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The mikeroweWORKS Foundation announced its partnership with Scholarship America to establish the mikeroweWORKS Foundation Education Scholarship Program.  The 2013 fund has been set at $250,000.  The program is set up to award individual scholarships to applicants who want to pursue a career in the skilled trades. All successful applicants meeting the eligibility requirements may be awarded up to $2,500.

Scholarship America, the nation’s largest non-profit, private-sector scholarship and educational support organization, has distributed more than $2.7 billion to 1.8 million students across the country through various programs.

This program is for students who are enrolled in a skilled trade program at a two-year college, vocational school or approved training institute. Instructions for completing and submitting the application are provided when an option is selected.

Find the online application format and the printed PDF application form along with more information at – www.scholarshipamerica.org/mikeroweworks/

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    1. Dear Mike Rowe,

      My name is Tara Montgomery. I work for a county probation office in Southern Illinois. We have a coalition, Partnership For Youth, that is comprised of members from social service agencies, law enforcement, local schools, local libraries, and faith based organizations. For the past 5 yrs we have held a job fair for non-college bound students. We solicit industries and businesses whose hiring criteria does not include a 4 yr degree. We recognize that not everyone has the financial resources, the grades or the interest to attend college and society has inadvertently over-emphasized the role of higher education to the point that non-college bound students, and adults without a degree, do not believe they can have a successful life without attending a 4 yr university. We want people to know they can live independently with a good paying job, rather than relying on the welfare system or crime to support themselves. We strongly believe that if people can be employed with a decent paying job that we will begin to see a decline in substance abuse, crime, and family deterioration.

      Initially area schools were sending 200-300 students to our event but this number is steadily declining. One school said 97% of their graduating students would be attending college. This is a boldly naive and ignorant statement. We need your help in educating our community and school administrators in the philosophy that your organization and ours share. We would greatly appreciate anything you could do whether it be a personalized video to our community, a visit or posters to hang. Thank you.

      P.S. We would really like the visit!

      Tara Montgomery | 03/18/14 | 12:50 pm
    2. Thank you Mike. Your doing a good Job!
      Dennis Douthett

      Dennis Douthett | 02/22/14 | 12:20 pm
    3. HI Mike i’d like to talk to your producers and the president of Wall Mart about a “bigger picture” thank you.

      David Knox | 02/20/14 | 6:44 pm
    4. Hey Mike, Great idea with the poster. How about sending out some free ones to CTE high schools? I am a masonry instructor at a CTE high school. We need all the positive promotion of our programs that we can get. Our guidance counslers are too worried about sending kids to college then sending them to work. My students enjoyed reading the article in the “Skills Champions” magazine and suggested I try to get some posters to put up at school. Look forward to hearing from you.

      john simpkins | 10/16/13 | 9:01 am
    5. Hello, My name is Tim Stewart and I am a deaf man since the age 1year. I grew up in Ohio and graduated from Ohio School for the deaf in 1987. I was give the choice to pursue one of three career fields. Office Administration, Automotive Mechanic or Body Shop repairman. I chose body shop career and have worked successfully in the field for 26 years. Being profoundly deaf I decided never to collect Social Security Benefits. Because I would let my “disability” define me. Not to say that those who do, are. no way.
      I have finally been able to pursue my dream to become a Welder. I am currently a student a Tulsa Welding School in Tulsa Oklahoma. I’m in Phase 9. and have earned 3 Top One awards, perfect attendance while working full-time, and 3.75 GPA. We were notified about your scholarship availability and have attempted to apply but notified at this time it is closed. Even though I could not benefit from your scholarship availability. I will pass on the information to my fellow deaf men and let them know of this opportunity. A person that is deaf has a very low low opportunity to be able to provide for himself and or his family without dependence on the SSI/SSDI system. Although with the improvement of technology since I was in High School and trying to decide a career choice I was very limited. But now the door seems to be open more. Now the deaf individual that seeks a craft like welding is still deterred and not encouraged and is stuck in the Vocational Rehabilitation program that will not pay for such training AND the sign language interpreter even IF the deaf person is a match for that craft. I ask you could you meet with Deaf schools across the country and offer information of your program to the Jr and Sr’s that are preparing for a craft and inform them they can do It and here are some options to aid without running into barriers at every turn. I thank you for the opportunity I had to apply even though it was closed. THank you for what you have done through your scholarship program thus far and God bless !
      Tim Stewart
      Tulsa, Oklahoma

