I’m like, why aren’t you welding? You just did something sharp and drew a straight line up against your eyeball you weld and make dollars an hour? Yeah,


Damon Pistulka  22:53

exactly. You can make 40 $50 an hour doing that.


Kayleen McCabe  22:57

So before COVID, I was averaging about 50,000 students a year in person. Yeah, it was insane. I was doing 300 trips a year on average, like I did 306 and 19. And that was like with a trip to Russia and to Guam. So I like when COVID hit it first. I was like, that’s sad. But then I kind of like there’s dishes in there. And like, like cold water. It’s nice. It’s nice to be home. It was really nice that to be in an airplane all the time. And I’m like, Alright, how am I going to reach kids? What’s next? Like? How am I going to evolve to 2.0? So I started teaching second graders little that second elementary school kids, I love second graders because they’re hilarious with second graders how to build.

And that’s really something simple with the hammer. And that is because I’m not really caring if they become contractors would I want to make math fun before they start talking about actions. So then, when they’re old enough to think about this as a career, they’re not intimidated by the workload that we have to do like I do math all day long in my hands, and then translate it with saws, or I do in my head, like translate out of my hands with power tools. And so I started that it’s awesome. I’ve done what about 150 classes and reached over 100 Kids, which is great. My little builders program.

And then I also started a webinar for parents, which is totally free. So I’ll go into a school district for free and talk to the parents about the five pathways after high school. So we talked about university we talk about maybe into the workforce, Book Two we talk about military do we talk about apprenticeships and trade schools,

and then I do a half an hour webinar and I bring in experts like I have the someone from the Department of Education I usually have the superintendent or somebody from the Chamber of Commerce come on and talk somebody from the military and then my favorite part is after this like thing, I take all of my If my viewers that I put them into a lobby, and then they can go to tables with all the local people who are hanging out. So like when I do and let’s say, Georgia, I have Delta Airlines there. And parents can sit down at a table and be like, I heard what you said, but my child is special, and they’re going to college.

But tell me a little bit more about this. Because it’s not that I’m dissing college at all, at all. But there are a lot of statistics right now out there that I can hammer off for you. But the basic thing is, is that only for every 10 jobs, only three require college. So why are we 100% of kids into this? So it’s great. She’s also I’m hitting right, I think you got it the mystify the magic trick, and you have to talk to the parents who are the biggest gatekeepers, and then they’re the counselors, and then then the students. So yeah, so that’s what I’m doing a kind of my off time.


Damon Pistulka  25:54

And, you know, the thing is, and I had a friend that used to talk about this, in the reason why he thought that so many kids are pushed into colleges that like my parents, they didn’t want us to work with our hands, they said you should go to college, you do that not like we did, even though very successful, generated a tremendous amount of wealth, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, great life. It’s like, they didn’t want them to work with their hands. Why not?


Kayleen McCabe  26:21

Well, there’s a really odd stigma and a quick story. So I was keynoting, the ABC conference in Arizona, and I was talking about how wonderful we should have pride for people in the trade schools and what a wonderful thing is, blah, blah, blah. Afterwards, I wrapped this up with this gentleman comes up to me, and he’s kind of a larger burly guy, totally been crying. And he’s like, Look, I’ve had my own construction company. I’m very successful. But it wasn’t until I heard you speak.

But I actually felt pride in my son not going to college and actually choosing to go into an electrical apprenticeship. Here’s somebody who owns a company in the industry and could not file pride because his other two kids are going to Stanford and Harvard. And then his son was going into the apprenticeship. And I’m like, well, your son’s gonna be paying everyone’s debt off. You know. And so it was, but it’s such an interesting mind shift. And we’re starting to see it now. Because also something that we’re seeing is 17% of grandparents hold college debt for the grandchildren, because their kids can’t cosign on their loan, because they’re still holding so much debt.

If you just get a bachelor’s degree right now, and you don’t know for what on average kids aren’t going to pay it off until they’re 45. That should be criminal. That’s like saying, hey, 18 year old sign here for a house, you’re never going to step inside of let me know. And so, college has its place and its purpose. Absolutely. I work with great architects and engineers, the better architects are the ones who learned how gravity works in real life during the summertime. But it’s, it’s shifting that mindset of, Oh, these are wonderful careers, and they’re high tech.

I work with Trimble holy cannoli, if I have a robot in my house right now, they sent me a robot and like robots, like, do you want to do surveying, you can use drones, we need kids who can fly drones, I mean, I’m gonna get a hardhat that the safety glasses fold down and it’s a halo lens, and then I stick my arm out and like a pull up a menu of my blueprints. All this like it’s, I can do virtual video calling. And so let’s say I need I’m a sub I need to talk to the GC I can video what I’m seeing he can I screen? What needs to be done?

