At the dawn of 2023, I found myself in the position of so many Americans – being laid off and facing unemployment. This juncture brought with it a mix of apprehension about the unknown, hope for a brighter future and a myriad of questions: Could I have done something differently? What lies ahead? Is my hard-earned success at risk?

As a single-income household, the full weight of life’s challenges suddenly bore down on me. In the weeks after my layoff, I channeled my energy into alleviating my mental and emotional strain. I sought solace and strength in the support of friends, family, and neighbors, who uplifted me with their presence and reminded me of my greatness.

Realizing the importance of a clear and positive mindset, I embarked on a journey to discover the endless opportunities ahead of me. To fully embrace this new chapter, it was essential to be in a mindset of abundance and readiness for growth, both personally and professionally. Rather than hastily applying to numerous jobs in a state of panic, I chose to reflect deeply on myself. This introspective journey led me to identify my core personal values – the fundamental principles that have steered my life’s course.

These values became the foundation of my job search, ultimately guiding me to a role that resonated deeply with my core beliefs. Just 67 days post-layoff, I found myself in an interview, engaging in discussions deeply rooted in the prospective company’s values.

Now, having been part of the FlexTrades Team for nearly eight months, I’ve observed how the company’s ethos is intricately integrated into every facet of our work – from emails and events to projects and daily interactions. Here, values are more than mere words. They are the essence of our collective spirit. I am both grateful and proud to contribute to a team that earnestly lives its principles.

Let me share a snapshot of FlexTrades’ Values and how they manifest in our everyday operations – a source of inspiration for both individuals and businesses. 

Move the Line 

We challenge ourselves and move the line every day, in everything we do. We push your own boundaries by focusing on outcomes and incremental improvement. We are forward-thinking. We embrace change and innovation. We make mistakes. We deliver results.  

From finding new and better ways to amplify the FlexTrades message to offering incentivized referral programs to our technicians, all teams have the opportunity to move the line at FlexTrades. We embrace change and innovation by using available tools and technology, like AI, to support our greatest efforts in moving the company forward.  

Be the Next 

We strive to set the highest standard of quality in everything we do. We always want to drive towards “the NEXT” great thing by constantly challenging ourselves to improve and break new ground. We pursue growth.  

FlexTrades invested in updating its tech stack to provide the team with the latest tools and technologies that support growth. This includes Bullhorn, an applicant tracking system and operations software; and HubSpot, a contact relationship management software. Various teams use AI to push their projects to the next level and Microsoft Teams helps us be a highly collaborative virtual workforce. 

Elevate Others 

We lift up our teammates, technicians, customers and neighbors, with confidence, positivity, and graciousness. We respect others.  

From thank you’s and shoutouts through our company shared Teams channel to how we communicate with our client partners and technicians, elevating others is an everyday occurrence at FlexTrades. On a bigger scale, every quarter FlexTrades employees have the opportunity to nominate their colleagues for the Employee of the Quarter Award. Each quarter, six winners are selected representing each of FlexTrades’ Values and are given a celebration package thoughtfully curated by HR. 

Pull the Wagon  

Winning takes teamwork, ambition and diligence, not egos. We pitch in and do whatever it takes to move the company forward. Our leaders pull the wagon alongside the team. We promote teamwork.  

Everyone from the newest member of the team to FlexTrades’ CEO, Amy Grussing, who has been a part of the team for nearly 20 years is dedicated to moving the company forward together. From quarterly Town Hall meetings to cross-functional collaborative projects, leadership at FlexTrades has created an open environment, where all ideas and feedback are welcome and encouraged.  

Enjoy the Journey 

We take the time to stop and acknowledge where we came from so that we don’t miss how impressive the climb has been. We never turn down a reason to celebrate. We get a lot done and have fun along the way. We have fun, seriously.  

