Brock Harrington, the General Manager of Community Futures, returned to his alma mater last weekend. Harrington was asked to speak at Acadia University's Homecoming on Oct. 16. His topic? Non-traditional Careers for Entrepreneurs.
"Finish your business degree and then get a trade," said Harrington. "We have a generational gap of guys in their mid- to late-60s that are master Red Seal carpenters, plumbers, electricians. Someone in their 20s who has a business degree goes and gets that trade and then looks to acquire some of those businesses, because those are skills that a) are profitable and b) always in demand and c) harder and harder to find in rural Canada."
Harrington explained that youth face a different job market than people did decades ago.
"One of the jokes that I make to the students is talking about how, when I graduated from university everyone's joke was 'Get a job for IBM and make a career out of it and your life out of it,'" admitted Harrington. "Certainly now, in today's society, you're lucky if you have the same job for five to seven years, let alone thirty-five years, so entrepreneurship is critical to everyone's future."
Not one to speak without doing, Harrington says he is a good example of how anyone from a small town can make it big in the business world.
"I tell [students] lots of things. One of the most simple things is the example of my life. I'm the product of a town of 3,000 and ended up spending 20 years in the United States where I owned my own company for 11 years, so if I can do it, they can do it."
Before beginning as General Manager in early 2016, Harrington spent 28 years in sales and marketing and was the President of Scotia Machinery in Indianapolis for more than 10 years.