There Aren’t Enough Skilled Tradesmen to Keep our Country Running Strong

At a time when college tuition is skyrocketing (not to mention student loan debt), and debates are raging about the worth of a college education, there are still jobs to be had. According to the workforce solutions company ManPowerGroup, skilled trades remain the most difficult jobs to fill in the U.S., for the fourth year in a row. Employers who participated in the Manpower’s Talent Shortage Survey say the reason companies can’t fill open positions is because of a lack of technical and trades skills.

As an example of a country in need, the American Society of Engineers recently graded American infrastructure at a D+, which means that our highways and byways across the country are in desperate need of repair. However, this is all predicated on having the workers qualified to do so—and therein lies the rub— there aren’t enough.

“It’s time we once again present the trades as a respectable career option for the next generation,” says Rich Mathews, senior vice president of marketing for IRWIN Tools.

To bridge the gap and acknowledge those men and women for their invaluable work, IRWIN Tools is advocating that Sept. 20, 2013, be set aside to honor and recognize our skilled laborers—National Tradesmen Day. That day will mark the third annual National Tradesmen Day in celebration of those who build our homes and schools, keep the lights on, and clean water flowing.

“Becoming a trained plumber, electrician or welder offers a clear and stable career path where working with your hands allows you to contribute meaningfully to our society,” says Mathews. “We need to … treat people who lace up boots before heading to the job site with as much respect as those who tie polished wing tips and head to a high-rise office.”

To thank these men and women on September 20, IRWIN will hold appreciation events across the country. At job sites from Chicago to New York City, IRWIN will celebrate those who keep America running—including the tradesmen who built the newest part of New York City’s skyline, One World Trade Center.

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