Labor Day 2008 – Mike describes the origin of mikeroweWORKS.com
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I have to say, I absolutely agree with you when it comes to trade skills. I used to work in the vocational center at a local high school. These programs were cut before any sports programs or college prep courses.
I currently am a professor at a technical college in St. Louis, MO. We honor and value hard work. We teach skilled trades. A student can come to our college and earn a certificate or degree in many trade programs including construction, carpentry, welding, automotive repair, auto collision repair, plumbing and pipe fitting, HVACR, electrical systems and electronics,and offer other programs like Information Technology and archetecture. The majority of enrollments tend to lean toward the hard working skilled trades areas.
Students at our college do not just earn an A, B, C, D or F. We grade work ethic. Every graduating student earns a work ethic grade that consists of Exceeds Expectations, Meets Expectations, Needs Improvement or Does Not Meet Expectations. These work ethic grades are issued at the end of every semester and are put on every transcript. Not only do we grade on work ethic but every student is limited on what they can earn. If a student earns a Needs Improvement, they can never receive another Needs Improvement. They have to show improvement with their work ethic. If they earn another Needs Improvement, it is automatically dropped to a Does Not Meet. If a student receives two Does Not Meet work ethic grade, they have to attend a work ethic class to improve their work ethic issues or they cannot graduate.
We currently have a 96.5% job placement rate within six months of graduating. We are a small, not-for-profit school that was founded by David Ranken, Jr. 100 years ago. I quote the educational philosophy of our college:
“Thousands of men and women who have attended Ranken since 1907 have earned certificates, diplomas and degrees. Others have taken advantage of Ranken’s courses to update their skills, improve their chances of promotion in their current careers, and make themselves personally more marketable.
The formula for a student’s success is based upon three equal components:
The technical component consists of the theoretical and practical application of modern technology in any of several programs.
The general education component assists students in developing strong communication skills, scientific and mathematical reasoning, computer literacy, an understanding of business, and an appreciation of the individual’s role in society—all of which prepare students for career advancement.
Finally, Ranken treats students as professionals from day one. The work ethic component teaches the values, attitudes and behaviors sought by current employers—the qualities that are likely to lead to successful careers.”
David Ranken, Jr. believed in the dignity of labor and founded our college on this belief.
I just thought I would let you know that some colleges in our country still do support the trades.
Ranken Technical College
incredible guy, if I just would have his e-mail address
I agree with you 100% Mike. My son graduated from college in 2008 with a degree in geography. He has a GIS certificate, which should qualify him for an entry level job, but no one wants to hire him. He was considering taking a course for an electrician, but that has to be through ROP and he isn’t minority enough to qualify and also has a degree. This is not only hard and discouraging for him but also for us, his parents who still have to support him. We wish you success in your endeavor and indeed hope you can influence the nation to heed your wise words. George, Chula Vista, CA. PS If your successful, you should be called “Miracle Mike”
Thank you..You are a true help to us all because it is very hard to get a job I am 19yrs old trying to apply for college I went to Loring Job Corps just to get enough experience to get a job but everything is asking for 1-2 yrs of experience I dont understand where I am suppose to get it from if I cant really volunteer since I have no money and i just finished High school and Loring job corps. I truly believe this site will help millions if i hast already.
One word…. Amen. Mike you hit the nail on the so to speak! I totally agree with you and when you’re ready to march (or drive a ford) I’m right there behind you OR sitting right next to you. The vocational schools do not have class sizes as they had in the past and Washington needs to hear that and starting some campaigns to promote the jobs that can be earned by teaching those skills to our American youth.
Anything I can do from my area of Miami just shout it out to me. I’ve never heard anyone put those words in peoples minds with drive, ambition and eloquency. Thank you.
(I know you have heard this BUT I’m your number 1 fan!)
Enjoy that beer! I prefer a shot of Petron myself. :-*
This is wonderful! Finally, someone has put into words exactly what our problem is and is showing a willingness to do what it takes to solve it. I’m very encouraged. Bless you, Mike Rowe, for doing something to try to wake people up. I agree with you – this is a huge problem and convincing people that working is something to be proud of again will go a long way to making the USA the great country it once was.
