A ceremony before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools night race at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2012 honored tradesmen. Contributed photo.
If you are in your house with your electricity on, IRWIN Tools wants you to recognize the tradesmen who have made it possible and say thank you.
National Tradesmen Day, which takes place on Sept. 20, was started three years ago by IRWIN to honor those tradesmen. Since the company sponsors the night race at Bristol, officials with IRWIN thought it would be a great platform to promote the day.
“We’ve done quite a few things to get it recognized,” said Cheryl Mehrmann, director of brand activation for IRWIN Tools. “We wanted to use the platform of the race at Bristol to spread awareness.”
A tradesman could be defined as anyone who works in a skilled trade, such as plumber, electrician, carpenter, construction worker or automotive technician, just to name a few.
Mehrmann said a bit of a skills gap has begun to develop in the United States. She said for every three tradesmen who retire, there is only one tradesman to replace them.
She added some schools of thought believe the reason for this is because more parents are encouraging their children to attend four-year universities.
One of the reasons the day was established was to raise awareness that tradesmen can have a well paying and respectable career.
IRWIN became involved in raising awareness because a lot of their customers are tradesmen and they know a lot about them, Mehrmann said.
In honor of National Tradesmen Day, the grand marshal for the race will be a general contractor from Georgia named John Peeples. He will be joined by 300 other tradesmen on Saturday night.
Employees for IRWIN also walked onto construction sites in the Charlotte, N.C., and the Tri-Cities area and handed out tickets to the race to anyone who was working.
Mehrmann believes there is one important reason why people should recognize tradesmen.
“These are the men and women who make our lives better.” Mehrmann said.