Whatever happened to good old-fashioned hard work? That’s what Mike Rowe, host of Discovery Channel’s“Dirty Jobs” and CNN’s “Somebody’s Gotta Do It,” wants to know. And that’s why he made the mikeroweWORKS Foundation.

“Nobody else seems to celebrate work ethic,” Rowe told Giive a (bleep). “We try to reward work ethic.”

The mikeroweWORKS Foundation started during the recession as a PR campaign in defense of jobs that existed, but people seemed to be ignoring, Rowe said. Jobs like electricians and plumbers, carpenters and welders.

“We’ve told our kids those opportunities are for losers. That’s the mindset that fuels the misconception,” Rowe said.

So now, the foundation also supplies scholarships for people to work for companies like Ford and Caterpillar.

“We do small things, but we try to partner with big companies or big entities,” Rowe said. “We do it one person at a time and try to keep it small and manageable.”

Where does the money for the scholarships come from, you ask? From C.R.A.P., of course. That is, Collectibles Rare and Precious — some of Rowe’s accumulated personal stuff that gets auctioned off for the foundation.

Anybody’s familiar with “Dirty Jobs” can guess some of the stuff.

“I had a box of fossilized polar bear shit that people bid hundreds of dollars for,” Rowe said. “I sold a baby bottle full of horse semen. More hats and T-shirts stained with the most disgusting kinds of fluid you can imagine. It’s crazy.”

Rowe isn’t anti-college, he just wants to see society embrace multiple paths to economic fulfillment. In simpler words, there are more jobs out there than the ones you need a university degree for. That’s what “Dirty Jobs” was all about.

“What I learned halfway through the first season was that the people I was meeting and the people I was profiling were a whole lot happier and more balanced than most of my friends,” he said. “Certainly most of the people in Hollywood.”

His new show, “Somebody’s Gotta Do It,” operates along the same lines, showing people doing jobs that might seem outside the cultural norm — from ice sculptor to goat farmer — but jobs people love doing all the same.

“Its not dirty, but it’s cool,” he said.

It’s become Rowe’s mission to expose audiences to jobs they might not know exist, whether they need work or not.

“The things that connect polite society, the things we depend on the most, are the same things we take for granted the most. That, in a nutshell, is why we have a shortage of electricians and plumbers,” Rowe said. “We don’t value work. Consequently, we don’t value the people who do it.

“As a result, we don’t champion opportunities that really exist.”

For more information, including bidding on your own piece of C.R.A.P., visit mikeroweWORKS.com/foundation.

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