So parents, I think part of it is, is that’s where I’m a big fan of getting counselors out to job sites so they can see how clean our health professional, how safe how welcoming, the best. I’ve been treated on job sites, the worst I’ve ever been treated and really, like patted on the head like, hey, they’re a little lady office environments. I’m treated great and construction because I want to earn respect. I want to be there. I’m happy. I’m part of the team. Why go to office? It’s like Oh, hey there, little lady. Oh, you don’t have a college degree. Sheesh. You don’t know anything. I’m like, Okay, I just built your office, but okay. So sorry to go on the rant with that. Well,


Curt Anderson  29:17

good. Nominal. We’ve got a couple of great comments here. We’ve got Nicole Donnelly, she’s in a house she jumps up what Wow. And then of course of John buck. Lena from Texas here. Mic drop moment, man. Yeah, are not kidding. My friend John. That was no get out. Well, might. And this is fire Kaylene. So alright, let’s keep it rolling. Okay, I know you have a McCabe foundation. You have the Caitlin’s little builder workshop. I think you met you just mentioned your workshop. So do you want to take a deep dive like what tell us about your foundation but your workshops or maybe you’ve covered some of the anything that you haven’t covered? Let’s go there.


Kayleen McCabe  29:53

Sure. So the McCain Foundation is a my father and I co founded that. It’s been For, like, 12 years now we’re gonna just like adults like, right, we’re real. So that is where we do outreach to get students and veterans involved in the trades. And my father is a Vietnam veteran. So he does a great job kind of speaking, that lingo was also a welder. So very passionate about this. And then I talked to the students. So again, are you breathing?

Come join us. And really, I am blessed that I’m able to teach at any age group. So if I can teach hand I’ve ever taught high schoolers how to build something simple, because again, it’s, it’s more about the conversation. And it might lead to a career, but I’m teaching something fun in the vehicle just might be hammer nails. Yeah. And then the parents webinar that I host is called next steps, webinars. And that one, that one’s just a passion project. We’re all just trying to figure it out. It’s awesome, though, because what’s fun is I’m actually finding parents hang out for the webinar, and then they go talk to employers. And then they’re like, that

sounds pretty good. Can I get a job too, and then parents are being hired. So it’s a nice, like, cuz that’s where I think we’re eventually going to raise the industry as a whole. When we get back to the point where instead of a kid coming home and saying, Hey, I saw this crazy lady talk today about working in the trades. They come home and see their parents who work in the trades, and they look up to them. And they just want to do it on their own. And so I’m hoping to get back there. One person at a time.


Curt Anderson  31:32

Yeah. Wow. Okay, couple of things. I just want to recap here. So guys, if anybody came out to there, two o’clock or whatever time zone, you’re into the top of the hour, we’re with anybody. Just join us with Caitlin McCabe? Man, she’s just an absolute Rockstar here for workforce development and just trades for young folks. She’s a rock star on the History Channel we’ve been talking about. So Caitlin, first off your dad’s name. Well, your dad’s first name. Oh, Dave, Dave became a we want to give a shout out to Dave God bless him for his service to our country as a Vietnam vet and for producing such a wonderful little girl here. So we want to give a shout out to Dave.

And secondly, I want to I want to on your on your rant. I want to like digest this for a second. I had never heard that before grandparents are signing for student loans because parents are capped out. Yeah, correct. You’re 18 years old and you’re signing a mortgage and a house that you’re never going to walk into dude wraps a mic on that one. So again, definitely something is amiss to say the least. Right? So I love the direction you’re gonna have one more camp that I want to bring up that I saw several videos love it. If I’m saying this correctly, named wicks and a nicey. Nice. Yes. Oh, my God, I just love this enthusiasm or what?


Kayleen McCabe  32:50

Yeah, okay. I get to entertain myself keeping myself busy with a lot of things that kept me with when I was a summer camp counselor last year, and it was the most fun ever. So first of all, so they work is the National Association for Women and construction. Great group of women. Break guys. Also, if you want to be a member who like really again, are you breathing come join us. So in San Diego, they do a camp for girls, and it’s from I think like 11 to 17 year olds. And if you if it’s your first time there, you’re an apprentice. If it’s your second time there, you’re a journeyman and the journeyman build like a house or a shed or something.

And the apprentices every day is something different. So like on the first day, I get to teach safety and then carpentry and oh my god, guys, it was the best. It was so good. I called my friends at Milwaukee tool. And I was like, Hi, here’s what I want to teach. I want to teach them how to sharpen the pencil. Nobody ever teaches that, you know, and I got 11 year olds with a straight blade. So let’s be thinking yeah, and I’m like, but beyond that, like make me cool. They sent every single one of them a backpack stacked with a drill a hammer, a square, like a level.