Wow! great video, Mr. Rowe. Mike, I’m a Sales Engineer for epoxy resin grout. I provide product and training to many industrial groups – mining operations, power plants, paper mills, waste water treatment plants – anyone who is setting rotating machinery, calls me to help set it right. Over this past year, I have heard this lament over and over, ” We can’t find any qualified help!” In a recent mining project, the contractor was short 35 people to do the job properly. The mine operator had over 700 well paying positions unfilled, and was preparing to need another 220 folks after the beginning of the year. I was appalled and amazed, and not knowing what I could do to help. I began interviewing HR people, tradesmen, training managers. I found your website by accident – I bought a bottle of Dirty Jobs Degreaser for cleaning my motorcycle and saw the website. I have a group of people who want to help your cause…how can we contact you to discuss raising funds for scholarships, tools, awareness, etc.? We have some ideas we’d like to share.
I saw your testimony before Congress and I’ve been watching you for years anyway. I am very impressed, and I’m not easily impressed. More power to you!!! I must admit, I’m as guilty as anyone. I’m prepping my daughter for college, not a trade. But I am teaching her the value of hard work, be it physical or mental. Someone has to create good designs so someone else can build them. On the other hand, I’m seeing the lack of skilled labor in my own job. I’m an engineer for the North Dakota Department of Health. We are in desperate need of housing, but there’s a lack of skilled workers to build it. Most cities here have 50 to 100 year old infrastructure that is crumbling, quite literally. And it’s not always a question of money or lack thereof. Anyway, I think you’re right about the general attitude towards work. I don’t know when the “Protestant Work Ethic” went out of fashion, but it needs to come back, if this country is going to survive. I think it needs to start at home. Dirty Jobs was a great example and learning experience for my daughter, and I’m glad and very thankful that you and your crew gave us that. I will be keeping my eye on this website and spreading the word. Keep up the great work!!!! If you’re ever in Bismarck, I would be proud to buy you a beer.
Amen! My husband and I have been talking about this for a long time. We’re glad to see someone with the connections to spread the word. I am amazed at how many people have management degrees and how few even know that trade schools are available for their teenagers in high school. We will definately watch this site.
“You now make millions from an auto industry saved by this President” Ted Simons | 09/09/12 | 12:15 pm
Ted I think you need to look back, for Ford Motor Company did not take money for a bailout.
Mike best of luck to you and your crew. I saw your mikeroweWORKS watch today for the first time at Walmart, I’m definitely gonna get one-or two.
I hear you talking about preservation. Preservation of the kinds of talents and skills and respect for the people who built this country. Our built environment and infrastructure is part of who we are, and what our parents, grandparents, and even their grandparents, real people, living in the real – not virtual – world created as our inheritance. Virtual reality and TV idols are great entertainment, but as you note, the physics of deteriorating materials – steel bridges, brick warehouses, wood homes – is not going away any time soon. All of us live in the real world, and need to realize that work is needed to maintain the investment of the time, the talent and the energy that went into creating the roads, the bridges, the buildings, the railways, the dams, ports, water and sewer systems, and power grids, in our country. The infrastructure and the built environment we live in needs attention – maintenance and repairs to keep our invested labor, materials and the energy embedded in them, from falling to ruin and going to waste. Maintaining our infrastructure is more cost effective than replacing it. Reviving and building a workforce of the skilled trades to do the work of maintenance that’s needed is an honorable undertaking and I applaud your efforts. Imagine all the jobs and talents and skills that have been lost when over the past 30 or 40 years we evolved into a throwaway disposable society. We also are talking about conservation. Conservation of resources, conservation of embodied energy in our existing building stock, and conservation of dignity and talent of the skilled trades workers and their gifts to the quality of our lives. Keep up the great work! Go Build America and preserve America. Thank you Mike!
Lol, “use big words,” “one hand or both”,I’m all up for the seriousness of your mission, but gee Mike, your just so cute on how you say things. I took Communications too in college, but it hasn’t helped me as it did you. I agree it’s the person who does the work, not just the degree…and we have to work with what we have. Now I’m teaching myself to be a seamstress which I plan to teach my daughter…which is a trade, and I hope that will help me in some form. I sing too, but I think you already learned the lesson from that for both of us. By the way, you sing great, I wish you had a CD made. But I can’t believe it took me to hear you say it to get it….lol, mikeroweWORKS.com yeah I get it now where you got the name from. Very cute, very Mike Rowe’s. With your charm and talent for communicating, and with all our ideas, maybe we can help others together to make a living. But for now I think I’ll have a beer too. Yesterday I just had an Octoberfest by Samuel Adams….very nice brew. Tell them to make that all year! They’ll hear you tell them and it will create more jobs too! Hey, we all win! Question: do you have any ideas on how I can get my communications/ composition talent and education to help me? When I don’t feel like I’m talking to a friend, and it’s actually important, I can really write and put my grammar skills to work.
