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Mike Rowe Discusses Blurring Line Between Blue, White Collar Jobs

Photo from Mike Rowe’s Instagram

Mike Rowe Discusses Blurring Line Between Blue, White Collar Jobs

By Movieguide® Contributor

HOW AMERICA WORKS host Mike Rowe came on Fox News’ ONE NATION to share why Gen Z is turning to trade school and how blue and white-collar jobs are merging to become the same.

“I’m not ready for the victory lap for sure,” Rowe said about a WSJ article that claims Gen Z is becoming the “toolbelt” generation. “But regarding blue-collar jobs, I’m here in part to tell you that the color of collars is no longer the thing that it used to be.”

“I mean, white-collar, blue-collar, they still sort of exist, but more and more with the advent of the kind of tech they’re talking about and so many other changes, I just don’t think it matters. That’s why I’m wearing a blue shirt…[with] a little tan collar,” Rowe joked.

For Gen Z, the appeal of going to college dwindles as they learn the cost and instead look toward well-paying trade jobs.

Rowe previously said on CUOMO, “Back in the ’70s, we needed more doctors, we needed more engineers, but what we did is we promoted one form of education at the expense of all the others.”

According to Rowe, the nation needs more people doing hands-on jobs.

“Look, the idea that the generation that has become the biggest target for entitlements and a lack of work ethic…These guys are an easy target—the snowflakes essentially,” Rowe explained to ONE NATION host Brian Kilmeade. “But look, I’ve said this to you before, we’re the clouds from which the snowflakes fell, and whatever you want to say about Gen Z, they will be the next toolbelt generation because the evidence demands a verdict, and these kids are looking around, and they’re seeing $94,000 a year at Tufts.”

“They’re seeing…Brown, Dartmouth and Harvard. They’re seeing a $52 billion endowment at Harvard. They’re seeing all the craziness that’s constantly in the headlines, and they’re just saying, ‘Look, why do I want to start a career in a major I haven’t even declared yet and go that far into debt to pursue a job that probably doesn’t even exist when we got 10,000 other jobs over here, many of which… don’t require four-year degrees?’”

Movieguide® recently reported on this shift:

DIRTY JOBS’ Mike Rowe is detailing the “shift” from universities to trade schools as many young people decide the rising cost of college isn’t worth it.

“I think we’re going to be entering a whole new time, where the smart money is going to be,” Rowe said during an interview with Fox Business, encouraging young people to “Go to a trade school and then learn a trade.”

The numbers match Rowe’s opinion—“Community colleges offering vocational programs witnessed one of the highest numbers of student enrollment in fall 2023,” Newsweek reported.

Rowe pointed out that it’s not just blue-collar jobs that are under threat from technology. White-collar jobs are, too.

“It’s interesting that the idea that the robots are coming to displace all of these so-called blue-collar jobs has been around for 15 years now. It’s AI, and the target is more white-collar jobs. So on both fronts, a lot of people are going, what is this real existential thing come to move my cheese, right?” Rowe said.

“So look, plumbers are not going to be outsourced. Electricians, steam fitters, pipe fitters—the people my foundation tries to assist—have a level of job security that the article in the journal is referencing, and it’s a big deal, Brian, because those jobs have always been here for the last 20 years. As long as I’ve been doing this, right? They’ve been open, and it’s starting to tip. We’re literally like turning a tanker around with regard to perceptions,” Rowe said.

Instead of funding sports like college football and basketball, Kilmeade suggested it might be a good idea to put resources into prospects who have talents in mixed-collar jobs, like much-needed chip (semiconductor) engineering.

“I mean, what’s the downside of doing that? We can sit around and wait for the feds to do whatever they’re going to do. We can sit around, wait for the states to somehow get shop class back in the high schools. That’s not going to happen,” Rowe said.

“We’re going to need creative solutions, and it does go back to the blending of collars, like, what exactly is a chip maker? Is that a white-collar job or a blue-collar job? You need to be wired like an engineer, but you need to be willing and able to work with your hands, right?”

According to Rowe, chip engineers also need to handle delayed gratification and have a solid work ethic and “decent attitude.”

“I think the real solutions are going to come—as they always have—from people who are right up against something like desperation,” Rowe said.

Rowe ended the segment by encouraging those interested in trade careers to apply for a scholarship from his foundation.

On April 11, he said on Instagram, “Another $1,000,000 is up for grabs, and the deadline to apply for a scholarship is SOON ⚡️.”

The deadline to apply is April 30.

 

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4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.