Mike Rowe, host of Dirty Jobs, gave a very moving speech to congress about the lack of skilled tradesmen. You can hear the speech here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cC0JPs-rcF0 He says that there aren't enough welders to hire. I know that our school district always has a posting looking for a welding instructor in our local high schools. If there aren't any teachers today, there won't be any welders in the future.
Perhaps, we as authors should support our country by writing about skilled tradesmen in our books. I've known several sheet metal workers, ditch diggers and electricians. They were all nice, loving people with good values, a good head on their shoulders, and compassion for their fellow man. Perhaps all our heroes really need to be successful is a loving heart, a good home, and a willingness to work hard. Perhaps if we admire the strengths that make someone truly successful, and pay less attention to fame and fortune, we can encourage more people to become the same way.