As we take time to reflect this upcoming Thursday, it’s easy to think of reasons to thank a craftsperson.   After all, the electricity powering our ovens that cook our turkeys was wired by an electrician. The roads taking us to our loved ones was paved by a heavy highway construction worker. The tables where we enjoy Thanksgiving Day dinner feasts were built by carpenters. The running water washing our dishes was brought in by pipes installed by plumbers.   With all the areas of construction that impact our daily lives, finding reasons to show gratitude to a craft professional isn’t hard. Our world depends on these highly skilled individuals.   But this Thanksgiving Day, let’s take a moment to thank a craft professional for more than the obvious — for their merits that make them heroes in our world. Here are five reasons to express your gratitude:  

1. Perseverance. Whether it’s hot or cold, early mornings or late nights, these workers show up with determination to get the project done.  Often, while many of us are still asleep in our beds, craft professionals have been awake for hours. Indeed, to complete those road repairs you may have complained about, they give up their evenings and nights.   These men and women show us that hard work and persistence make it possible to accomplish great things.  2. Entrepreneurship. Craft professionals are not afraid to start their own business or side hustle.   They build global companies just as they shape the world around us. With the nation’s economy continuing to be a world leader in developing innovations through science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), our continued success rests on the backbone of the construction industry, who construct the facilities housing these innovations.  3. Dedication. Craft professionals are dedicated to their craft. They spend years learning skills that allow them to be the best in their field. In fact, to go from entry-level to fully trained to seasoned craft professional takes eight to 12 years, depending on the craft.   They show us what it means to learn a skill and take pride in your work.   4. Ingenuity. From bringing favorite books to life at theme parks to designing beautiful houses of faith, craft professionals use creativity in the built environment every day.  Just look at the next bridge you cross or highway system you travel through in a big city — one of my favorite views is the underpasses driving south into Orlando, Florida. Between the crossing of the highways and the perfectly placed palm trees, it’s a scenic sight of man’s connection with nature and the built world.   5. Camaraderie. Communication is key in a craft professional’s day.   Without being able to work together to fill their roles on a job site, projects would never be completed. From carpentry to pipefitting to welding, these professionals each have an expertise that is needed. They show what it means to be part of a team.   And it doesn’t stop there. Seasoned craft professionals share their knowledge with the next generation — many through apprenticeship programs and mentoring.   

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines character as “the attributes that distinguish an individual.” The qualities craft professionals exhibit are an inspiration to us all.   When looking around our world this Thanksgiving Day, let’s not forget the men and women who have put their hard work and imagination to use making it a better place. Thank you!

CIOY-General_1024x1024Want to show your appreciation?  Nominate the craft professional or craft instructor in your life for ABC's Careers in Construction Awards! NCCER and Tradesmen International are proud co-sponsors of ABC's Craft Instructor of the Year and Craft Professional of the Year. The winner of each award will receive a check for $10,000, presented at the 2019 ABC National Convention in Long Beach, California. Review eligibility requirements and submit a nomination here.

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About NCCER

NCCER develops standardized construction and maintenance curricula and assessments with portable credentials. These credentials are tracked through NCCER’s National Registry which allows organizations and companies to track the qualifications of their craft professionals and/or check the qualifications of possible new hires. The National Registry also assists craft professionals by maintaining their records in a secure database.