I mean, it was bonkers. And so we built the tiny picture frame, and then we lit it on fire. And my reason was is because I wanted all these curls to go home the first night smelling like campfire, and their parents being like, why are you covered in soot? What did you do today? And then they would tell so they did that. And then there was they did pipe bending. They did electrical? They did. Oh, solar, like learned how to install solar panels. They learned how to drive heavy machinery. And this is the best. I mean, it’s my favorite time we like tidy people driving heavy machinery.

Yeah. Have you ever driven a car before? No. And the driving something was one of our pieces of machinery. It’s so good. And so yeah, it is the best I got a photo booths forum last year we all played dresses. It was it’s just wonderful because to see that younger generation. Yeah, and like all the teachers were also women. You know, like hey, look This is how we do like I taught them. How do you put your hair up? Make sure doesn’t catch on fire. Yeah. So that was it was amazing. I wish I want to go again this year, but it conflicts with SkillsUSA national competition. And so Oh, unless I get a private jet or a teleporter teleportation though, I mean,


Curt Anderson  35:23

so get out there with a private jet boy. We’re just putting out a little request there. Yeah, guys just look at doing aliens. Oh my God. Are you guys getting chills on this?


Damon Pistulka  35:33

This is awesome.


Curt Anderson  35:34

Damon. Everybody out there. You have to go to Caitlin’s website. And she has a bunch of videos from this camp. And Damon, if you could see, I’m glad you brought that up, Caitlin. Because it we were just talking about, you did such an amazing job on machines that built America with the power tools and Milwaukee Tools. Damien, you just see these backpacks, these backpacks are amazing. You see the kids opening them and all the tools. Yeah, it was just so rewarding. So exciting to watch all these young people. Caption all these tools.

And Caitlin Thank you, God bless you that you’re just you know, driving the ship. I want to slide gears here if you don’t mind. Before we went live, I said, Hey, what’s going on in your life? Anything new, super exciting. You shared something new, there’s gonna be a new little title on your name plate, if you will you care to share with everybody what’s going? What’s this new challenge that you’re tackling? Yeah.


Kayleen McCabe  36:22

So the new challenge, or tackling Challenge Challenge I’ve tackled myself with the new thing I’m up to is I’m in a process right now to become a chaplain. I’ve been speaking with a few folks across the construction industry, I’m very concerned about the state of our mental health. And in addition, I work with a lot of teenagers and young people. And I’m equally concerned and I see sort of this blend if we get a younger, flooding young people into our industry, how are we going to tackle that.

And so ABC national in general, they’re trying to actually put chaplains on job sites. And it’s not I’m not religious, but it’s more of an opportunity to let’s get the conversation started. And one thing that they started to do or starting, but I really think is smart that we could all do in our everyday lives is the end of the day, gather your crew and ask like what was your high and your low of the day?

Now, this is not a bitch fest, you know, pick one. But the reason behind this is because we are out of practice on answering honestly, a simple question like this, also asking a simple question like that, and really listening. And so by putting in this simple practice, when there isn’t a crisis and need, then they’re more comfortable to go to someone like a chaplain who has a little bit more training and help can actually like sound out and really get maybe the help you need.

So yeah, that’s what I’m up to now. I’m very excited about it. I’d like to thank actually Greg Sizemore with a B, C, because he was the one who kind of cued me into this. And I believe in it. It speaks to my heart and my passion. And GAC is I don’t want anybody to take their lives. And it’s something that’s happening in our industry more and more than I’d like. I’d like a little bit more awareness, waste and mental health because, gosh, we can’t replace this tool. I can buy a new saw I can get a new two by four, but a new this not gonna happen.


Damon Pistulka  38:15

Yeah, you know, that’s awesome.


Curt Anderson  38:17

Or the little moment of silence there just to kind of save, you know, it’s lunchtime for many people here, Caitlin. Dude, that was like a hot fudge sundae with the word right there. Sprinkles for my friend Nicole Donnelly. So my goodness, this was phenomenal. Caitlin, I can’t like what Damon what did we do in a previous life? To have this little Friday thing happened here so I don’t know what I’m going to think my previous stuff. I Kayleen we’re gonna wind down because I know you are super busy. I want to be mindful, respectful of your time.

You are such an inspiration. You are such a gift you are a blessing to 1000s of kids that you’ve just mentioned that your lives that you’re touching this impact. You’re even taking on becoming a chaplain because you’re worried about mental health. My goodness gracious. Yeah, give a big shout out to your dad David for doing such a great job and a mom as well. My last question to you. What I asked you earlier, what is your who is your hero? To get you where you are? What are Who is your inspiration today? What or who is your what is such a driving force that’s bringing all this wonderful tailing out to the world?


