VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Mike Rowe of TV show 'Dirty Jobs' visited the Virginia Beach Convention Center to highlight a local business that provides services that keep buildings stable, and encourage workforce development.
Groundworks hosted Rowe, who greeted more than 2,000 foundation repair workers.
The business also donated to Virginia Beach's "Operation Warm," which aims to buy new shoes for kids in Hampton Roads.
"It's a bit like preaching to the choir, you know, the importance of work ethic, the importance of learning a skill that's in demand, showing up, putting in the time," Rowe told us.
"I run a foundation called "mikeroweWORKS" that awards work ethic scholarships, he said. "I drag them through the sewer, talk about dirty jobs, and then invite them to help us close the skills gap."
The company that invited Rowe knows something about dirty work.
"Groundworks - a national company that specializes in fixing problems under buildings, "is a dirty business," said Jackie Hoffman, whose title is "Director of Culture and Engagement' for the company. "We clean crawl spaces; we fix basements, and Mike Rowe knows best about that."
"So he spoke to our people," she said. "He spoke to the the men and women that do the work everyday. He was a perfect keynote for us."
"I think that people have begun to realize what essential work really is," Rowe told us.
"We're all essential to somebody. All jobs are essential. All work meaningful. And to me, you know, I think our country has always grappled with the definition of what a good job actually is," he said.
"I'm encouraged because right now people are taking a second look at at jobs that too often get dismissed."
"We have to do that because our our workforce is really out of whack right now," said Rowe. "We we need more people mastering a skill."