We recently redid our kitchen with new counter tops, cabinets. and backsplash areas. And no, it doesn't look like this photo. Anyway, we subcontracted three groups of employees. Let me summarize our experience with them. The brick and paver worker, and his father, were from Honduras. Although they spoke little English, and we little Spanish, they were polite, neat, thorough, and hard-working craftsmen. The second crew were three citizens originally from Puerto Rico. They spoke English well and likewise were neat, meticulous and had a super work ethic. In fact one of the workers accidentally drove a nail into his hand from a nail gun. After a trip to ER he returned to the job now with a thick bandage and continued to work! The last worker was an American electrician. He was terrible. He installed under counter lights sloppily with cords dangling and botched an outside lighting job. He was fired and we had to pay someone else to clean up his mess
Now I don't want to generalize based on this sample size of 3. And I dislike making firm conclusions from anecdotes. However, this put a dent in my pre-existing assumptions and judgements. Not all Americans are hard working, honest, or ethically motivated. Not all Hispanics are lazy. In fact, in this case the very opposite seemed to be true.
It is a shame that we don't emphasize craftsmanship as a laudable trait or goal any more in our children. Shop class should never have been removed from school. Everyone doesn't need to, or should, go to college. Many high school graduates would be better off in the long run learning a trade. Foreign workers have replaced many American workers not because the latter won't do them, but because they there aren't enough of them to do the jobs well.