Mike Rowe Stresses Importance of Not Forgetting Workers: ‘At Our Peril’

by Quentin Blount

We can’t forget our workers. They are the backbone of America. That’s one message that is loud and clear from Dirty Jobs star Mike Rowe.

By this point, everyone knows and loves Mike Rowe for his work on the Discovery Channel series Dirty Jobs. The popular show follows Rowe as he goes around the country joining America’s front-line workers to perform various jobs. Some of the work he gets into can be dirty, dangerous, and at times, downright disgusting. He is usually joining up with experienced workers on the jobs who actually do them for a living.

Aside from that, Rowe also starred in the CNN series called Somebody’s Gotta Do It. Similar to the plot of Dirty Jobs, Somebody’s Gotta Do It shows Rowe working some of the nation’s most undesirable jobs.

With all his time spent alongside some of the most skilled workers in America, it’s safe to say that Mike Rowe has a deep passion for the industry. Not only does he promote these jobs on his television shows, but he also started the mikeroweWORKS Foundation. His goal with the organization is to help men and women learn skills and master trades.

He sat down with Parade back in September and talked about how important it is that we don’t forget our workers. He says that if we do, it will be “at our peril.”

“We forget about the electricians at our peril, we forget about the fishermen at our peril, we forget about the lumberjacks at our peril,” he adds. “These people are all connected to us. I don’t understand why we work so hard to accentuate the difference between blue-collar and white-collar or trade schools versus universities. We need both. I hope these shows help magnify that.”

Additional Details about Mike Rowe’s Foundation

As we explained above, Mike Rowe has essentially made an entire career out of promoting trade jobs. To further his mission, he started the mikeroweWORKS foundation back in 2008. Since then, it has provided awards to more than 1,200 recipients and $5.2 million in Work Ethic Scholarship funding. In addition, the organization has reached Americans in 48 states and has supported more than 19 skilled trades. Talk about putting your money where your mouth is.

“mikeroweWORKS is designed to challenge the stigmas and stereotypes that keep millions of people from exploring a career in the trades,” Rowe explained to Philosophy Round Table in 2017. “Its primary goal is to close the skills gap by calling attention to millions of unloved opportunities, and challenge the idea that a four-year degree is the best path for the most people.”

It’s no secret that the Dirty Jobs star has been critical of colleges and universities. He believes that the trades industry is actually the best route for most Americans.