Inspiring Role Models Who Made a Difference

The skilled trades industry is an integral part of society responsible for a significant portion of the economy. Individuals working in this field possess unique talents, required expertise and physical abilities that have contributed to remarkable advancements in construction, manufacturing and engineering among others. In this blog post, we will highlight inspiring role models who made a difference in the skilled trades industry.

Mike Holmes

Mike Holmes is a renowned television personality, contractor and educator famous for his “make it right” philosophy. He made a name for himself with his home renovation show, “Holmes on Homes” which aired for 11 years, starting in 2001. His quest for excellence and commitment to quality workmanship have earned him an award-winning reputation in the building and renovation industry. In 2006, he started the Holmes Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides construction and renovation education programs for youth. To date, the foundation has trained over 6,000 students, ensuring they have the skills needed to enter the construction industry.

Bottom line: Mike Holmes is an inspiring role model who has significantly impacted the building and renovation industry through his TV shows, motivational speeches, and training programs.

Richard Trethewey

Richard Trethewey, also known as “Dickie,” is another notable individual in the skilled trades industry. He is a talented plumber, heating expert and designer who has been featured in the “This Old House” TV show since 1979. Over the years, he has come up with innovative solutions to complex challenges and provided guidance to homeowners and remodeling enthusiasts on design and best practices. Dickie loves what he does and has said that his passion for plumbing and heating began at a young age when he began tinkering with the family home’s heating system.

Bottom line: Richard Trethewey is an expert in plumbing and heating, and his timeless contributions and commitment to excellence make him a model worth emulating.

Dr. Diana Furchtgott-Roth

Dr. Diana Furchtgott-Roth is a scholar and economics professor who has made a positive impact on the manufacturing, engineering and construction industries. She has an impressive career as an advisor, having worked at the US Department of Labor, the White House and the US Senate. In 2019, she was appointed to the National Science Board by President Trump, where she advised on policy and the future direction of various sectors, including science and technology. Her research on trade and infrastructure policy has been instrumental in shaping the conversation around industrial policy in the United States, making her an inspiration to many.

Bottom line: Dr. Diana Furchtgott-Roth’s significant contributions to trade and infrastructure policy have played a crucial role in advancing the skilled trades industry.

Dave Hughes

Dave Hughes is an electrician and founder of Hughes Electric, a company that he started in 1982. His dedication and commitment to excellent customer service and quality workmanship have earned him a reputation as one of the best electricians in the business. Hughes has been featured on the Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs,” where he demonstrated his extraordinary technical skills and expertise in solving complex electrical problems. In addition to providing electrical services, he has made a positive impact on the community through his philanthropic activities, such as donating school supplies and sponsoring youth programs.

Bottom line: Dave Hughes is a successful entrepreneur and electrician who has significantly impacted the skill trades industry through his technical expertise, customer service and philanthropy.

Hattie Holmes

Hattie Holmes is a skilled tradeswoman and owner of Hattie Holmes Design, an interior design and home renovation company. She is also the author of “The Afrocentric Home,” a book that examines how individuals can incorporate African American culture into interior design. Her commitment to sustainable and eco-friendly design has earned her recognition and praise from industry players and earned her a place in Washingtonian’s 2018 “Top Interior Designers List.” She uses her platform to promote diversity and inclusivity in the design profession.

Bottom line: Hattie Holmes has made a significant impact in the design industry, and her commitment to inclusion and sustainability makes her a role model worth emulating.


The skilled trades industry has benefited immensely from the contributions of these inspiring role models. These individuals are experts in their respective fields and have made significant contributions that have impacted the industry positively. They all share a common trait- a passion for what they do. Their work ethic, commitment to excellence, and dedication to their crafts should inspire the next generation of skilled tradesmen and women. We need more role models like them to act as ambassadors and ensure that the skilled trades industry continues to thrive.

Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

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