      Tim Stewart | 10/15/13 | 5:48 pm
    6. Mike. I am the Executive Director of Helping Hand of Hope a local non-profit agency that provides free services to the low income families of Hardin County, Kentucky. We serve 25,000 clients annually. I am very much interested in learning more about your program. We are working to help our clients find jobs and a better way to support themselves and their families.
      I would love to talk to you and invite you to our area to show us how to develop your program.
      Please contact me at your earliest convenience.
      David Dozer

      David Dozer | 10/03/13 | 7:53 am
    7. Mike, would like to speak w/you regarding an opportunity for individuals in AZ who are looking to gain some training in 3 areas .. welding, car repair etc, wood working. Don’t know if this will work for you both being in the retirement community and speaking with our club members who are all experts in their fields would love to help getting people trained in the areas you spoke about on Huck’s show. If you have a representative in AZ we would happy to reach out and see if we can assist in this area..

      Retirees willing to help make a person future successful.

      Cheryl Campbell | 09/26/13 | 12:08 pm
    8. Hi Mike,
      Right on board with you, and my favorite quote of yours is, “We are lending money we don’t have to kids who can’t pay it back to train them for jobs that no longer exist. That’s nuts.”
      Two years ago, my husband (a builder of 30+ years) and I started a program for 18-25 year olds where they learn hands-on hard working skills (primarily carpentry, landscaping, cooking). We laughed hard at what you shared about gaining your 501(c)(3) status–our experience too! Check out http://www.lagomlanding.org when you get a chance. My question for you is, we’re not an accredited educational institution (that’s a whole bunch MORE paperwork that we just were not up for), but we make sure our students find jobs and learn the value of hard work. Any chance some of our students could be eligible for your scholarships? Let me know when you can, ok? Laurel Nelson

      L Nelson | 09/05/13 | 4:48 am
    9. Mike Rowe is to be commended for establishing a scholarship program focused on the skilled trades. It is one of the few in the country and is definitely needed.

      For prospective students who are interested in attending an accredited postsecondary trade school where full scholarships are provided to all students, they might consider the Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades, located in a suburb of Philadelphia. The three year scholarships are valued at over $70,000. See http://www.williamson.edu.

      Richard Clemens | 08/15/13 | 11:15 am
    10. I think it’s great what you are doing. We need more people who realize that young people need a chance to learn a trade. Where I grew up and went to high school we had shop programs…welding, wood working, auto, and outdoor education, but now they are few and far between…alot I’ve learned has to do with liability insurance. Even drivers education was offered in high school, not any more. It needs to starts within the high schools again. Kids need to find out without having to worry about the cost whether they have an aptitude for certain trades.
      Keep up the good work!!!

      Laurie Davis | 08/09/13 | 7:53 pm
    11. Mike,
      I live and grew up in the dc suburbs. 30 years ago when I was in high school we had amazing vocational programs.After 9th grade the kids were guided by our counselors toward college or a trade.
      I chose the latter I am still a hairstylist 33 years later and still love it!
      Unfortunately this is no longer the way things are done.
      Only a handful of schools offer less choices for the kids,they are all pushed toward a 4 year degree
      My kids are in high school and are entering this arena!
      Thank you for taking on this issue, we need to support the trades in high school and jr college
      This is an investment in our kids we desperately need for our future
      We need to change the way people see us,Happy doing a trade we love!

      Elizabeth flood | 08/04/13 | 9:19 pm
    12. Hey Mike, I saw you on the Bill Maher show, which I viewed here in China. I have been teaching English here since 2009, in the wake of the melt-down that took all my retirement assets. I would gladly have my fingernails pulled out to get a job w/ the Cat dealer in Vegas, that you spoke of, or any other sort of stable job. My Father & his generation were not afraid of hard work, & neither am I. If you think US kids are slackers & princesses, I can tell you stories about the soft generation being raised here. I worked for over 20 years in construction in the US, so I know how to work hard. I came here because I could not find a job in my native California, after looking for 8 months. I can contribute as an employee & a mentor

      Kevin Carrigan | 07/31/13 | 6:46 am
    13. Hey Mike! My son just got back from the Scout Jambo in WV and you were a huge hit. He came home sporting his fancy Dirt Patrol shirt with your mug to be the envy of his troop mates. Just wanted to thank you for your foundation & attention to the jobs that really put America to work. Proud to say our local high school turns out top notch college bound students as well as certified welders, etc. Top notch public school in Louisiana and they know how to challenge the kids with academics, the visual and performing arts, athletics, mechanics and industry. Smart & Hard no matter the area. Thanks bunches. Drop by sometime.