FlexTrades holds a Summer Picnic in July where we gather to align on company goals, participate in teambuilding activities and celebrate our hard work. We put our game-faces on for weekly and holiday themed virtual Trivia Games, and there’s dedicated time spent in our quarterly town halls to celebrate individual and collective accomplishments. 

Give Back 

We give back to the communities where we live and work through volunteering and charitable donations. We believe that when we do good, we feel good and make our world a better place. We give back.  

There is a dedicated Give Back Committee that supports the FlexTrades team in participating in charitable events, making company backed donations to local charities, and partnering with our clients on charitable endeavors close to their hearts. For the last 5 years (and counting), FlexTrades employees have donated and participated in the annual Polar Plunge® for Special Olympics.  At this year’s Summer Picnic we partnered with Wine to Water, a non-profit charity organization that helps provide clean water resources for areas in need, to make hundreds of care packages. 

Join the FlexTrades Team

Are you seeking a workplace that truly reflects its values? If FlexTrades’ ethos resonates with you, explore our current openings and find where you fit in our vibrant team.

Vehicle Manufacturing

Our manufacturing client requested that we supply 21 Welders and 7 Painters in response to a significant surge in demand for concrete mixers and garbage trucks. FlexTrades received a letter of commendation from them, highlighting that many of our welders not only met but exceeded the performance of their regular employees, achieving 120% of their weekly production targets.

Want to know more about our tradespeople? Click Here. 

Our team recently concluded an extensive 18-month engagement with a client company specializing in manufacturing components for the medical and aerospace sectors. This client was grappling with a challenging local labor market and an expanding backlog of orders. In response, we deployed 50 of our skilled Machinists, CMM Operators, and Assemblers to assist in their clean room operations, ensuring that production targets were achieved. This support played a crucial role in bridging their workforce gap as they focused on recruiting and training permanent staff.

Want to learn more about us? Click Here

Podcasts… they’re everywhere, and they’re likely not going away anytime soon. In fact, Pew Research shows a steady increase in the percentage of Americans listening to podcasts. In 2023, 64% of Americans listened to a podcast. This is up from 11% in 2006.

If you’re one of the 64% of American people who “edutain” themselves with podcasts, great! If you’re not, that’s okay, too. Either way, below are some really great podcasts you should check out. We call them the “Top 6 Manufacturing Podcasts.” Listen to one or listen to them all, and we guarantee that you’ll learn something you didn’t already know.

  1. This list wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t mention Manufacturing Happy Hour with Chris Luecke. He’s an incredible advocate of manufacturing and brings all the hot topics to the forefront in this podcast.
  2. Shop Matters talks all things machining and manufacturing and is hosted by Wade Anderson, a machinist by trade in his early career. This podcast also happens to be sponsored by Okuma.
  3. Forbes recently reported that 30% of manufacturing jobs in the United States are filled by women. Listen to these women, and more, in Hear Her Story where women talk about their journeys and experiences in the manufacturing and engineering worlds.
  4. There are plenty of opinions on talk radio and plenty of opinions about talk radio. That’s what makes it great. Check out Manufacturing Talk Radio for a multitude of topics, conversations, SMEs and so much more!
  5. Just like #4 on this list, the next one covers a lot of topics and is perfect for anyone, and everyone, working in manufacturing, from entry-level tradespeople to executive level leaders. You have to check out Gary on Manufacturing.
  6. And, last but not least, I want to make sure that we include Mindfulness Manufacturing on this list. With all the technology and thinking that goes on in manufacturing, this one helps you apply mindfulness to not only your personal life but also your professional life.

For more manufacturing related content (of all kinds), check out FlexTrades’ blog where we highlight anything and everything manufacturing. Would you rather watch or listen to something instead of reading? We’ve got great content on YouTube, as well. Who knows, we might just have our own podcast soon, too! 

In the world of manufacturing, where precision and expertise are the bedrock of success, having the right skilled tradespeople on your team can make all the difference. But what happens when you’re facing a shortage of these essential workers and your production demands are soaring? This is where FlexTrades steps in to save the day.

