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Mike Rowe Work Ethic Scholarship

Why does Mike give a crap?

He’s addicted to paved roads, working electricity, and flushing toilets.

As an apprentice on the TV series Dirty Jobs, Mike Rowe traveled to every state and worked with plumbers, electricians, steamfitters, pipefitters, brick layers, farmers, fishers, and a bunch of other skilled workers who help keep our polite society humming along. They were individuals who found opportunity where no one else thought to look. They were entrepreneurs running successful businesses. They were happy people who managed to figure out a positive work-life balance. To his surprise, they didn’t resemble the unflattering, blue-collar workers often portrayed in the media. This misperception resulted in an undeniable disparity between available skilled jobs and the unemployed local population. Week after week, Mike saw “Help Wanted” signs everywhere, even when unemployment took over news headlines. Our society didn’t, and still doesn’t, have a trained workforce standing by or willing to fill the positions that actually exist.
“Our crumbling infrastructure, our widening skills gap, the disappearance of vocational education, and the stratospheric rise in college tuition—these are not problems,” Mike said. “These are symptoms of what we value. And right now, we have to reconnect the average American with the value of a skilled workforce. Only then, will the next generation aspire to do the work at hand.”
In 2008, Mike created the mikeroweWORKS Foundation to launch a national PR campaign for skilled labor.

There are hoops to jump through.

The short version is:

  • Enroll in an approved program.
  • Sign the S.W.E.A.T. Pledge.
  • Answer 4 questions about the S.W.E.A.T. Pledge.
  • Make a video.
  • Have 2 solid references from a teacher or boss.
  • Verify your school costs.
  • Provide high school or college transcript.
  • Submit your most recent 1040 tax form.
  • Stay tuned for the 2023 Work Ethic Scholarship Program.