Skilled laborers frequently make better money and perform more important services than “highly educated” professionals. As a teacher who advocates trade-based education, I am going to look into using your site as a resource for my students. Thank you Mike.
I think you should revisit this video and consider how hard the sitting President has worked to focus attention and energy on the very subjects you speak about here. I’ve been listening and watching for the past four years and I’ve seen John Boehner and Mitch McConnell do their very best to obstruct every effort that would move to achieve your objective. I am a small businessman and I am not, unlike many of your contributors, anti-union. Union organization wrestled a middle class from the robber barons of the 19th century. Unions “trained” our skilled workforce. Those skills have been in decline for decades as unions have been more and more demonized. They are NOT the enemy, ignorance and corruption are, whether in a union local, city hall, the corporate boardroom or Congress.
Your more recent open letter to candidate Romney implies President Obama ignored your initial letter, assuming he ever saw it. You post your Romney letter openly knowing it might not otherwise garner his attention.
You now make millions from an auto industry saved by this President. To denigrate him seems rather disingenuous. Had candidate Romney’s strategy been followed, the auto industry likely would have been liquidated and our capital infrastructure shipped offshore for pennies onthe dollar or sold for scrap by liquidators like Bain Capital.
I don’t think people feel that work is the enemy, people are not afraid of hard work. What people really resent, is the bailouts for banks that puts money in the pockets of bankers for crashing the economy and taking more taxes from the workers. Then what you get, is absolute resentment, that their hard earned money is going down a big hole, in taxes, because the bailed out Mafia stole it.
It’s that simple.
We are all very creative people, we would all give everything we have of ourselves for free, if we had a roof over our heads, food, and clean water and a chance to help our neighbour. I like The Venus Project idea, but its being hijacked by the Oligarchy. Together we can make The Venus Project work, just find the top elite, take their money away, jail them and then we can start again
What a concept. I’m only sorry I didn’t think of it. A PR campaign to make work sexy! I was a fan before, but I’m a bigger fan now. I counsel people with money problems. It used to be that I left the “making money” part to them and worked with what they have. Since the economy imploded, I have had to expand into jobs counseling. So many people won’t even consider trade schools. They are usually more expensive than state colleges or universities. Not always. Almost everyone can parrot the mantra that a college educated person can make $1 million dollars more over their lifetime with a degree. I have a degree, and so many of my clients have degrees, and many are struggling to make more than minimum $10-$12 per hour. These are not just people with social science degrees. Sometimes I just do the math for them. You spend $50,000 plus in student loans and governement grants in order to make $32,000 per year. However, a young man goes to a trade school, spend $50,000 and makes $80k-$100k per year. We spend too much time on mantras that we don’t stop to evaluate what the mantra represents. I’ve heard people say, “college isn’t necessarily meant to prepare you for a job. It’s meant to make you into a well rounded person”. Really! I thought that was what parents were for. If colleges and universities aren’t preparing their students for employment, they should shut down and they should not be getting funding from public monies. Universities and trades schools need to be judged by how well they prepare their clients (students) for JOBS! Students have to do their due diligence and research the job they are thinking of. What is the return (job) on investment (cost of school). That is important whether university or trade school. Yes there are stinker trade schools, but there are stinker universities too. I know that it’s a radical thought, but maybe our government officials can step out of the way and let people intern and apprentice without expensive permits and regulations. Why do you need education to do things that people have done successfully for hundreds, sometimes thousands of years. If someone can do a job, maybe pass an inexpensive test (depending on the trade) and their clients don’t complain, it’s not government business. I was surprised that some of my college instructors could tie their own shoes in some cases. The knew a lot, but had never done anything practical. Practical education is more important to the general population that theory. I learned most of my job through on the job training, not because of my college classes. They gave me the foundation; I learned a lot in school. And I try to continue to learn every day, but I learn the most by experience. Count me in. I think this is a fabulous idea.
My family work and volunteer alot, church and Charter school.
We believe in America and work! Thanks Vicki
You are a modern day crusader! Much respect and support.