      Sally S | 07/30/13 | 9:34 pm
    14. Mike, Loved you on Real Time last night! My husband is a skilled mechanic making triple digits, and I am an unskilled office monkey making less than 1/3 of him and dodging daily layoff bullets… Who has the better deal?! It’s supply and demand in action, but I didn’t realize until you articulated it. Time to go learn a trade.

      Crystal | 07/17/13 | 10:07 am
    15. Mike: Follow up to Bill Maher’s show I’ve been in the boat for 18 years trying to get or keep vocational programs in high schools and continuing programs at community colleges. I’ve tried to get to the Profoundly Disconnected web suite, and had turned to the Discovery channel to find your heart warming program. I finally found someone (you) who agrees with our program, we do need some help. We have in the greater Chicago area – a 2+2+2 program= 2 years high school -=followed by 2 years at a community college and followed by 2 years at a university. I have the specific course of study on all three levels so its an STP, a Smooth Transfer Program with all credit accepted. Currently I have programs in SCM, CNC, Industrial management and technology (all types). And a Military program for Medics, Techies and every one else. Coming soon is a call center program (geared for those who can not get around to well) and as we listen to industry so we can support programs to covert dirty job training by corporation and trade associations and even unions to college credit. This affords the student specific job related training and college credit to have a better workforce with the skills, education needed to oompete internationally. And a friend of ours has a program called Reshore America, trying to bring jobs to America, but we need to have well educated and highly skilled workers to make his program work. Can we meet or open a discussion on line to move your program and ours along.

      Dr Jerry Field | 07/14/13 | 2:01 pm
    16. Hi Mike, I just saw you on Bill Maher’s TV show too. You mentioned that you have been to all 50 states and that there are millions of meaningful skilled-trade jobs that are waiting to be filled. You said that some jobs start out at $40,000-$50,000 a year but go up to over $100,000 after a few years. I am 44 years old and was recently laid off from my office job here in New Jersey. Is it too late for me to pursue a skilled trade? If not, where should I start looking? Any help would be much appreciated!

      JP | 07/12/13 | 9:40 pm
    17. I am just watching you on Bill Maher and I can’t thank you enough! I am a special education/ academic advisor in a urban high school in New Haven Ct. After 21+ years of teaching and raising two children, both with loan debt, I Amos grateful you are speaking out. In my district and all over kids are told they have to go to college. It is ridiculous! I remember when my kids were going to college and parents were so caugh up in where their kid was going to school. sothey sent their kids off to spend 80kfor a degree they cant use or cant pay for. We said no to our kids for those expensive schools and they still debt and are living home at 28 and 27.
      What makes it worse with the kidsi teach is that they are usually the first in their families to go to college and they get so taken advantage of. We need plumbers, electricians, machinists and mechanics. Hard work is hard work. There is nothing wrong with getting your hands dirty.
      Oh, an that jerk who made comments about teachers taking the summers off I haven’t had a summer off in 20 years. Like to see him spend 20 minutes in my high school and do what I and every other dedicated teacher does.
      Thank you for taking this mission on. I have been screaming this for years and hopfully your efforts will get people to listen. STEM educationis great. The kids who study math and science will do great things. Hopefully some will go onto teach. But without the mechanic, plumber, machinist or electrician they can’t make life saving discoveries. Ill take a skilled electrician over a communications major anyway.
      Thank you again,
      Donnamarie Pantaleo
      PS Our daughter is putting herself through nursing school and our son became an electrician and finished his four year degree.

      Donnamarie Pantaleo | 07/12/13 | 8:02 pm
    18. God must be guiding me to similar sites like yours. A couple of days ago, I was reading about Jon Bonjovi Soul Kitchen in NJ. A whole community build a restaurant from an old garage. The concept is to “feed” people for just a small donation. If they can’t pay, they ask if you would volunteer at the restaurant and perhaps learn some culinary skills. He has a another JBJ Foundation, they build homes and create jobs skills and promote community awareness. He’s like the modern Jimmy Carter. He realizes, the other side to success is giving it back. I would like to use the same concept here in Charleston, SC. It sends me goose bumps when I think about it, so check out his foundation.

