I am an admitted addict of the TV shows 'This Old House' and 'Ask This Old House' on WQPT. I have over 3 dozen episodes saved on my DVR just for reference alone. Over the past year, a good friend has been helping me renovate our walk-up attic into living space. On days when the task seemed daunting, TOH helped keep me inspired to keep moving the ball down the field. As I worked to restore my century-old home, I've come to appreciate the skills of the craftsman who built it, and the notice shortage of tradesman who can replicate that work today.

Now, TOH host Norm Abram has teamed up with Mike Rowe from the show 'Dirty Jobs' to stop the drain on the trades in America. As the current workforce continues to age and the existing pool of tradespeople shrinks, the need for skilled workers continues to grow. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently 3.1 million unfilled skilled labor jobs today with an additional 2.5 million expected by 2017.

Abrams and Rowe are spearheading Generation Next, an endeavor that will try to close the gap by dispelling myths about skilled jobs; shedding light on the surprising benefits, rewards, and opportunities that middle-skills careers can provide; and giving young people a path to pursue careers in the building trades.

Learn more about the initiative at ThisOldHouse.com