Mike you hit the nail on the head. All the time I was growing up all I ever heard from my dad was don’t do what I do go to college get that piece of paper on the wall . Well I do exactly what he did, hopefully a little better but I started telling my son the same things and he is only interested in work – imagine that. I have said over the last several years a s a reason for him to avoid work is because we as a society have like you said marginalized work, we have made it less important and we figured out in many ways how to make it less valuable to pay less then a livable wage. Business has been a guilty party as well. They get more money then ever for their roads and bridges but devalued the work in getting it done in terms of wages. The company I work for in manufacturing, we have reduced the task at hand into small manageable pieces and devalued those who complete the task. When I started in the business I am in, one person completed production start to finish and they made good money. Now we have broken it down into a series of tasks and devalued it. It is a shame.
I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your video. I am a pastor in Mississippi, and I love America. I believe in this country, and I am quite willing to die for the people of this nation.
I have been in the automotive industry for twenty years, which all culminated from a two-year investment in my local vo-tech center as a teen. I now teach at a vocational center, and am amazed at the perception of our society concerning our trades.
Students are often made to feel that only those who won’t be going to college need vocational training. Most of the students leaving our campus will go on to get some level of education, but their advantage is that they always have a trade to fall back on. Knowing a trade is an ADVANTAGE, not a disadvantage.
We train our students to take pride in who they are and to smile nicely while the people who are too good to take vocational training dish out their money to pay them to do it.
Thanks for what you do. God Bless You,
Hello Mike, I don’t have any answers to this situation we are getting ourselves into but it scares me too. The current generation of people and technology are focused only on how to minimize work and maximize dollars. Your words ring true about work turning into a 4 letter word.. Carry on and you have my support. BTW, love Dirty Jobs. It’s a great vehicle to showcase skilled labor.
Hi Mike, I’ve been watching your shows for a few years now , I’ve worked out whats missing from work ”PASSION” i work as a kitchen fitter in England and we are going through the same stuff as you guys , people just don’t what to have to work to make a future , THINGS NEED TO CHANGE
The comment just below mine was so moving, about the retired school custodian – bless his heart. My husband is a Union Carpenter and works on large-scale projects in Seattle. He’s built the Hood Canal Bridge, Seattle Central Library, Qwest Field, many residential buildings, a hospital or two and worked underground preparing a tunnel for Seattle’s lite rail system. He’s my hero, my Zack and I know he’s proud of the work he has done. It’s now 2012 Mr. Rowe and my husband has been laid off repeatedly so it’s off to college for him to become a civil engineer and continue to work on American’s infrastructure to make our world a safer environment. Keep up the dirt work Mike!
WOW! The short of it is, your video brought me to tears.
I didn’t think there was anyone out there that really cared.
I am a retired school custodian. And, in the school, community environment, we were the lowest of the low. Didn’t matter that I have a degree in Mortuary Science. From that degree, to a custodial job, is a sad story. When I first took the job, I would go into the custodian closet and cry. However, my dad’s words kept ringing in my ears. “I don’t care what you do for a living, just be the best one they ever had.” Because of that, I was one of the very few custodians to ever receive Employee of The Month for the entire school district.
In your honor, I had a bumper sticker made that reads;
“Mike Rowe for President”.
Why? Because it is a “Dirty Job”. And it takes someone who knows the importance of labor to keep this country running. My Ford Taurus wears it proudly! I did that long before I ever knew of this web site.
Keep up the great work you are doing. I support you all the way! And, one more thing -
*********THANKS FOR CARING!*********
Hi Mike, I have had the privilege to spend time with you, learn more about you – the person, listen to your stories of your grandfather & your ideals & morals. No need to say, I am certainly a lot better person for sharing the 26th March 2012 in Adelaide, Australia – with you & of course your crew from DJ: I wish I had have more time, but I KNOW that I have taken a lot away with me from that day & the experience has enriched my life. No need to say that you have a converted disciple & if there is anything in any way that I may give back to you, PLEASE do not hesitate to contact me. I will follow MRW! After listening to your videos on this & your home page to Congress – if you ever give up DJ, then MY FRIEND, “I REALLY FEEL & BELIEVE YOUR NEXT AREA OF DEDICATION – IS TO USE YOUR STRENGTHS, MORALS & FOLLOWINGS TO RUN A CAMPAIGN AS THE PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!” I would come and work under you & be your apprentice – anytime! You have the skills, you have the intellect, you have the morals, you have the following, YOU HAVE THE STRENGTHS! We plan to come to the states for Teresa’s 55th, hopefully we could time it at a stage to be able to spend some more time with you! Would love to keep in contact with you – we both enjoyed our time – immensely,
GO FOR IT MIKE ROWE, with Kind Regards, Ian & Teresa, Snake-Away Services, Adelaide, Australia:
God bless you Mike. We need more people to speak out on this subject. I’m pretty sick & tired of hearing young people talk about how they’re “entitled” to the government to pay for anything they want. It makes my blood boil. I feel the only “entitlement” they have is the right to “earn” their way in this world. When I got divorced and lost everything, I worked three jobs to pay my rent, etc. I was a receptionist M-F for a printing company, 2 nights a week I was a bartender and on weekends I worked contruction. I hung drywall, taped and finished drywall, hung acoustical ceilings, painted, stained, etc. I have never taken any kind of public assistance and I very proud of that fact. I love your show and am so glad you celebrate all the hard working people and their wonderful work ethic. Bravo to you! We need to have career days in schools to support the trades. We need to celebrate jobs that people do with their hands and show the importance of them.
