Skilled Trades

Mike Rowe On the Importance of Skilled Trades

Skilled TradesOctober 18, 2016

Baltimore born and raised, Mike Rowe is many things – a TV host, writer, narrator, producer, actor, spokesman and an ardent advocate of skilled tradesmen.

While Rowe has nothing against people with a four-year college education, he believes that route’s not for everyone--and it certainly isn’t a guaranteed path to happiness.

“The world is full of very happy septic-tank cleaners and miserable investment bankers,” Rowe has been known to argue. “Stop cherry-picking one form of education!”

Mike’s mission in life is to help people realize their desire to find gainful employment by doing something that really needs doing.

“Many of the best opportunities today require a skill, not a diploma,” he says, pointing to the fact there arefewer and fewer skilled tradesmen – carpenters, HVAC installers, plumbers, pipefitters, welders, etc. – every year.

He calls it a “Skills Gap” that, if not closed soon, will swallow us all.

Closing the Skills Gap With a Skilled Trade Education

In a personal attempt to head that off, Rowe created the mikeroweWORKS Foundation to advocate for more skilled trades while challenging the belief that a four-year degree is the only path to success. Simply put, Rowe says for many Americans, a skill that lets them work with their hands, can be the quickest path to happiness and a good salary – often as much or more than that earned by degree-holders.

And he says there are other benefits as well--lower to nonexistent student loans, a shorter path to a career, sidestepping record high unemployment, and three million or more “good” jobs that no one else seems to want. Plus, he believes skilled trade jobs can’t be shipped overseas because plumbers, HVAC technicians, and the like have to be here to fix problems that occur here – a “forgotten benefit.”

Starting Your Skilled Trade Education

Rowe recently launched the Profoundly Disconnected website to focus on the growing need for more skilled trade workers.

Looking to “Be Like Mike?” and help close the “Skills Gap”? Check out your options at Fortis. With career education programs in HVACweldingelectrical tradesconstruction management and commercial driving, Fortis can help you get your career on the right track.