      Angie Coers | 07/04/13 | 5:30 am
    19. I’ve been a fan since “Dirty Jobs”. I think we’re on the same page here when it comes to teaching skills to young people. We are a busy family. We have an Alteration and Embroidery shop in SC. Our business started 35 years ago with the military and have since moved in the civilian world. My mom is the master tailor an avid organic gardener. She raises chicken for eggs and sells them to the local market. I have been trying to teach embroidery & sewing business, but haven’t found anyone who is worthy of my time. How about having a Grant Program for Instructors. I’ve suggested Embroidery to the local Technical College, but they don’t have the funding. They would rather teach Photography which is a saturated field. I guess I’m just going to open up my own embroidery and Graphic Design school. Farming has been a passion of my moms since she was in the Philippines, it’s hard work but very rewarding. People need to know where their food is coming from and need to appreciate the people who tends it. I had this idea of a show similar to Dirty Jobs. You going to different business who have been struggling with this economy and how they are trying to turn it around. Their sacrifices and hopes for the future. I’ve gone through my own transitions and I’m hanging in there. I’ve had a handful of friends who succumb to the pressures and that pained me. Losing a business is like loosing a baby. We need to support small business and the people who try to stay in it day in and day out. P.S. I am available to act as your Co-Host.

      Angie Coers | 07/04/13 | 5:08 am
    20. I was totally, “Wowed” after hearing you at SkillsUSA in Kansas City earlier in the week. Thanks for being an “unofficial/official” spokesperson for the people in this country who truly are the backbone and the foundation of our workforce. You are correct – “We get it.” Keep preaching the message my friend!!!

      Joan M. Curie | 06/30/13 | 3:29 pm
    21. Hi Mike, I come from a trades family and I couldn’t be prouder of my parents. Dad was a smelting furnace man he presently holds 4 US patents and my mom started as a welder and ended as an electrician. I went into medical lab work and now…I would love to do one of two things electrician like my momma or drive one of those gargantuan dump trucks. If anyone has any ideas on how I could get into either one let me know leave me a comment or something. Mike you are a great “non-spokesman”. Keep it going you dirty, dirty man!

      Amy Reed | 06/29/13 | 9:24 am
    22. Enjoyed your keynote address at Skills USA last night very much. I am a CTE Health Science instructor from Maine who did enter the workforce directly out of high school in 1974 and got my first college degree in 2000 after working for 25 years in the healthcare industry. It wasn’t my college degree that got me my current teaching position, it was my experience. Our school now offers the only high school level medical assisting program in Maine with a very high certification pass rate from the AMT. You are so right when you said “we get it.” I love my job as a CTE educator and Skills Advisor. Our philosophies are identical. I work Smart And Hard to educate my students to their highest levels of potential achievement. Thanks for taking these issues nationally.

      Heidi H | 06/27/13 | 2:25 pm
    23. Thanks Mike for opening up dialog in this country during the Vietnam war if you did not go to college you were considered stupid most mechanics of my era always hide their hands when meeting someone but several TV shows including yours is starting to turn the tide. I believe it has to do with the brain those who are creative and learn visually turn into artist,mechanics, and so on. The other ones become accountants, lawyers , Doctors neither one is better just different like male,female keep up the good work it’s important love to talk to you about this some day. A fan

      Paul M Arthur | 06/21/13 | 9:05 pm
    24. I totally agree with the concept but I see a huge gap in the system. there used to be a huge apprentaihip program in the United States for a lot of the trade jobs. Cattepillar and others could solve their problems with just bringing this back. offering training while getting a lower pay and a contract for a certain time of having a job. There are many college students who do this under the name of internship. There is a big problem faced by many who would love to work as being experience required. I have looked at jobs and new I could do the job but did not have the experience needed. Keep up the good work. I totally agree with what you say the college route is not the only route available and we need to stop pushing the conept of that is the only aworthwhile goal.
      Thank you

      Christiana Cunningham | 06/20/13 | 1:38 pm
    25. You are RIGHT on, Mike! This is our message as well, and we’re college counselors! MOST kids in 4-year colleges today shouldn’t be there… and the stats back this up. Keep up the good work.

      Tom Bottorf | 06/19/13 | 4:40 pm
    26. I think you have a lot of great friends Mike, on a mission worthy of a king. Keep up the good works. Everyday, thank you.

      Shannon Marie Conley | 06/19/13 | 11:10 am
    27. I believe this to be a very worthy cause. Hope people keep the donations flowing! Every little bit counts, even if all you have to give is a couple of bucks. It adds up!

      Jos | 05/09/13 | 10:51 am
    28. Thanks for supporting skilled trades. We need hands on duty to keep our infrastructures going strong.

      David A Wallace | 04/07/13 | 6:50 pm
    29. Thank you for voicing the truth. This country needs skilled laborers and they need to be proud of what they do. Without them this country could not run.

      Rphillips | 03/20/13 | 10:59 pm
    30. WOW that is awesome!!! Great job mrW!

      ~Jen | 12/18/12 | 11:06 am