Surf Shack

Sarasota, Fl.

Waiting for a flight to Newark…

Mike Rowe?


I’m Mike Chambers. Chambers Painting.

Well, that explains the shirt.

Yeah, it’s my go-to garment.

I just wanted to say thanks for doing what you do.

Yeah? How come?

Well, I love your message. I went straight to work outta high school. Started a painting company. I’ve got 80 employees now and more work than I can handle.

That’s great! You live here in Sarasota?

Used to. Couldn’t find enough help. Moved the operation up to Kentucky and Indiana.

Labor market better up there?

Better, but still tight.

How tight?

Really tight.

What do you paint?

Commercial, mostly. Hospitals, airports. Inside, outside, whatever needs a coat.

Tell me something; how many people could you hire right now if they showed up ready to work?

Twenty-five at least. Maybe thirty.

You’re kidding.


What do you pay someone right out of high school? No experience, but ready to learn the trade.

We start people at $22 an hour. If they work, they’ll make $32 an hour pretty quick. I also pay all the health care and life insurance.


No, Kentucky’s a right to work state. I used to be in the union though. I treat my people like we’re a union shop.

How we gonna fix this labor crisis? How can we get more people into your trade?

High schools could help. An apprentice program would be nice. Anything to help people understand the opportunities are real.

Well, how about I post your picture on my Facebook page and invite people in southern Indiana and the Louisville area who want to learn the painting trade to contact your company?

You’d do that?

Sure. They’re six million people over there. They’re probably tired of me hawking my Christmas song and my new line of delicious whiskey. This’ll be a nice change of pace.

Wow, that would be terrific. Tell ‘em to google Chambers Painting. We’re in Sellersburg, Indiana. And we’re hiring right now.

Consider it done.

Our website is

Got it.

So, tell me about this whiskey of yours.

Pull up a chair…

Mike’s Facebook Page