The Human Side of Business – Communication Studies at KU Edwards Campus
The University of Kansas
Working in higher education, it’s only natural that we believe that advanced degrees are the best path to higher knowledge and higher career opportunities. But we love the fresh thinking in Mike Rowe’s 2011 presentation before the U.S. Senate about the importance of apprenticeships, manual labor, and skilled trades in the U.S.: Mike Rowe Speaks To Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee
In his brief testimony, Rowe argues against our culture’s demotion of alternative forms of knowledge, meaning the kinds of understanding and training that can be gained outside of a college classroom through hands-on experience, vocational schools, and apprenticeships. And in Rowe’s 2008 TED talk, Rowe links trade labor to both individual happiness and the ongoing success of our nation and our infrastructure.
Such expectations can put a lot of pressure on just one sector of our economy, but Rowe’s story of his grandfather’s ability to fix anything is easily relatable. As Americans, we all have Jacks- and Janes-of-all-trades in our ancestry, and we still respect and admire these capable, creative innovators who can achieve whatever they set their hands to.
Rowe ends his speech by asking the Senate to support a PR campaign in favor of work, particularly in favor of the type of “dirty,” blue collar labor needed to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure. He hopes that by celebrating “an entire category of critical professions” that has been “marginalized,” America will be able to “close the skills gap” that faces us in the 21st century. And Rowe has put his energy where his mouth is: in 2008, he started mikeroweWORKS, a non-profit foundation dedicated to supporting the trades in the U.S.
Read the complete blog – HERE