Work Smart And Hard: Mike Rowe on the Skills Gap

Work Smart And Hard- Mike Rowe on the Skills GapHere at Manufacturing Nebraska, we talk so much about the skills gap because it’s such a profound problem. There are hundreds of thousands of jobs out there that need filling, but not enough people with the skills to work in those positions.

It turns out that we’re not the only ones who think this is a problem. Mike Rowe–yeah, the guy from Dirty Jobs–started campaigning about the problem facing the manufacturing industry about four years ago. His foundation, called the mikeroweWORKS foundation, hopes to change the way manufacturing is perceived.

From his first $250,000 scholarship fund for those looking to explore a career in the trades, to his tool shed which gives tips on the trades straight from workers in manufacturing themselves, Mike’s entire website is a great resource for anyone looking to learn more about careers in manufacturing.

But our favorite part of the mikeroweWORKS foundation is the next stage of the process: his website Profoundly Disconnected.

As a brief introduction, check out the video below:

Mike summarizes the goals of Profoundly Disconnected pretty well himself:

My goal here is to challenge the absurd belief that an expensive four-year education is the best path for the most people, and confront the outdated stereotypes that continue to drive kids and parents away from a whole list of worthwhile careers. Many of the best opportunities that exist today require a skill, not a diploma. The purpose of this site is to promote that simple truth. And maybe have a few laughs…

Consider the reality of today’s job market. We have a massive skills gap. Even with record unemployment, millions of skilled jobs are unfilled because no one is trained or willing to do them. Meanwhile unemployment among college graduates is at an all-time high, and the majority of those graduates with jobs are not even working in their field of study. Plus, they owe a trillion dollars in student loans. A trillion! And still, we push a four-year college degree as the best way for the most people to find a successful career?

Manufacturing Nebraska and Profoundly Disconnected are pretty much on the same page when it comes to the skills gap. While we’re by no means saying that college is a bad option, we also want to serve as a reminder that there are many paths to successful careers that don’t involve four-year educations.

All-in-all, mikeroweWORKS and Profoundly Disconnected are great additional resources for anyone curious about the skills gap or the possibilities that exist within the manufacturing industry. And the fact that Mike Rowe is such a cool guy really helps, too.

Photo courtesy of  mikeroweWORKS/Profoundly Disconnected.