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Mike Rowe Wants To Shine A Light On The ‘Prosperity’ Of Blue-Collar Jobs

Photo from Mike Rowe’s Instagram

Mike Rowe Wants To Shine A Light On The ‘Prosperity’ Of Blue-Collar Jobs

By Movieguide® Staff

Mike Rowe, known as the host of DIRTY JOBS and HOW AMERICA WORKS, recently shared his thoughts on the record number of U.S. workers quitting their jobs.

According to Fox Business, recent data revealed that 4.5 million Americans either changed jobs or quit entirely in Nov. 2021.

“This is a conversation about our workforce and the imbalanced nature of it and the way that’s going to impact every single American who shares my addiction to smooth roads, indoor plumbing, affordable electricity and so forth,” Rowe told Fox’s Stuart Varney in a recent interview.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Rowe continued. “I’ve heard from the energy industry, the flooring industry… the restaurant industry, the cable and broadband industry, they are all struggling with the same basic problem.”

Rowe is adamant about teaching students that blue-collar industries are not only necessary, but viable, career paths.

“That, interestingly, is one of the few things that we can control,” Rowe explained. “We need to explain to kids that working with your hands, learning a skill that’s in demand can still lead to prosperity.”

Much of the struggling work force is due to decades of educators, parents and society pushing students to pursue college after high school instead of apprenticeships or trades, creating a void in these much-needed industries.

“It can’t be higher education, and everything else is some vocational consolation prize. We need to set the table fairly,” Rowe added. “We need to do a better job globally of shining a light on [skilled labor] stories.”

Movieguide® previously reported:

According to Fox News, in September alone, nearly half of the 22 million jobs lost due to the coronavirus pandemic remain unreplaced. Before the pandemic, employment numbers were soaring.

Rowe believes the answer to the uncertain future is to place value on developing vocational skills and trade jobs instead of falling into student debt during an economic crisis.

“We need to treat vocational education differently,” Rowe explained. “I might say, ‘Hey, we have $1.6 trillion in student loans on the books, and we’re still encouraging more people to go get a four-year degree, but require training.’

“I might say that we should stop lending money,” Rowe added. “We don’t have to lend money to kids who can’t pay it back to train them for jobs that don’t exist anymore. I might have that kind of conversation with him, assuming he wanted to have it.”