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UPDATE ALERT!  We’re adding the latest news about the testimony so check back frequently to get the latest.

Read Mike Rowe’s Oral Testimony to the Senate Commerce Committee here

Watch the recorded testimony HERE.

Written Testimony of Mike Rowe Before U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation here.

I Make America Supporter Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs Speaks to Congress About Importance of U.S. Manufacturing Jobs – read article here

Dirty Jobs’ Mike Rowe Goes to Washington – read article and find link to slide show here.

Discovery Communications and Mike Rowe Announce “Discover Your Skills” – A Multimedia Initiative to Highlight and Promote Job Skills.

Mike Hates Scripts (but respects the Senate) – Watch video here.

Mike’s Day with the Senate Comes to a Close – Watch video here

Read Mike’s article “Get Ready to Get Dirty” here.

Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman

For Immediate Release – May 5, 2011
Contact: Jena Longo 202-224-8374

COMMERCE COMMITTEE ANNOUNCES HEARING ON MANUFACTURING OUR WAY TO A STRONGER ECONOMY

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today announced a second in a series of Commerce Committee hearings focusing on manufacturing in America and the ways in which the government and industry can strengthen the sector and promote job growth.

MANUFACTURING OUR WAY TO A STRONGER ECONOMY
Full Committee
Date: Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Hearing Start Time:  2:00 p.m.
Press Pre-Set Time:  1:45 p.m.
Location: Room 253, Russell Senate Office Building

Witness List*

Dr. Stephanie Burns, Chairman and CEO, Dow-Corning Corporation

Mr. Leo W. Gerard, International President, The United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union (United Steelworkers)

Mr. Mike Rowe, Creator, Executive Producer and Host, Discovery Channel’s DIRTY JOBS

*Witness list is subject to additions and not necessarily in order of appearance.

Individuals with disabilities who require an auxiliary aid or service, including closed captioning service for webcast hearings, should contact Collenne Wider at 202-224-5511 at least three business days in advance of the hearing date.
~ Mr. Rowe goes to Washington

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19 Comments

    1. Mr. Rowe:
      I am glad to see someone like you who sits in the limelight taking a strong position on this matter. I don’t know exactly when we lost respect for the skilled trades, but we as a culture need to regain them once again.
      It is worth noting that lack of people to fill these skilled jobs is not a recent event. I can recall the demand back in the mid eighties when I graduated high school. I took note of it once again when I graduated college in the late eighties. You are bringing to the forefront something that I have been mentioning for a long time, and I salute you for that.
      Like many people who have posted here, I too am a product of a father who had many skills. In fact, later in life he became a vocational teacher of Machine Shop in the NYC school system. His brother, my uncle, taught Auto Body in the same Public High School. It seemed to me that the students they taught had no problems getting jobs.
      I am not one of those skilled people, but my upbringing has made me one who has always respected them. It is clear we need to increase the number of vocational classrooms in the country. But can we find the people to fill these teaching positions? You see, in our country, we have another problem that we face: the lack of prestige (and pay) for the teaching profession.
      If I make the assumption that your request for a PR campaign from our federal government becomes a reality, and it is successful at bringing this problem to the forefront of our national conscience, the simple question that follows will be: “what would be the next step?” I believe that part of the answer is look to our armed forces. Today our armed forces are where employers are finding these skilled people. This may also be the place to find our teachers of these trades. But, can we pay them a fair wage (as you put it so well) “in a society that has more interest in how things are sold compared to how they are made?”
      Thank for all your efforts on this issue.

      David z | 09/05/11 | 7:05 am
    2. I just watched your testimony for the second time. I commend your efforts to enlighten us on the benefits of a technical education. I went to cosmetology school in 1987-88, it cost me a whopping $2500. My 20 year old daughter will attend a local cosmetology school in the fall, her cost? $16-18,000. Still, it’s a skill she can take anywhere at a fraction of the cost of a four year degree.I agree with you Mike, not everyone can sit in an airconditioned office and have an assistant, and some of us wouldn’t take that life style if you handed it to us. I love what I do and encourage young people to evaluate what you enjoy and do that, if you can, everyday to earn a living. We all need a mechanic, plumber, electrician, etc. sometime in our life. I, for one am grateful for these people and how they make my life run smoother. Thank you to those that have taken the time to earn a trade.

