Mike Rowe: How We’ve Set Up the Workforce for Failure

As the owner of a company dedicated to hard work and superior customer service, Matthew Holtkamp first got his start over 35 years ago at technical college in Iowa.

Knowing this education gave him a solid foundation of skills that eventually led to him owning his own company, Matthew has always worked hard to give back to the next generation and provide them with a hand up as they get started on their own careers. Whether serving on the Board of Trustees at Gwinnett Technical College, providing scholarships to students going through the HVAC program, or hiring apprentices onto his team of HVAC professionals, he’s consistently worked to help shape the local workforce of tomorrow.

Many economic and educational factors, including Covid and the resulting labor shortages, are highlighting some very problematic trends in employment and education. They’ve become disconnected in ways that aren’t leading to positive long-term outcomes for young students faced with making important decisions about their professional and financial future.

Please listen to this insightful video as Mike Rowe breaks down what he’s learned from “Dirty Jobs” and the impact that taking pride out of hard work has had on our workforce and how it inevitably crippled our younger generations.

“We’ve told a whole generation of kids that your happiness depends on what you do, not who you are. And we’ve given them a road map that takes them right off a cliff and we’ve encouraged them. And for their trouble, to borrow more money than they’ll ever be able to pay back, to train them for jobs that don’t exist any more. Everything is backwards. Everything is disconnected.”  – Mike Rowe

“We’re divided in just about every possible way on every possible thing, but work shouldn’t be one of those things. And I’m afraid it has become a source of division. But it can’t be. We can’t let it.” – Mike Rowe

If you’d like to get involved in helping to shape the next generation of local workers, supporting Gwinnett Technical College or becoming involved in programs like Leadership Gwinnett, please contact us and Matthew can help you begin giving back to our community and the younger generations in meaningful ways.



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