The Importance of Skilled Trades

Have you ever considered what would happen if our skilled tradespeople disappeared? There are literally dozens of reasons to be grateful for tradesmen and tradeswomen but we hone in on five.

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5 Reasons Trade Jobs & Tradespeople Are So Important

You wake up at the crack of dawn and go home well after dusk. Long hours and tight deadlines are your daily routine — as is spending time away from your family. Hardworking, self-sacrificing skilled tradespeople who continue the 12,000-year-old art of construction are this country’s backbone. The work you do and the importance of skilled trades is immeasurable. Our world functions because of you, and our world would be broken without you. But how often do any of us stop to truly consider what our communities, our country and our world would look like without skilled tradespeople like you?

Skilled tradespeople are needed everywhere. That’s never been more evident than during the construction worker shortage. Why are you needed? Because you’re a vital part of our economy. In fact, at the end of 2020, the construction industry made up 4.3 percent of the GDP and was valued at $1.36 trillion, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Whether you’re building our homes and schools, constructing bridges and tunnels, installing our heating and air conditioning systems, or so much more, your work is essential. At PeopleReady Skilled Trades, we highly value your contribution to society and demonstrate that through our Respect the Craft program.

Here’s another question: What would happen if tradesmen and tradeswomen disappeared from the construction industry? If these vital workers vanished, so would our access to basic needs like safe shelter and clean water, not to mention other everyday amenities we largely take for granted. While there are dozens of reasons to be thankful for tradesmen and tradeswomen like you, let us expand on a few of the most important:

  1. Access to clean water
  2. Access to electricity
  3. Safe homes and buildings
  4. Safe infrastructure
  5. Clean energy

Let’s explore each of these.

5 Reasons To Be Grateful for Skilled Tradespeople

  1. Access to water. Each American uses an average of 82 gallons of water a day at home, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Without plumbers, we wouldn’t have access to that water or our water systems. Fresh, clean drinking water wouldn’t flow from our faucets. We could forget hot showers. Oh, and toilets? Don’t even think about trying to flush them. They wouldn’t work either. Most plumbers go through four- or five-year apprenticeship programs that involve hours of technical education and on-the-job training. Their work is vital to our well-being, cutting our costs and saving our earth’s resources. For example, a plumber can help you install water-efficient fixtures and appliances to use at least 20 percent less water, according to the EPA.
  2. Access to electricity. Electricity is such an important part of our everyday lives that most can’t imagine going without it. Electricians are responsible for keeping our lights and appliances on and for powering everyday items in our homes and businesses. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to simply flip a switch and get light when we need it. Besides basic electrical needs, there are now 121 million U.S. homes with TVs. No more binging on Netflix without our electricians. What if we couldn’t recharge our computers and smartphones? If electricians disappeared, our lives — and work lives — wouldn’t be the same.
  3. Safe homes and buildings. There’s a long list of tradesmen and tradeswomen involved in constructing (and renovating) our homes, buildings, churches and more. From finish and trim carpenters to concrete formers and finishers, so many tradespeople play a role in providing us with safe shelter for our families and employees. Then there are the sheet metal workers who specialize in HVAC systems so those environments are temperature-controlled all year long. And let’s not forget about the glaziers who risk injury while cutting and installing our windows. There are 128.45 million households in the U.S. alone — houses we wouldn’t have, nor could we renovate, without skilled tradespeople willing to do these critical trade jobs.
  4. Safe infrastructure. As a skilled tradesperson, you likely look at bridges, dams and other infrastructure and understand the hard work that went into them, even if you don’t work in the trade jobs responsible for constructing them. But most people using infrastructure likely do so without thinking twice about whether it’s safe or not. The skyscrapers that dot our cities were built by steelworkers and others who put their lives on the line. And there’s the important role of heavy equipment operators on these job sites too. Infrastructure projects are a huge undertaking and require highly skilled tradespeople. Even just looking at type of structure — there are 617,000 bridges in the United States. And without the skilled tradespeople who built and continue to maintain them regularly, our travels would be unsafe — and, quite frankly, impossible.
  5. Clean energy. Promoting the importance of skilled trades is key to ending the construction worker shortage — and to providing a sustainable future. The work that tradespeople like solar installers and electricians are doing will profoundly impact our tomorrow. Each time a solar installer assembles and installs a solar panel, we are one step closer to a safer and cleaner environment. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), a new solar energy system was installed every 75 seconds in 2020—and the SEIA is creating the framework for solar to achieve 30% of U.S. electricity generation by 2030. PeopleReady Skilled Trades alone has placed 20,000 solar workers who have installed over 20+ GW of solar. These are the trade jobs that are making our world a cleaner, safer place to live.

PeopleReady Skilled Trades understands the importance of skilled trades, and we show appreciation to our skilled workers through our Respect the Craft™ program. We never take the work you do for granted and look forward to connecting you to more life-changing jobs in the trades.

Are you ready for your next project?

PeopleReady Skilled Trades is a specialized division of PeopleReady, a TrueBlue company (NYSE: TBI). Since 1987, we have connected tradespeople and work across a wide range of trades, including carpentry, electrical, plumbing, welding, solar installations and more. Whether you need a single tradesperson or require a coordinated effort to dispatch skilled workers across multiple projects, we ensure you have the right people with the right tools, on-site and on time.