Hey Mike! Thanks so much for your video! I am an electrician myself and I love what I do! I really support what you are doing and I am excited to see the impact you have on society. I think the kids in school need to hear this message because they are our future. Take care Mike! Keep up the good work!
You bring up a great point! I’m in full agreement with what you said and my idea to bring awarness to this topic is to create a spin-off show where you go back to jobs you have worked on and instead of showing how dirty the job is, you go more in depth and talk about how important the job is to not only the county but to the state, and country. You bring up what the pay is, what education is needed for the job, what is fun about the job, etc. This could spark an interst in people who are laid off or high schoolers who aren’t sure what to do with the rest of their lives, to maybe go into that line of work.
In college I created a video about manufacturing in DuPage County, IL that showed that manufacturing is still needed and done in the US and that even though it may not be glamerous, it is a job that can be fun and you can make a difference doing something. (if you would like to see it, email me and I’ll send it) Or go onto vimeo and search “Manufacturing In DuPage”
If you need an extra crew memember for Dirty Jobs or if you need help with this idea, I’m in!
Mike, in your 2008 video, you mentioned you will do an updated video when the site is up and running. Any new video we should be looking for now?
Mike, I commend the efforts that u do. Great website! I am a single mother of 2 who works hard and hopefully have taught my kids that hard work pays off. We love your show and sense of humor, you are what makes it great, so keep it up! It is time someone stepped up and talked about how this next generation and the lack of “real” work needs to be viewed in a different light.
Just found this site (I am always a few years behind the curve it seems.) You’re out of your mind, but in the best way possible.
I keep seeing everyone tell kids the only way to make a living is to get a college degree, and the idea of trade is just an anathema to so many people. We need to encourage adults to not be afraid to tell a kid, “Hey, you seem to be really good with keeping your 30 year old car running, have you thought of making a job out of that?” Auto shop should be a GOOD thing!
Now I’m off to see the rest of the site.
Mike, your congressional 5-minutes of fame video was mentioned on a forum I belong to (GarageJournal.com), and I wound up here to see your ‘miketoweworks.com’ kickoff video.
When I owned a TV, I did watch ‘Dirty Jobs’ and enjoyed your presentation of the jobs/people that make America work. Now, I sit and wonder what kind of job I can get as an official ‘baby boomer’, a degree in Computer Science and a willingness to sweep floors or make brooms to sweep floors.
You wanted suggestions to make this site more successful than ‘Dirty Jobs’? I suggest you do similar spots as Jay Leno does on his ‘Jay Leno’s Garage’ site. He promotes American people and the products they create. People need hope in this economy. Perhaps by featuring stories of GOOD, SUCCESSFUL, AND RELEVANT technical schools, trade schools, apprentice programs, people visiting here might regain hope. Hope that they too can find their purpose and dignity through work again in jobs they weren’t aware of the demand. People stories; those that feature tales of success arrived at by way of these uncelebrated schools. Show all the details how the schools operate, and how these students find success in a declining job market. Who knows, in this long recession, a spin-off of ‘Dirty Jobs’ might be called ‘Who wants to be a skilled blue-collar worker in the U.S.A.’ might be a ratings hit. LOL
Thank’s Mike for everything your doing,,love your work and all the shows! Scott’s Pro Painting ….Scott Beck
Please contact me about a show i would give you about helping kids learn new trades in construction. Thanks and god bless!!! Scott Beck
I stumbled across the MRW website recently, this is great stuff. I’m an office guy in corporate America, but grew up around manual labor as honorable decent work. My dad is a retired pipefitter, my grandfather was a pipefitter, and my brother followed suit and is third generation pipefitter. We learned how to fix and build lots of stuff growing up and that we simply just didn’t go out and buy it new every time. I still feel the pull to retool and do something with my hands, get dirty if you will. I get more satisfaction out of seeing something completed than pushing permit applications in my job. I would encourage any parent to recognize and talk up the value of skilled labor to children.