The Skilled Workforce Dilemma

Manufacturing companies across the United States are grappling with a common challenge, a shortage of skilled tradespeople. The demand for expert welders, machinists, electricians and other specialized professionals continues to grow while the supply struggles to keep pace. This shortage can lead to production delays, increased labor costs and missed opportunities.

The FlexTrades Advantage

FlexTrades is your strategic partner in overcoming the skilled labor shortage. We understand the unique needs of manufacturing companies, and we specialize in connecting you with the skilled workforce you need, precisely when you need it. Here’s why FlexTrades is the solution you’ve been searching for:

  • Immediate Access to Talent: Say goodbye to long hiring processes and waiting for the right candidate. FlexTrades has a vast network of skilled tradespeople ready to step into your production process, keeping your projects on track.
  • Expertise Across Industries: Whether you’re in aerospace, automotive, construction materials or any other manufacturing sector, FlexTrades has a diverse pool of professionals, ready to deploy, with expertise spanning various industries.
  • Cost-Effective Solutions: With FlexTrades, you only pay for the skilled labor you use when you need it. This means reduced overhead costs and improved cost management.
  • Flexibility and Scalability: Our manufacturing workforce solutions are adaptable to your changing needs. Whether it’s a short-term project or long-term partnership, FlexTrades can scale to meet your demands.
  • Quality Assurance: We take pride in our commitment to quality. All of our tradespeople are rigorously vetted and come with the experience and skills required to excel in their roles.

Your Path to Seamless Production

At FlexTrades, we’re not just about providing skilled talent, we’re about ensuring that your production process remains seamless and efficient. By partnering with us, you’re not just filling gaps in your workforce, you’re gaining a competitive edge in the manufacturing industry.

Take Action Today

The skilled labor shortage is a challenge, but it doesn’t have to hold your company back. FlexTrades is your strategic ally in meeting your production demands and achieving your business goals. Don’t wait until the shortage impacts your bottom line even more. Contact us today and discover how FlexTrades can transform your manufacturing operations.

Your Trusted Partner

In a manufacturing landscape defined by precision, timing and expertise, FlexTrades is the partner you can rely on to navigate the skilled labor shortage successfully. With immediate access to top-tier talent, industry expertise, cost-effective solutions and unmatched flexibility, FlexTrades empowers your company to thrive in any market conditions.

Take action today, and let FlexTrades be your trusted partner on the path to seamless production and enduring success. 

Are you ready to hammer down the competition with a resume that’s as polished as a new set of wrenches? Well, you’ve clicked on the right article! At FlexTrades, we’re all about helping you nail that first impression and saw through the job market with the precision of a fine-tuned lathe.

Know Your Tools: Understanding Resume Essentials

Before you climb up that career ladder, let’s talk about your toolbox, and by that we mean the essential sections of your resume. Just like a trusty tool belt, your resume should be equipped with a few fundamental gadgets… a gripping summary that showcases your professional blueprint, a skills list sharper than a carpenter’s chisel, work experience as solid as welded joints and educational credentials that stand sturdy like scaffolding. Oh, and let’s not forget the keywords… those little SEO nuggets that make sure your resume is as discoverable as a bright orange safety vest.

Build Your Foundation: The Structure of a Trades Resume

Constructing a resume is a lot like laying down the foundation of a house. You need a strong and clear structure. Start with your contact info, this is your address in the job market neighborhood. Then, draft a professional summary that’s as engaging as a foreman’s pep talk. List your skills like a proud display of shiny new tools on a pegboard. Detail your experience with the precision of a finely measured cut, and round it off with your academic and training credentials – your industry’s stamp of approval.

Show Your Craftsmanship: Customizing Your Resume

A customized resume is like picking the right tool for the job… it just works better. Tailor your resume for each application like you’re choosing a bit for your drill. Research the company, highlight the skills that match their job description and show them why you’re the master craftsman they need.

