We’ve written extensively at Construction Citizen about the need to change the attitude many Americans have toward the skilled trades and blue collar workers who built this country. On Friday, a national effort’s being made to honor those who do the hardest jobs and too often get the least respect.
National Tradesmen Day is being celebrated from coast to coast to let the craftsmen of the nation know they’re appreciated. Here in Texas, the big event is being held at the construction site of the new Parkland Hospital being built in Dallas. Roughly 1200 tradesmen are being honored for their service on the project, said Cheryl Mehrmann, spokeswoman for IRWIN Tools. IRWIN Tools is the sponsor of National Tradesmen Day, now in its second year.
Mehrmann said the workers really light up when they realize the only purpose of the event is to thank them for the jobs they do. She stated:
“We're so focused on working with tradesmen because we're trying to help them extend their capabilities through the tools they use. It's their life’s work that make our lives work. It's an awesome thing to be a part of.”
Indeed the quality of work a tradesman like a carpenter does on a hospital is second to none. A foreman on a hospital project in Houston recently told me about the kind of work that goes into a project like that. Dave McMillan at the Marek Family of Companies said:
“We really do have to take it to another level when we’re building a hospital. I mean, babies are going to be born here. When we finish a room at a hospital like this, there’s a guy who comes through with a white glove making sure it is clean and ready.”
We will feature McMillan’s story soon on Construction Citizen.