WOW!!!I didn’t realize how much you have done for workers!! My brother is a ret. iron worker 44 yrs…his son…7 yrs and my son…almost 4 yrs!! I’m so proud of them!!! I’m going to tell them about this. My son Danny…is so PROUD to say “MA..I’M BUILDING AMERICA”. Thank you Mike and for going to congress!! You are quite a MAN!!! Thanks for being a voice for the working women and men of America! Yours truly, Beth Tiano
I think you hit the nail on the head. No pun intended, but true, our country has been in a get rich quick mode since Lyndon B. Johnson. Anyone who is anybody wants to fill their pockets with our money. Over the years we’ve instilled in our children the way to be successful to have money, and lots of it, so the easier the job the more money you get the happier you are. I’m reminded of the movie “Wall-E”, remember the scene on the spaceship with all the overweight people? They can’t do anything for themselves, that’s what we’ve become. Our wonderful nation, not that extreme but we’re getting there! The sad thing is I know someone like that, he literally does not known how to use a screwdriver. If he had to he would not know how to take a door off it’s hinges, even in an emergency. Thank you for your shows, I know not everone watches them but those that do gain greater insight into other peoples jobs and respect them for what they do. I, for one am very thankful for all the shows that you have had on the air.
Hi Mike, I’m mum of three living in Spain and the situation here is as much the same as you describe it on your video. Us parents seems to be taking the wrong track when educating our children. Without qualification, studies, diplomas, titles…call it whatever name you like, you’ll be nothing in life, that seems to be the everyday motto over here. It seems a horrible idea to most parents for their kids to do something less than what they’ve studied for. They want their children to become doctors, lawyers, scientists, architects…I really admire those people who do “dirty jobs”, they may not have chosen it as a perfect job, but those who really want to work will always find there’s work out there, and no shame should ever come from doing them. The perfect job only exists from the joy you gain from it, so seeing as you gotta do it, do it with pleasure and a smile drawn on your face and you’ll be a happier person at work, whatever it is! I have three jobs on the go, and don’t get a full wage adding them up. My partner once said to me ‘however hard you work it doesn’t mean you’ll get richer’. Well, my reply was ‘I don’t want to get rich but at least I won’t go further into debt and can pull the family through…’ I’ve done many a job in my life and have enjoyed them all. I’m sorry to say I have no suggestions or good advice to give you. The day I do you’ll be first to know, but just wanted to congratulate you un such wonderful work you do transmitting your honest opinion. Keep up the good work!!
I am 27 years old, I spent 5 years blasting in rock quarries and mines. The teachers in school profess to students that any job outside of white collar is slave labor. Thank you for your time and campaign.
I went to college for photography and business and now work in a “non dirty” job. I can’t stand it… I worked through school at Home Depot and fell in love with do it yourself projects. Now that I am in the corporate world I feel hatred towards my rolling chair and wish I could be out in a dirty job. My student loans are coming in and I feel financially stuck in my boring office job. Do you have any advice for someone like me who wants to work hard and not in front of a computer all day?
Mike, your efforts could not come at a more important time. Testifying before a congressional committee was one of the things that will get politicians attention. Unfortunately tending to the infrastructure will cost money. As well as employing those dwindling number of tradesmen that are still with us. As for getting dirty, soap and water is available, and surprisingly easy to use.
It’s tough though what your trying to do but it doesn’t mean its unattainable. It’s because nowadays people are raised to believe that the only good jobs out there are the ones that will require you to wear a tie/suit – the picture of success and nobility. But really the jobs that I see you do in your show however odd or different exists and most importantly they matter…somebody’s got to do it or everything else will crumble. Not a lot of people want to get their hands dirty anymore. But I believe that educating people, making them aware is a great big step for people to get involved. Maybe recruiting will help…at least it worked for uncle Sam. There’s a statistics that 60% are happy that is you (doing the dirty job)and not them, and the remaining 40% just doesn’t care.I believe you can change all that…it’s not impossible!
