Work Smart, Not Hard
Bryan Elliot, CEO, GoodBrain Digital Studios
September 30, 2013
“Work Smart, Not Hard” was a poster that young Mike Rowe saw when he was just beginning his acting career. It featured a smiling young man on the left with a diploma who represented “smart” and another young man on the right with a wrench representing “hard.” Should he go to college, get some paper and join the rat race or head to trade school and get a job that required “hard” work? Read More...
It’s like school — only with some of TV’s biggest stars writing on the blackboard.
Public broadcasting will take America back to school Saturday with its second annual “American Graduate Day,” a seven-hour on-air and online event that aims to stem the nation’s alarming dropout rate.
For the day, WNET and WLIW will join forces with more than 75 public radio and television stations, supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, to school viewers on the efforts and organizations to fix the issue from coast to coast.
“The ‘E’ in WNET stands for education,” says WNET’s CEO and president, Neal Shapiro. “It’s part of our DNA. It’s why our kids’ programming is about teaching and not breakfast cereal. This initiative is more than a natural for us, it’s a mandate.”
Shapiro said PBS looks to the two big New York stations to support stations in smaller markets.
The broadcast’s syllabus will include first-person testimony from prominent education activists, including NBC News anchor Brian Williams, New York Yankee Mark Teixeira and “Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe; locally produced seven-minute segments that look at community initiatives and organizations’ dropout solutions, and education and volunteer opportunities.
“We’ll also utilize social media, so that participating organizations, including local groups [such as East Side House Settlement, Harlem RBI and the Queens Public Library Discovery Center], can call out their segments to potential viewers in real time,” says Shapiro. “We’ll read viewer reactions sent to us on the air in real time. This will be a truly interactive experience, just like last year.”
Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs wrote an article describing how that saying is what is keeping us from beating this lousy economy. I had to read it because I always say, “Work Smarter, Not Harder.” In my article I will hopefully explain my version.
August 20, 2013
Mike Rowe is best known (at least to me) as the really American-looking dude that pitched Ford cars and trucks in his signature baseball cap.
He was also the host of “Dirty Jobs,” a Discovery Channel show that ran for eight seasons that highlighted jobs that were, well, dirty. Read More...
Mike talks about “flipping a negative image of skilled jobs” in the 2013 Fall issue of SkillsUSA Champions magazine. Read More...
In the September 2013 edition of Challenge magazine Mike talks about how he continues to get the message out about the skilled trades with his new initiative Profoundly Disconnected. Read More...
155.7 million. That’s the number of people 16 and over in the nation’s labor force in May 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This group of hard-working Americans represents nearly half of our nation’s 316 million people. Labor Day is, indeed, a great time to celebrate their effort.
It is believed the first observance of Labor Day was on Sept. 5, 1882. On that day, approximately 10,000 workers gathered for a parade in New York City. That event set a movement in motion. By 1894 more than half the states were observing some sort of workers’ holiday. That year, Congress and President Grover Cleveland signed a bill designating the first Monday in September as “Labor Day.”
119 years later, we still pay tribute to the social and economic achievements of American workers. Unfortunately, we have much to achieve with regard to educating skilled workers and effectively placing them into promising careers.
High unemployment and the growing skilled labor shortage are both symptoms of the same problem in our society — namely, that we have a desperately skewed and devalued perception of hard work. For some reason, we have stigmatized and diminished the importance of people who work with their hands in this country. And we have allowed ourselves to believe that an expensive college education is the only avenue to success.
For more than a generation, we have encouraged our children to aspire to careers that would enable them to work with their minds and not their hands. So, it should come as no surprise that we have an estimated three million job vacancies in the skilled labor force today that are going unfilled because many people erroneously consider these positions to be beneath their potential or otherwise undesirable.
We are now dealing with a problem of our own making. In our attempt to spare our children from the drudgery of physical labor, we have become a society that no longer respects or celebrates hard work. We have become a nation of consumers rather than producers and we are beginning to experience the unintended consequences of this transition in more painful ways. But just as the national narrative seems to be hopelessly unswayable, an unlikely voice of reason has emerged in guest appearances on the national talk show circuit.
Mike Rowe, who is best known as the host of the Discovery Channel’s popular show Dirty Jobs, has decided to lend his fame and notoriety to a larger cause. He is encouraging a broader conversation about our nation’s relationship with skilled labor. He feels it is important to “make a case for the trades,” and I applaud him for bringing recognition to this issue through his many appearances.
In the format of Dirty Jobs, Mike Rowe was able to travel across the country and take on the role of an apprentice to skilled workers in a variety of trades. In the midst of all the good-humored putdowns, he and his audience gained a very real education and appreciation for the many hardworking individuals who perform necessary and valuable services that benefit the rest of society.
In his talk show appearances, he describes his own experience as a high school student visiting the guidance counselor’s office only to be shown a college recruiting poster that said, “Work Smart, NOT Hard.” Well-intentioned advice that many students have received over the years, that has only served to “undermine our beliefs about an entire category of critical professions and has reshaped our expectations of a good job into something that no longer looks like work,” according to Rowe.
Read the complete article – HERE