by: Brittney Donovan, Action News Jax Updated:
A Jacksonville roofing company was recognized by "Dirty Jobs" star Mike Rowe's foundation for its teaching program.
Sean Shapiro and his partner, Cameron Shouppe, of Reliant Roofing, Inc., were having a hard time finding enough skilled roofers for their projects, so they decided to start teaching the skill.
They bought a vacant house in Jacksonville and began looking for hardworking people to hire.
“We look for anyone with good soft skills and work ethic, not necessarily skills in roofing,” Shapiro told Rowe's foundation, mikeroweWORKS.
Camilo Calle, one of Reliant’s most skilled roofers, takes the new hires and teaches them the trade by re-roofing the vacant house.
“The neighbors think we’re crazy,” Shapiro said. “They wonder why we’re roofing every day.”
Students get paid during the 4 to 8 week program, the foundation said.
If students pass the class, they're put on one of the company's crews and begin working.
"Sean is serious about helping close the skills gap," the foundation said on its page.
Shapiro said he wants to inspire other businesses to do the same thing.
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