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Throughout its history, America’s economy has supported a strong and dynamic workforce, many of whom realized the American dream—the good job, the family, and the white picket fence—while also shaping the American cultural and economic landscape. While titans of industry like Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and Henry Ford set the template and harnessed the manpower necessary for major industrial projects, it was the skilled tradesmen who built our country’s infrastructure and greatest landmarks.

Tradesmen, ranging from electricians to brickmasters to welders and more, built our nation from the ground up. Whether we live in cities or towns, we have them to thank for many of the modern conveniences we often take for granted: running water, lighting, and heating and air conditioning in our homes and office buildings. We also benefit from their work when we shop at a grocery store or a department store, as the streets and highways they built enable goods to be transported across the country. Take a look at this infographic developed by Tulsa Welding School, “The Tradesmen That Built America,” to learn more about different types of American skilled trades jobs and famous construction projects.

Next time we drive across a bridge or make a purchase in an American-built store, we can remember that U.S. workers made our infrastructure possible. Supporting services and goods that are made in America—that return the rewards back to our own communities—helps ensure that future generations will have opportunities to make a living and pursue their own American dream. Supporting American-made products, as well as nodding to the skilled trades workers who built and continue to build this country, help us remember that in order to keep this country strong, we need to keep strong jobs here—on American soil.

~ Monica Gomez