Taking the Heat This Labor Day

By Chris Faria, Raving VP of Marketing

For many of you folks in the casino industry, Labor Day isn’t a day off, as you’re entertaining and servicing guests at your casinos today.  Whether you have the day off or not, most of us are lucky not to be out in the heat. Let’s give a shout out to those folks that make our worlds go round, by laboring for us outside laying asphalt, picking produce, fighting fires. Hopefully they’re relaxing in your casino today – you’ll recognize them by their sunburned faces, their beat up hands, and the grease underneath their fingernails that just won’t come off.

It’s been a helluva’ summer, especially out here in the West. This past August in California and Nevada there have been over 20 active fires wind distance from Reno. We’ve lost over 10 firefighters according to FEMA; there’s no recording agency for laborers or other workers that died from the heat or smoke.

In Reno, we finally saw blue skies after weeks of smoke so thick we couldn’t see the Sierra Nevada Mountains surrounding us.  You could've mistaken our view for the flat plains of the Midwest, and as soon as you'd go outside, you’re hit with the smell of smoke. The view is not important, you know what this means:  families have lost loved ones, their homes, and for local economies, it’s been devastating. And let’s not forget the health of our workers.

Here in Reno as in other parts of the country, our construction workers have been out in over 100 degree temperatures with air quality ratings in the UNHEALTHY range. My husband is one of them. You think you’ve got OSHA to protect you? Nah, the job must go on. Wear masks? Not happening.

So, hey, we all have choices, right? My husband chose not to go to college and enter into a trade.

Someone’s got to do it, right?

Labor is what makes the world go round … but who wants to do it?  Not high school students. In a recent survey, “A scant 6 percent of high school students hope to have a future career in the skilled trades – defined as plumbers, carpenters, electricians, heating, ventilation or air conditioning installers, or repair people.”

Us professional types may not think about it, but there’s a shortage of trained workers. We’ve encouraged our children to pursue academics, rather than vocational. And in a recent study, it is reported that “Tradespeople also are older than workers in other fields — more than half were over 45 in 2012, the last period for which the subject was studied — meaning looming retirements could result in big shortages.”

In Reno, a new school was built, a big deal in our community, with no shop class. No metal shop, no wood shop, no automotive class. Many schools around the country don’t have the funding nor the foresight to recognize that we still need these programs.

A Forbes article sites, “Yet despite the growing evidence that four-year college programs serve fewer and fewer of our students, states continue to cut vocational programs. In 2013, for example, the Los Angeles Unified School District, with more than 600,000 students, made plans to cut almost all of its CTE programs by the end of the year.”

I keep on thinking about the song, “Mama’s don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys.” It runs through my head this past year, after my husband had a major shoulder surgery, the third surgery in two years due to construction work, “Wives don’t let your husband’s grow up to be construction workers.” Our economy needs these folks; just wish it wasn’t him.

Here’s a big shout out to those first responders, our construction workers, our farm workers, our peacekeepers – to all those laborers who have been out in the heat this summer. Getting frustrated at the traffic delays from roadwork? Irritated that service people are making noise too early on a workday to beat the heat? Let’s give these men and women a break.

Here’s to all of you that work hard and hopefully have the time to play hard this Labor Day.

View this article as a pdf: 9-3-18TakingTheHeatThisLaborDay – Faria.pdf

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About the author

Chris Faria

Raving’s VP of Marketing has been the company’s core marketing writer since 2001. Chris has a lifelong passion for finding and sharing unique stories of people and places through her travels, business and daily life. We always want to hear what you are doing – drop Chris a line at [email protected] telling her how you spent this Labor Day weekend!

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