Labor Day Still Matters: Why Honor Skilled Labor

Happy Labor day concept. American flag with different construction tools | honoring skilled labor

As we usher in the first Monday of September, we prepare to honor a day that goes beyond barbecues and sales—a day that pays tribute to the backbone of our society: Labor Day. This special occasion serves as a reminder of the immense contributions made by workers across various sectors, but this year, let’s shine a spotlight on a group of individuals whose impact often goes unnoticed—the skilled laborers. 

From building the infrastructures we rely on to crafting the products we use daily, these dedicated artisans are the driving force behind progress and innovation. Even though these laborers craft so much of society as we know it, their trades are diminishing at a worrisome rate due to something known as the Global Skill Gap.

The Global Skill Gap is impacting many skilled labor industries, including Automotive OEMs. In this industry, we are noticing that many of the skilled laborers that have worked so hard to bring about new innovation in our society are nearing the age of retirement and leaving their trades. At the same time, the influx of new workers into skilled trades has been dramatically diminished due to so many young people choosing college over the skilled trades path. 

So why is this? Why, when skilled labor is such a valuable asset to our society, are more people moving away from it as opposed to flocking toward it? For many of us, there is a blind spot in our perception that these trades can become gratifying and lucrative careers. It may start with turning a wrench, but it can evolve into so much more than that. 

Celebrating Skilled Laborers

This labor day, we want to honor some of the most essential traits that our skilled laborers possess and how their hard work and honed skills provide us with the luxuries that we enjoy every day.

Crafting Excellence

Behind every cutting-edge product lies the craftsmanship of skilled laborers who transform raw materials into meticulously designed products. Whether it’s a sleek smartphone, a high-performance automobile, or a state-of-the-art appliance, these artisans invest their expertise, time, and energy into perfecting each component. From welding and machining to assembly and quality control, these workers are the true backbone of the manufacturing process.

Precision Personified

Skilled Laborers in OEMs and other trade industries embody the essence of precision. Everything they do must be done meticulously and precisely to provide the quality that is desired.  Their intricate work requires attention to detail, a deep understanding of materials, and an unwavering commitment to quality. Whether they are aligning intricate circuitry or meticulously calibrating engine components, their expertise ensures that the end product meets the highest standards of performance, safety, and quality.

Innovation and Progress

Technology is evolving every day and phasing out more and more of the mundane tasks that many of us in the workforce face. While technological advancements and automation have undoubtedly transformed the modern workforce, skilled labor remains irreplaceable. These experts possess a unique blend of experience and intuition that machines and technology simply cannot replicate. 

Skilled laborers are constantly faced with situations where they must adapt to new technologies, integrating them seamlessly into their workflow to enhance efficiency and maintain the exceptional quality that consumers expect. With every new wave of technology, they navigate the situation with grace, implementing the technology where it belongs while still honing the skills necessary to complete the job, even in light of technological advancements.

A Life Without Skill-Focused Workers 

So what would our lives look like without skilled trades workers? To put it plainly, it would be a lot less enjoyable. Without skilled technicians, fewer and fewer cars would be rolling around town. Without technicians to assist in assembly or technicians to handle repairs, the number of vehicles on the road would slowly diminish. 

The healthcare industry, including dental care, relies heavily on skilled workers to ensure that the care we receive is done efficiently and effectively. From laboratory and pharmacy technicians to radiologic and surgical technicians, a patient’s healthcare experience is impacted directly by skilled medical workers. Without them, fees would increase, quality of care would decline, and primary and secondary care services would degrade overall.  

As populations boom and thousands of people seek new homes in which to live, skilled laborers are needed to grade landscapes, pour foundations, frame the homes, rough in the plumbing, and wire the electricity. Without the laborers who perform these tasks, houses would cease to be built, and hundreds of thousands of people would be looking elsewhere for a place to live.

For those of us living in apartments, what would it look like without the handyman to fix the refrigerator or the air conditioning? In these hot summers, the ability to escape indoors to a comfortable temperature is quickly taken for granted. Without the laborers to ensure your HVAC system is functioning properly or to repair it when it’s broken, summer just went to a new level of discomfort.  

Trade and commerce would become increasingly difficult without the freight carriers, trucks, trains, and planes it takes to get goods to the places where they need to be sold. All of these things require maintenance and repair. In addition, everything will cost exponentially more as the businesses that are seeking skilled workers are unable to find them, which is costing them billions of dollars every year in lost revenue. With this revenue lost, the cost of goods will increase and be pushed back onto you, the consumer. 

Life, as we know it, would come to a screeching halt without those who commit themselves to the skilled trades. And, the truth is, it’s not far from becoming a reality unless we do our part to shift the narrative on skilled labor and fill the Global Skill Gap

Rewarding Career Opportunities in the Skilled Trades

Skilled Trades workers are intelligent and innovative, literally shaping the behind-the-scenes aspects of every part of our lives, yet they are often misunderstood or looked down upon. It is thought that you have to go to college to build a career and be successful, but that’s simply not the case. Skilled trade workers can build impressive careers beginning with internships and apprenticeships and working their way up to a healthy salary after only a few years of experience. 

By educating more people and more young people who are not so sure that college is the right path for them, we can help drive more workers into the skilled trades to continue to innovative prosperity that our society is driven off of. 

There are many trades that require a specific skill set, and by providing younger generations with the opportunity to see those skills and work and even learn the basics of those skills to see if it is something that interests them, we can open the doors for more people to build a successful and rewarding career in trade labor. 

Leveraging Training Platforms for Recruitment and Education

Many trade industries, such as OEMs, conduct their training for employees with the help of a Learning Management System (LMS). These platforms are essential for developing and delivering a quality training program, maintaining technician accreditation, and monitoring training impact on business key performance indicators (KPIs). 

Some of these industries that are already using an LMS to house their training program are also using it to educate the populace about the career options and skills needed to succeed in their industries. By providing informative materials and gauging the knowledge of those who might be curious about the industry, these trades can recruit young people who may not know what type of career they want to pursue by showing them the options that are available to them.

Programs like these are invaluable. Providing young people with a perspective that shows them what a rewarding career in these trades might look like, as well as the skills they might need to develop to enter into the industry, are the beginning steps in filling the skill gap. 

For more information on how you can expand the learning of your extended enterprise to reach the surrounding community, register for our ebook, Back to Normal? The Future of Extended Enterprise Learning for Partner Networks

Related Posts