“I believe there is no such thing as a ‘bad job.’ I believe that all jobs are opportunities, and it’s up to me to make the best of them.” Those who can say this statement with certainty would be joining Ferguson in supporting the mikeroweWORKS Foundation. The mikeroweWORKS Foundation is working to change the perception that a four-year degree is the best path to success and help to close the country’s widening skills gap. The statement above comes from the mikeroweWORKS Foundation’s S.W.E.A.T. (Skill & Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo) Pledge, 12 statements that outline the importance of work ethic, personal responsibility, delayed gratification and a positive attitude in the workforce.
As more baby boomers retire, 30 million-plus skilled trades jobs will go unfilled by 2020 if society doesn't address the crisis-level need for more plumbers, HVAC technicians, electricians and welders – just to name a few. The mikeroweWORKS Foundation is committed to closing the skills gap by challenging the stigmas and stereotypes that discourage people from pursuing the millions of available jobs.
“The need to expand our workforce is critical,” said Kevin Murphy, Ferguson CEO. “Collaborative partnerships with organizations like the mikeroweWORKS Foundation are vital to changing the state of our unbalanced workforce. Through our collective efforts, we can positively impact the industry and illustrate the value – both personally and professionally – of a career in the trades.”
“Having just read Kevin Murphy’s comments,” said Mike Rowe, “I can say without reservation that he appears to be a man of great intelligence! I’m flattered to see that Ferguson has quoted my humble Foundation, and deeply appreciate their support of our Work Ethic Scholarship Program. Ultimately, it’s companies like Ferguson that will lead the charge in closing America’s skills gap and challenging the prevailing definition of a good job.”
The mikeroweWORKS Foundation annually awards Work Ethic Scholarships to help people get the training they need for skilled jobs that are in demand. Since its inception, mikeroweWORKS has granted or helped facilitate the granting of more than $5 million in Work Ethic Scholarships and other like-minded programs that also work to close the skills gap. The mikeroweWORKS Foundation is Ferguson’s fourth national partner and second in the skilled trades, as the company signed on to support SkillsUSA in 2018. The partnership aligns with the Ferguson Cares mission to rebuild the pipeline of skilled trades professionals in the United States.