After an initial launch of its beta version in the first quarter of 2020, and significant reworking and refining, Jason Goldberg, founder and CEO of America’s Floor Source, has officially launched TraLaMa (The Trade Labor Marketplace) to all industries in all markets. The innovative tool was developed to combat a widespread challenge—finding enough reliable tradespeople.
“At first, we’ll focus our marketing on specific markets and categories to gain critical mass,” Goldberg said. “But the tool is there and ready to be used anywhere across the country.”
Goldberg describes TraLaMa as an online community where businesses can find skilled trade labor—and where skilled trade laborers can find subcontract work or full-time employment. “While we’ve always had a strong stable of subcontract and employee installers at AFS, it has been a lot of work to make sure we have enough reliable, skilled installers when we need them,” Goldberg explained. “And as I’ve talked with other business owners, it’s obvious that this is a major challenge for almost everyone in and around residential and commercial construction.”
The challenge for the workers is just as daunting, Goldberg added. “Even the best trade laborers have unwanted gaps in their schedule. They might be busy this week but might not have anything lined up for next week or next month. And even more concerning for laborers is when they’ve blocked out days to do a job that suddenly falls through or is delayed at the last minute.”
While other employment websites and apps exist, Goldberg said none of the options respond specifically to the needs of the trade labor market. “As we did our research, we couldn’t find anything quite like what we imagined would be helpful to both the laborer and the business,” he said. “There are big general employment websites like Indeed and Monster, several online temp services and even apps similar to TraLaMa for the food service industry and freelance creatives. But we couldn’t find any established tools that were specific to skilled trade labor.”
Whether using the TraLaMa app or TraLaMa.com, trade laborers can create an account, build their profile, browse and respond to open posts and get to work. There are never any charges for trade laborers to use TraLaMa. For businesses, the process is similar. They either use the app or the website to create an account, post what type of full-time or subcontract laborer they need, choose from available laborers, hire one or more of them and get to work.
TraLaMa currently contains 28 categories of trade skills and 36 business types. Some of the trade skills include masons, electricians, excavators, framers, HVAC installers and trim carpenters. Business types include builders, cabinet companies, interior design firms, flooring retailers, lumber yards, plumbing companies and remodelers.