      Vicki Bailie | 06/28/11 | 4:27 pm
    3. Mike -

      As I listened to your testimony today, I laughed… and I cried remembering my own grandfather – John Schwab of Fairview, NJ. My grandfather as well was a jack of all trades. Rebuild an engine? Fix a faulty furnace? Plaster a room? The guy could do it all. In my eyes, he too was a magician. Someone who could make the impossible happen.

      The greatest memory I have of the man was the day my brothers and I wanted to make a ‘go kart’ to race down the hill near our home. My dad called him, and even though he lived more than an hour away, he loaded various components into his car and made the drive.

      My two brothers, my dad, my grandfather and I spent the entire day in the garage cobbling together some kind of crazy contraption that could get us down that hill as fast as possible.

      As we were working that afternoon, my grandfather turned to my dad and told him that this was a day he was looking forward to since we were born.

      Like you, I went off to school, got a four year degree and went on to get a good paying office job. My older brother, also named John, went off to become a mechanic. I looked down my nose at him, thinking I was going places and he wasn’t.

      Today, well, things have changed. I now look at my older brother with nothing but respect and amazement – he’s a master certified mechanic, able to do all kinds of work on cars with ease. I took up woodworking as a hobby, and I run my own blog at http://www.tomsworkbench.com to share what I have learned with others.

      When my oldest son brought home a brochure seeking people to come in and talk during the Great American Teach In last November, I went with my tools to teach the kids in his school. There’s no shop class there, but all of the kids sat in rapt attention as I showed them about woodworking.

      Will any of those kids follow that career path because I came in to talk that day? No. But, if I can give them the opportunity to see what’s possible, the sky is the limit.

      I put the video together of my day. Not as impressive as yours, but I hope you enjoy it.

      http://blip.tv/file/4409702

      Thanks, Mike. I’ve been a fan for a long time, and I think you just gave your best performance.

      Tom Iovino | 05/12/11 | 4:50 pm
    4. Mike, wonderful job today. Thanks for the continuing effort to bring light to such an underestimated problem in our country.

      ~Laura

      KonsMuddyGirl | 05/11/11 | 9:48 pm
    5. Its about time someone stood up and tried to do something about the job situation in this country! Thank you Mike Rowe!

      Kate Jumet | 05/11/11 | 3:21 pm
    6. I have to agree with Cin, but at least it’s a start. Hopefully the mrW administration will keep us informed as to what we can do to help, locally or on a nationwide basis.

      Liz | 05/11/11 | 1:23 pm
    7. I just watched the hearing. You did great! But I still don’t think they get it. And truly, the committee didn’t spend nearly enough time listening to you and discussing what can be done. So much could be done and improved, yet they are still on their own agenda….sad.

      Cin | 05/11/11 | 12:45 pm
    8. This is genius.

      Rowe for president! I know he could do better.

      phildeez | 05/10/11 | 11:45 pm
    9. I know you will do well Mr Rowe.

      Gayle | 05/10/11 | 10:27 pm
    10. Thank you Mike for giving the working people a voice. Go get ‘em!

      william | 05/10/11 | 7:42 pm
    11. man, what an opportunity! remember to breathe… you’ll do fine. good luck!!

      tricia | 05/10/11 | 6:54 pm
    12. Good luck Mike.

      Ali | 05/10/11 | 5:37 am
    13. Michael, There is no nobler cause than standing up for the backbone of this country and I believe if anyone has a voice to be heard on this particular matter, it is yours. The ability that you have inherited to use your keen insight and orchestrate the right speech while keeping the momentum can be a daunting task but never the less necessary for a complete recovery. Coming out of this recession, we all need that positive energy to continue while understanding our needs and taking care of our families is something that every American knows a bit about. Let them hear the whistle blow Mike, so they know your coming to town and everything will fall into place. Seriously, if anyone can do it, It’s you. Love, Shannon. P.S. No Ties!

      Shannon Marie | 05/06/11 | 12:55 am
    14. Knock ‘em dead, Mike!

      - Mar

      Mar | 05/05/11 | 3:17 pm
    15. All of the hard-working men and women who “Build America” in the largest railroad yard in the world, Union Pacific’s Bailey Yard in North Platte Nebraska are cheering you on all the way Mike! Thanks for being our voice in the Senate.

      Muriel Clark | 05/05/11 | 2:49 pm
    16. Congrats on this opportunity, Mike! Give it hell man!

      Jeremy Fry | 05/05/11 | 11:24 am
    17. Good luck, Mike. I’m glad they’ll be hearing from you. I’m sure you’ll be great. But, if you get nervous, just picture the committee in their pj’s.

      Francesca | 05/05/11 | 10:00 am