OKLAHOMA CITY – Heath and Alyssa Padgett are traveling the country in an RV, but it’s not your typical road trip.
Instead, they’re on a trek to find hourly jobs all across America.
“I mean I’ve worked 18 jobs so far. Today is job number 19,” said Heath Padgett.
Heath recently graduated from a Texas university and is traveling to all 50 states in seven months to shed light on the importance of hourly employees.
“I’ve worked everything from a martial arts studio. I’ve worked as the cleaning crew at a baseball stadium, just like cleaning toilets and stuff,” Heath Padgett said.
On Monday, the Texas native went to Schlegel Bicycles in Oklahoma City.
“I’ll be walking around, learning about bikes and about learning how to service and repair bikes and, like, put the tubes in. I’ve ridden a bike a few times, so I think I’ll be okay,” he said.
Last year, there were around 950,000 hourly workers in Oklahoma.
Nationwide, those employees make up 75 percent of the workforce. Heath says they are a crucial, yet under-appreciated workforce.
“Those people don’t get the proper recognition that they deserve for those roles. A lot of times people treat them really bad,” he said.
By traveling across the country, Heath says he has met a lot of different people with different backgrounds.
“By job three, I’m sitting down with this guy and he’s telling me about how he was playing professional football. He started this youth league for underprivileged kids in his town and he’s just working in a warehouse,” he said.
As he makes his way across the nation, he wants people to remember to be kind to the next person that serves you.
“You just never know when you walk into a Starbucks or McDonald’s who you are about to talk to or what’s going on in their life, and I want to help fill that connection,” he said.
For more information and to follow his journey, visit the Hourly America website or follow them on Twitter at @HourlyAmerica.