While fans know Mike Rowe best from his work on the ongoing series “Dirty Jobs,” he’s also heavily involved in philanthropy. Specifically, Rowe started a foundation in 2008 called the Mike Rowe WORKS Foundation. It works to support people, especially graduating high school seniors, through trade school and in finding “fundamental” jobs.
At a Glance
- Mike Rowe discusses the purpose of his foundation, which is to support job-minded and hard-working students.
- Rowe breaks down the four-year degree and where it is or isn’t necesary
- The “Dirty Jobs” host talks the show’s “legacy” through the foundation
How the Mike Rowe WORKS Foundation Puts Jobs First
Mike Rowe sat down with CBN News earlier this week to talk all about his various projects. One of those projects is the Mike Rowe WORKS Foundation, which the TV personality started up around the time of the 2008 recession.
“One of the things that I noticed in 2008, when the country went into a recession, was that there was a giant skills gap in our country,” Rowe explained. “And most of the industries that I was working with were struggling to recruit workers. To recruit people who were willing to learn a skill that was in demand.”
Mike Rowe added, “And so I started a kind of a PR campaign. To call attention to a couple million jobs. Good jobs that for whatever reason people weren’t excited about. And that led to the scholarship program that I run today.”
The “Dirty Jobs” host went on to add that the foundation would give away one million dollars this month alone in “Work Ethic Scholarships.”
“So if you know somebody who wants to explore welding or plumbing or pipe fitting or electric any of that, you can go to my foundation and you can apply for a work ethic scholarship,” Rowe explained.
Why Mike Rowe ‘Makes a Case’ For Jobs vs. Four-Year Degrees
“I do it because there’s so much pressure on kids today to get a four-year degree,” Mike Rowe said during the interview. “A four-year degree is not a bad thing, but it’s a very, very expensive thing. And we have over 11 million open positions in our economy right now, and any of those positions don’t require a four-year degree.”
He added, “So I wanted to do something to make a case for those jobs and those people who were willing to work in that way.”
Rowe has now spent almost 14 years helping those who don’t see a four-year degree in their future. He got this ball rolling due to his work on “Dirty Jobs” and the people he met in those industries. And now, when thinking about why he keeps the foundation running all these years later, he says, “Why not? As legacies go, most TV shows don’t have one. ‘Dirty Jobs’ does, and I’m happy to keep it going.”