I don’t know what it is but somehow “job/work”(whatever it is) is always seen as a task or a burden, but on rare occasions there are those (fortunate ones) who find it rewarding and fun. Voltaire said: “Work saves us from three great evils: boredom, vice, and need.” So I guess however unpleasant or pleasant one’s job is..in the end it’s still worth doing. And I get what you mean Mike when you said WE DECLARE WAR ON WORK…I never found a job that for me was worth bothering – at least that’s how I use to think.
John Ratzenberger has some things going on, alone the same lines…
http://www.centerforamerica.org/ Helping to educate, motivate and empower Americans to expand skills, entrepreneurship, prosperity and freedom
Mike we love your show keep up the good work.
Mike, I agree wholeheartedly with your message but am running into a problem. I went to college, got my degree (elementary Education) and am now trying to change fields. I would love to learn welding or carpentry (any real trade if I’m honest) but don’t have the money to go to a trade school. Are there any government programs that would help retool a 34 year new father? Any help you could suggest would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Jeremy Sutton
You can check out our Trade Resource Center’s State Resources here for helpful information – State Resources ~ mrW Moderator
Great Stuff Mike do you have a facebook page to go with this? Or maybe it should be based on facebook
Mike, Happy Labor Day, 2011. Even though it has taken some time getting out from under, I know you’ve made an impact. Hang in there! The best is yet to come. Love, Shannon.
Well it is the third labor day and I am finding this mission statement for the first time today based upon a link I followed from the CBS web site story http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/09/04/sunday/main20101491_page2.shtml
Our family has followed your televised appearances and I have observed even in the Mission Statement video your sincere yet seemingly rehearsed, honest improvised candor.
I take that as a continuity in your thoughts and the training of your essence so that when asked by yourself or others you tell the same tale and build your current view on the past foundation of experiences.
I am pleased that you are giving back to the community at large with these efforts and on this the third anniversary of Mission Statement I hope you find some gratification in that your message is getting out.
I will mark this location and view your site in detail to determine how I may be able to participate in your example.
Thanks for being a unique individual within the group of celebrities by reaching out in a way that puts your personal views and thoughts out for others to review and critique.
Utopia is a wonderful place, but we live on Earth.
Not all Dirt is Clean.
I look forward to how you distinguish between the two.
Hi Mike, Im a single mom of seven and I am a parent that encourage my children to follow there heart in life. Their dad is a blue collier worker and he took very good care of us and made very good money. I have never seen your show but I think that you are doing a very wonderful job. Keep working with people and different companies and getting the work out and you WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
Just wanted to leave a comment to thank you and encourage you to keep up with what your doing. I work for a public school district in “Nutrition Services” basically I’m your kids “Lunch Lady”. Although I took the job initially to have hours that allowed me to be home when my kids are (my really dirty job;) I do find that I more often than not am reluctant to share with people “what I do” as when they find out, they tend to make assumptions about my intelligence and abilities. However I must admit it is a pleasure to see their surprise that I am not 60 with a hair net and moustache It is an often dirty job, kids are CREATIVE with food and lunch trays… and breaks my heart a little when I hear students say “Oh her, she’s just the lunch lady”. I and my coworkers work as hard or harder then many who have a college degree and in some cases don’t make alot less. I am blessed to work with a management team that when facing budget cuts this year, made the cuts to their own salaries in administration rather than to the quality of the food or the pay of those of us in the field.
Our job to is also one of those often short staffed in a time of huge unemployment and it amazes me that this is the case when anyone with a good work ethic could get steady employment….
Again Thank you!
Thank you mike I like to think that I have done my fair share at the age of 24. Been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan for a total of 26 months in the U.S. Army. I worked at a dairy farm, worked retail, and am a small time mechanic and I do have to agree with you. My parents think that I should go to college, I did to get my pilots license which makes less money than if I was to work at any trade job. Thanks again.
Love you, Mike! What you’re doing is awesome!
Being on the school board of a trade school one of our biggest problems is getting the parents to realize that it’s ok for their children to go to trade school. They are not bad parents when their kids want to pursue a career in the trades as opposed to going to college. We have a hard time recruiting kids for the trade school because most parents have this skewed notion of acceptable lines of work in this day and age. I am thrilled to have found your website and will be forwarding it on to the other members of the board and superintendent. Thanks for your help and all you’re doing. Come visit us as Auburn Career Center in Auburn Ohio if you’re ever in the neighborhood.