Polish to Impress: Formatting and Design Tips

A great tradesperson knows that the finishing touches make all the difference. Choose a resume format that’s as neat as a new job site. Opt for a clean, professional font that’s easy to read. Think of it as the level tool ensuring everything is balanced. And for that extra flair, why not add a touch of industry charm, like a blueprint motif for your headings?

Proof of Work: Certifications and Portfolio

In the trades, your work speaks volumes. Make sure your resume includes a section for certifications that are as up-to-date as the latest building codes. And don’t be shy to link to an online portfolio. It’s like opening your garage to show off your best builds and repairs.

SEO for the Win: Making Your Resume Findable

In today’s digital job workshop, SEO is your best buddy. Use job-relevant keywords throughout your resume so that it pops up faster than a popped nail in a tire. Consider the job titles and skills that hiring managers are searching for and weave them into your resume like a master electrician concealing wiring behind a wall.

Build Your Future:

Crafting the perfect resume is an art and a trade of its own. With these tips, you’re well on your way to creating a document that represents the best of your professional abilities and is geared for success in the 2024 job market and beyond.

Don’t hang up your tool belt just yet. FlexTrades is here to help you tighten any loose screws in your resume. Visit our website for more resources and to apply for open positions, or get in touch for personalized guidance. Let’s build your future together, one nail at a time!

Whenever you travel, whether it’s for a long weekend or an extended three-month job assignment, the question always arises: “What do I bring?” FlexTrades’ technicians, who typically work on projects for three months at a time, have honed the art of packing over the years. To shed light on this, we recently conducted a survey of nearly 300 employees, asking them about their travel essentials.

Here’s a breakdown of the top seven travel essentials that our dedicated tradespeople never leave home without:

Sleep Essentials & Comfy Clothes

A good night’s sleep is the cornerstone of a safe and productive workday. Many of our technicians prioritize comfort and bring along familiar pillows, blankets, and sheets. Additionally, they pack cozy clothes like sweatpants, pajamas, and slippers to unwind and relax after a long day on the job.

Cooking Supplies

Whenever possible, we arrange extended stay suites for our technicians, complete with kitchenettes equipped with stoves, microwaves, and full-size refrigerators. Survey respondents seize the opportunity to cook their own meals by packing pots, pans, and utensils. Some even bring handy indoor grills like the Ninja or George Foreman, with a notable mention of the versatile Air Fryer.

Video Games

For leisure and relaxation, many of our technicians enjoy playing video games. They bring their gaming consoles or laptops to ensure they can pursue their favorite hobby while on the road. Compact devices like the Nintendo Switch or Steam Deck allow them to enjoy top-notch gaming experiences.

Entertainment, Streaming, Movies, Music

Having access to their preferred movies, TV shows, and music is another fantastic way to unwind. Technicians often bring devices like the Amazon Fire TV Stick or Roku to access their streaming services anywhere. Some opt to bring a Bluetooth speaker to enhance their music experience.

Laptop or Personal Computer

While smartphones are handy, sometimes a larger screen and keyboard come in handy. A laptop or personal computer offers versatility, allowing them to get work done, stay connected with loved ones, and enjoy video games and streaming.


All our technicians carry a small toolbox to perform their job, but some also bring tools for general maintenance of their equipment or for vehicle repairs in case of a roadside emergency. For instance, one respondent mentioned, “Enough tools to disassemble my truck if I need to.” Tradespeople are often mechanically inclined, and even if you’re not, basic maintenance skills can be a lifesaver, especially on the road.


Pets are a cherished part of our technicians’ lives. Coming home to their furry companions at the end of a long workday is a source of joy and comfort. Interacting with pets, whether it’s playing with a cat or walking a dog, is a wonderful stress reliever and morale booster. At FlexTrades, we recognize the importance of pets in our employees’ lives and offer pet insurance as one of our most popular benefits. Whenever possible, we also book pet-friendly accommodations for our technicians.


