Skilled Trades

The Importance of Skilled Trades: Exploring the History of National Tradesmen Day

Skilled TradesSeptember 30, 2022

You may not be aware, but September 17 was National Tradesmen Day. Every year, this day is a call to celebrate and honor skilled tradespeople for their essential skills and hard work in building America – but really, we should be celebrating our tradespeople all year long. In fact, October is the beginning of the season when homeowners need repairs or upgrades to their heating systems to get ready for winter. 

Tradespeople are critical because they build our schools, commercial buildings, and homes, construct our roads, repair our cars, maintain our water systems and power grids, and keep our supply chains of goods moving (we learned about their important role during the pandemic). Our country relies on skilled workers to keep the nation’s systems going. Without them, the systems break down. 

What is the history of National Tradesmen Day? It was created in 2011 by Irwin Tools, a company that sells quality tools, in an effort to recognize the importance of trade careers and the people who work in them. Skilled workers handle the gritty jobs that sometimes involve dangerous conditions, such as power outages during a flood. 

How can you celebrate tradespeople not only in September but all year long? Say thanks to the people in your life who work in the trades. These people might include:

  • Electricians
  • Plumbers
  • HVAC installers
  • Truck drivers
  • Automotive mechanics
  • Carpenters
  • Masons
  • Welders

Tag friends and family who work in the trades on social media. Give them a shout-out and thank them for their service. 

You probably don’t know it, but a few famous folks got their start in the trades. Women also have their own rich history in the trades. During WWII, 37% of the US workforce was female. Women worked in aviation, munitions, and other roles, and they continue to play an important role in the trades today. 

Henry Ford started out as an apprentice machinist when he moved to Detroit from his parents’ home. Through that apprenticeship, he learned the nuts and bolts that ultimately led to his invention of the first mass-produced automobile.  

Before his famous music career, Elvis Presley got his start as an apprentice electrician. Music was something he pursued in his spare time. The Beatles’ George Harrison also trained as an apprentice electrician after he left school. 

Although not a household name, we can thank Ellen Warren Roebling for the Brooklyn Bridge. She became known unofficially as the chief engineer of the project, managing the daily supervision of the construction to completion after her chief engineer husband became bedridden with illness. He had taken over the project from his father who had designed the bridge and then passed away. Thank you, Ellen Warren Roebling, for overseeing the bridge’s completion.  

Before he starred in Star Wars, Harrison Ford was a carpenter by trade. Rather than take acting roles he didn’t want, he learned carpentry to remodel houses and build furniture. It was while building a door for a casting director that he caught the eye of director George Lucas. And the rest, as they say, is history. 

A few other famous people involved in the trades include Sean Connery (bricklayer), Matt LeBlanc (carpenter), Whoopi Goldberg (bricklayer), and Michael Caine (plumber’s apprentice).

Are you interested in learning about your trade options? All-State Career School can help you with your next step. Click here for more information or call us today at (855) 834-4580 and speak to one of our career counselors.