Kayleen McCabe  39:28

Oh, I just think what drives me is the possibility and knowing that I’m up to I’m talking about a subject that I truly believe is the most neutral thing on earth. I mean, it doesn’t matter your gender or your race or your background. I’m promoting something that I believe can give people the possibility for a great career, a great livelihood, a great passionate a feeling of worth, and I love that it’s, in my opinion, completely neutral.

Again, like I even work with a guy who doesn’t have a thumb and He says cabinets, the most like color. It took a while to find that funny. But I think that’s what it is, is just seeing all these possibilities. And then when you work with people and you see kind of that light bulb go off, it’s that I like I like that feeling of watching somebody learn and evolve and feel inspired, like Oh, that makes me excited. Why would I drink coffee?

I could just do that. So that’s it? And who? Gosh, I don’t know, I’m there’s so many people because really, I’ve surrounded myself by wonderful friends. And I aspire like I see wonderful things in them that I tried to aspire and incorporate which, hey, every listening is fine. Like surround yourself by great people. Because then great things happen. And I’m sure that’s why you to have this awesome Friday. Experience. This is the best


Curt Anderson  40:49

man I’d say Caitlin so what I love what you just said there just I want to digest this because last time we talked about workforce is like, you know, these drones are people you know, there’s little working bees doing this thing. These are individuals that are going on to either and like you said parents or even coming to these things saying hey, maybe I’ll make a career shift, right? But these are people that are striving you know, creating a livelihood these are people that are you know, now birthday parties, their home their vehicles, their savings, you know, you now you’re creating, you know, you’re teaching them how to fish. Yes, you know what I mean?

You’re teaching them how to fish and just look at the power of what you’re doing my admiration, I’ll speak for everybody I feel comfortable doing that our admiration, our respect for you and what you’re doing. And I love what you said, neutral, you know, doesn’t matter you know, like things are so you know, they’re always political people are like, Oh, it’s so polarizing. Now. It’s been it’s always been polarizing, right? There’s a different topic. There’s a different something going on in our world that people are upset about. But I love what you’re doing is like you’re just you’re you know what you’re polarizing neutral.

And you’re just driving the ship to just make people give everybody a better life. And just think of how many, how many people? How many children out there, and you’re going to create a career. Thanks to your Show, Episode, a webinar, a video, a conversation, a smile, a hug a high four or five, whatever you want to call it. And just thanks to you. So let’s give a huge round of applause for Aileen McCade, man. Dude, my mic. Okay, still awesome. Why not? That’s all right. Last thing, Kaylee. I can’t let you go. I don’t want this the words of wisdom words of advice, words of inspiration for our peeps today? Just how about parting thoughts of wisdom from Kayleen.


Kayleen McCabe  42:44

Um, when you’re frustrated, don’t work angry. Take a few deep breaths. That’s the only time I’ve injured myself real bad is when I’m mad. And the younger kids, the younger folks, I tell him don’t lose don’t let other people’s opinion of you determine your future. Don’t listen to the haters. Don’t waste your time with that you got too much other stuff to do. So that’d be a and enjoy a good like dessert every once in a while treat themselves. Yeah.


Curt Anderson  43:11

Right. Enjoy. You know why don’t get some ice cream this weekend and summer. Yeah. Oh, Whitney, thank you everybody. Here today. I saw gene is here from Bemis point. So everybody here today, guys. What a gift what a blessing. This has been. So I want to wish everybody just an absolute amazing weekend. Just like ks gaylene Go out there spread all sorts of awesomeness. And just put your superpowers out there. Just like Caitlyn, man. If you’re not motivated today, I we need to have a conversation. Damon? Oh, yeah. Was this good? Or why? Take it away, brother.


Damon Pistulka  43:48

Oh, this is incredible curtain. Kayleen thanks so much. And I’ll tell you why. Like Kurt said, if you’re not jacked up after this, you probably better go get your heart started again. That’s the thing. But thanks so much everyone for being here. Thanks so much. Kayleen. This has been incredible. It could have been two hours long with this. Because I just had to hold my tongue.

I’m so passionate about this and the veterans and getting children involved in the trades and manufacturing. There’s so many good careers and seeing that you I mean, I’m just I’m amazed at how many people you’re helping and teaching and the things you’re doing so great. And thanks everyone for being here. Again with us on Friday. We’re just so blessed to have you calian As a guest our people listening and supporters. I don’t even know what else to say other than I just feel full. And we’re going to be out until next week. Thank you.


Kayleen McCabe  44:45


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