While these are the top seven travel essentials, there were numerous other items mentioned in the survey, including fishing and camping gear, musical instruments, and even 3D printers. The key takeaway is that traveling for work doesn’t mean you have to put your life on hold. Depending on your interests and hobbies, it can be an opportunity to experience them in new and exciting places.

Whether you’re just beginning your journey as a traveling worker or have been a seasoned road warrior for years, we hope this list provides you with ideas to enhance your time on the road.

FlexTrades plays a pivotal role in the manufacturing sector by providing highly skilled tradespeople, thereby enhancing production efficiency, minimizing downtime, and reducing backlogs. In essence, we bridge the talent gaps commonly encountered by manufacturers throughout the United States. Many of our clients operate in similar sectors, including:

  • Primary Metal Manufacturing
  • Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing
  • Machinery Manufacturing,
  • Computer and Electronic Product Manufacturing
  • Electrical Equipment, Appliance, and Component Manufacturing
  • Transportation Equipment Manufacturing

But did you know that our capabilities extend even further?

Our team of technicians boasts diverse skills and backgrounds, allowing us to address production challenges in numerous other industries. Whether you are a manufacturer with requirements in these sectors or a tradesperson with relevant skills and experience, FlexTrades welcomes you with open arms.

  • Beverage & Tobacco
  • Food Manufacturing
  • Nonmetallic Mineral Product Mfg.
  • Textile Mills
  • Textile Product Mills
  • Apparel Mfg.
  • Leather & Allied Product Mfg.
  • Wood Product Mfg.
  • Printing & Related Support Activities
  • Petroleum & Coal Products Mfg.
  • Furniture & Related Product Mfg.
  • Merchant Wholesaler – Durable & Non-Durable Goods

Need a real-life example?

We recently joined forces with a prominent rice manufacturing company. As the harvest season approached, they faced a substantial workload. However, their facility was situated in a rural area, making it impractical to significantly expand their internal workforce temporarily. Consequently, they turned to FlexTrades for support. Our skilled technicians were deployed to meet the demands of the harvest season and more. They assumed various roles such as Scale Attendants, Heavy Equipment Operators, Line/Machine Operators, Sanitation Technicians, Maintenance Technicians, Control Room Operators, Lab Technicians, Packaging Operators, and Material Handlers. Thanks to our skilled trades technicians, FlexTrades ensured that all rice processed at the facility adhered to high-quality standards before being packaged and shipped to grocery store shelves.

Manufacturers: Schedule a Call with FlexTrades Now!

Skilled Technicians: Browse Our Jobs and Apply Here! 

Whether you’re a night owl or an early bird, we all face the same challenge – waking up in the morning. For many of us, mornings can be a struggle, whether we rise at the break of dawn or in the afternoon due to night shifts. This common difficulty is often attributed to sleep inertia. If you’re one of those who find mornings serene, this article may not be your cup of tea. But for the rest of us, mornings are far from a breeze.

There are various strategies to make mornings more manageable, such as minimizing screen time, avoiding specific foods or drinks, and reducing exposure to unwanted light at night. Similarly, there are steps you can take in the morning to make waking up less daunting, like welcoming natural light as early as possible or changing your alarm tone to something soothing. However, these measures are often insufficient on their own. One of the most effective ways to ease into your mornings and set a positive tone for the day is by establishing a morning routine.

Having a morning routine means you wake up with a clear understanding of what lies ahead. This predictability makes it significantly easier to leave your cozy bed. It becomes a habit; no need to deliberate, and that alone simplifies the process of waking up. When executed correctly, your morning routine can boost your energy, enhance your productivity, and foster a positive outlook throughout the day. Who can resist those benefits, right?

As you contemplate crafting a morning routine, keep a few key considerations in mind. The duration of your routine is entirely up to you, and the activities you include should cater to your individual needs and preferences. Additionally, remember that the time it takes for your routine to become second nature will vary, but the essential part is persevering until it becomes a natural part of your day.

