Too seldom do we appreciate America’s tradesmen. The guys who show up when the toilet is overflowing, or the A/C quit on a 100-degrees day, or the rain is pouring through the kitchen ceiling. When do we say “Thanks” to the tradesmen who build America and keep it running? This year, September 16th is the firstNational Tradesmen Day. And everyone can participate.  

I respect America’s tradesmen - the men and women who work with their hands. They build our homes, roads, businesses and schools. They keep our cars running, our lights on, our water flowing and so much more. They are the backbone of our functioning nation - and that’s why they deserve a national day of recognition.  

National Tradesmen Day, to be held each year on the third Friday in September, should become a day when each one of us pauses to thank a tradesman. Whether an auto mechanic, roofer, bricklayer, plumber, electrician or carpenter - for their efforts, I am eternally grateful.  

And so is Mike Rowe of the popular TV showDirty Jobs. According to Mike, "Because of my role on Dirty Jobs, a lot of people think I speak on behalf of America's tradesmen. In fact, I don't. From what I've seen, tradesmen don't really need a ‘spokesman’ - what they need are fans, regular people who understand the magnitude of their work, the impact of their chosen profession and the importance of their skill. As a guy addicted to heating, air-conditioning, affordable electricity, solid foundations, smooth roads and indoor plumbing, I'm happy to honor our country's skilled tradesmen on September 16th, and the 364 days that follow. I'd encourage anyone else who has benefited from their work to do the same.”  

Let’s celebrate National Tradesmen Day with dignity and fun. Perhaps we visit our local elementary school and explain how a job in a skilled trade is a solid, decent and admirable way to support a family. Or drop a box of doughnuts off at a jobsite.  

To work with one’s hands - to build something - always has been and always should be commendable. Today, we make it official. Thank you, America’s Tradesmen!  

For more information about National Tradesmen Day,  

- Ross Porter, President IRWIN Tools, Huntersville, NC