Irwin Tools opened the New York Stock Exchange in New York City on Sept. 1. As part of the ringing of the opening bell, the tool manufacturer honored America’s tradesmen.

According to Irwin representatives, the stock exchange event was a prelude to “National Tradesmen Day,” slated for Sept. 16, 2011, the beginning of an annual day of recognition for America’s professional tradesmen. This year’s inaugural event will celebrate the role of tradesmen in events across the country, with cookouts at local jobsites and recognition at retail locations and schools. Individuals are encouraged to say "thanks" to a tradesman who has touched their lives in an important way.

“Tradesmen aren’t typically the focus of the stock exchange, yet they are a vital part of our lives every day,” said Ross Porter, president of Irwin Tools. “That’s why we invited several tradesmen to be a part of the notable tradition that opens the U.S. trading markets. If we don't have a strong workforce, America can’t function and thrive as it has for the last 200-plus years. We applaud what these skilled men and women contribute, often without the thanks that they deserve.”

Among the honored tradesmen at the ceremony was Delwyn Thornton of Brandon, Miss., the North American champion of the 2010 Irwin Tools Ultimate Tradesman Challenge. In ringing the opening bell, Delwyn stood shoulder-to-shoulder with tradesmen from across the nation, as well as leaders of Irwin Tools.

For more information on National Tradesmen Day,