After years of dealing with the same challenge facing most employers in and around the construction industry — finding enough reliable tradespeople — Jason Goldberg, founder and CEO of America's Floor Source, has launched TraLaMa — The Trade Labor Marketplace.
TraLaMa is an online community where businesses find skilled trade labor, and where skilled trade laborers find full-time employment or short-term work.
"While we've always had a strong stable of subcontract and employee installers, it's been work to make sure we have enough reliable, skilled installers when we need them," Goldberg explained. "As I've talked with other business owners, it's obvious this is a challenge for almost everyone in residential and commercial construction. Roofing companies always need more roofers. Plumbing companies always need more plumbers. Window companies always need more installers.
"It's an almost universal need. It's no easier for the workers. Even the best laborers have unwanted schedule gaps. And even worse is when they've blocked out days to do a job that suddenly falls through or is delayed at the last minute. What are they supposed to do for those days that are suddenly empty? They have this constant stress, even when there's a shortage of reliable, skilled tradespeople."
Whether using the TraLaMa app or TraLaMa.com, trade laborers can create an account, build their profile, and then browse and respond to open posts. TraLaMa is always free for laborers.
Businesses use the app or website to create an account, post full-time or one-time job openings, choose from available laborers and hire one or more workers.
"We could find nothing quite like what we believed would be most helpful to laborers and businesses," Goldberg said. "There are big general employment websites like Indeed and Monster, online temp services and even apps similar to TraLaMa for food service and freelance marketing creatives, but not specific to skilled trade labor."
A beta version of TraLaMa launched in early 2020, primarily within the flooring industry. After much refinement, TraLaMa is now launching to all industries and markets. TraLaMa contains 28 trade skills categories and 36 business types.
Goldberg said they developed TraLaMa to support the important role skilled tradespeople play in the economy.
"Without trade laborers, the construction industry — along with our homes and cities — would crumble," Goldberg concluded.