I am a teacher and I absolutely love what you have to say. I feel that so many teachers are only stressing college for students these days, mostly because of the stress on teachers to prepare students for the ACT/SAT. I feel like the “other” options have been completely devalued in the process. I teach a unit in my Social Studies class where the students research different careers, the education required, and the salaries they can make in those positions. I would love to use your video and teacher resources to supplement my lessons because I feel it is so important to shine the light on these “dirty” jobs that are so valuable for our society. As a teacher, I try to encourage my students to do what they love, whether that is going to college or becoming an electrician. Students shouldn’t feel ashamed to explore a vocational career, but our society has made it that way. Thank you, Mike Rowe, for your voice of reason!
I accidentally stumbled upon this site and was glad I did. I am not a professionally dirty worker, but I do believe and practice it at home. My heart is in the dirt, if not my hands. I am a plumbing engineer with 30 years of training and I am absolutely in agreement with all that your mission includes. I don’t know what I specifically can contribute, but I am willing to contribute any way I can to this movement. Thanks for your honest spirit to get the job done the right way!
A Big Fan,
Could we get some of these people who are doing the jobs no one wants to do to donate some of their tools and equipment when they retire towards a school that still teaches the skills needed for these jobs as a way to keep the cost of teaching these skills down? Is there an incentive for a company to donate tools to schools like a tax break or free advertisement at the school they donate them to? How about doing a estimate on what potential there is on earning a living doing these jobs to where they could work a 30 hour week and still go home with a good pay and more time with there friends & family?
The Problem Facing the Machine Tool Trade Today
For the past twenty-five years high schools all over the nation have been closing their machine shop programs. Small class size, expensive shop equipment leasing, restricted funding*, and an emphasis on four-year-college transfer has led to the demise of most manual arts programs in our high schools. High school counselors now direct 100% of their students towards going on to college and getting a BA. In fact, the number of students going on to a four-year college is their measure of success. Because of this the well of potential machinists has gone dry and large companies have simply abandoned their traditional high-school-to-work apprenticeship programs. The long-standing partnership of student, high school, and manufacturing has evaporated
The machinists who became part of the program twenty-five years ago are now getting ready to retire. Some have called this the “graying of the machine shop work force” because the average age of a top quality machinist is 50+. As these machinists retire they will not only leave a void in the work force they will also leave a void in the mentoring pool which is the real mainstay of on-the-job training.
Today the preponderance of machine tool instruction is at the community college level but they too are under economic pressure to abandon expensive programs. In fact many community colleges have already given up their welding and machine shop curriculums.
Another problem is that there seems to be a prevalent feeling among the masses that machining is an unnecessary and dying trade and there will be no need for machinists in the future. Although it is hard to project a grand outlook like the 60/70s aerospace boom it should be noted that this trade is an important field in every industrialized nation in the world no matter their history or current economy. For example today there are machinists in Hungary, England, Argentina, and South Africa and they all play a vital role in the maintenance of the infrastructure of their country as well as assisting in industrial processes (no matter how small their share of the international manufacturing pie). Machinists are respected and paid extremely well in these nations. It is a skilled and prideful trade worldwide and each country has a need to train and replace them.
As an aside please note that at one time England was the manufacturing center of the world. They built the most machinery and employed the greatest number of machinists (called “mechanics” in that time). America took that honor from them and became the world’s most productive manufacturing nation and biggest employer of machinists. Then along came Japan followed by Taiwan followed by Korea and China. With all of these changes there was never, at any time, a total destruction of the manufacturing capabilities of any nation. They simply lost their leadership. Today Great Britain has a very highly skilled and productive force of machinists even though they no longer lead the world in manufacturing.
So what about the United States today? Have we moved to a “service economy” void of even the most minimal need for industrial production? Or is that all a futurists’ pipe dream? The answer is that it really doesn’t matter. We have a shortage of machinists in this country not because we are going to explode again as a manufacturing powerhouse and not because our aerospace and defense industry will keep us alive for another century. We need more machinists today because there are nearly NONE coming up to replace this country’s core needs. For every 100 machinist we had in the 60s and 70s we may need only 20 today. But we don’t even have TWO in training now. All of the good machinists have gray hair and are getting ready to retire and we don’t have anyone to replace them.
It is my hope that the machinist does not become another lost American heritage.
Machine Tool Technology