Here are some action items to consider. You can choose to incorporate all of them, a few, or none at all. The important thing is to establish a morning routine. And don’t forget to reassess your routine if, after a period of practice, you find the benefits aren’t outweighing the drawbacks:

  1. Wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
  2. Allow yourself ample time to ease into the day, and savor the first 30-60 minutes at a leisurely pace.
  3. Try to wake up before anyone else, creating a tranquil environment for you, your space, and the day ahead.
  4. Resist the urge to check your phone, calendar, or to-do list. Save these tasks for when you’re feeling the positive and energetic effects of your morning routine.
  5. Consider meditation or soothing music.
  6. Incorporate some light stretching or engage in a full-blown workout – just something to get your body moving differently.
  7. Dedicate a moment to yourself with a cup of coffee, tea, or even an energy drink, while you read, enjoy nature, or practice mindfulness.
  8. Explore the invigorating effects of a cold shower.

We trust that you’ll find these suggestions valuable and that they contribute to more productive (or, at the very least, easier) mornings. However, morning routines are not the sole habits that can enhance your day. If you’re looking to make habit-building a routine in itself, consider these tips from the CDC as well. 

In a world where heroes don capes and masks, there exists a different kind of hero, one who wears the uniform of courage, commitment, and selflessness. They are the valiant men and women who have served in the United States military. On Veterans Day 2023, we pause to express our deepest gratitude to these extraordinary individuals. They are our veterans, and their sacrifice and dedication have shaped the very essence of our nation.

A History of Service:

From the American Revolution to the present day, our veterans have stood at the front lines, defending our freedom and preserving our way of life. The legacy of their service is a testament to the unwavering spirit of the American people. The sacrifices they’ve made have allowed the rest of us to live our lives in relative peace and security.

Courage in the Face of Adversity:

The life of a military veteran is one marked by sacrifice, bravery, and the ability to remain resolute in the face of adversity. They have been deployed to foreign lands, separated from their families, and placed in situations where their lives are on the line daily. Through it all, they have upheld the values of duty, honor, and country.

Support at Home:

Supporting every courageous service member is a network of families, friends, and communities who play a pivotal role in the lives of our veterans. The sacrifices made by those on the home front are of immense significance. These unsung heroes bear the weight of concern, keep the home fires burning, and offer the steadfast support that veterans rely on, both during their service and in the years that follow.

The Gift of Freedom:

The price of freedom is steep, but veterans have paid it with courage and honor. Every time we enjoy the liberties and opportunities that our nation offers, we owe a debt of gratitude to those who have served. Their unwavering dedication ensures that the ideals of liberty and justice continue to shine brightly.

A Nation’s Debt:

Our nation’s debt to its veterans is one that can never be fully repaid. However, what we can do is express our heartfelt thanks. To every veteran, we salute your bravery, your service, and your sacrifice. You are the embodiment of valor, and our nation is forever in your debt.

Honoring Veterans:

As Veterans Day 2023 unfolds, let it serve as a reminder that the heroes among us are not confined to the pages of a comic book. They are the men and women who have answered the call of duty to protect our homeland. We honor their contributions, not only on this day but every day, by offering our heartfelt thanks and unwavering support.

A Shared Responsibility:

As we express our gratitude, let us also remember our shared responsibility to support and uplift our veterans. Through employment opportunities, healthcare access, and community engagement, we can honor our veterans by ensuring they are provided for as they have provided for us.

Our Heartfelt Thanks:

On Veterans Day 2023, let us come together as a nation to express our heartfelt thanks to the heroes who have sacrificed so much for our great nation. Our veterans represent the best of America, and their unwavering courage and commitment inspire us all.

As we reflect on their sacrifices, let us remember that the debt we owe them can never truly be repaid. Our gratitude is just the beginning of the recognition and appreciation they so richly deserve.

To all veterans and their families, thank you! We salute you and stand with you… today and always.