We all know Mike Rowe as the host of Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel, a show that profiles the American laborers who "make their living in the most unthinkable - yet vital - ways." But Mike Rowe is more than just an icon of the small screen. He has used his fame to bring attention to the burgeoning skills gap and the "dysfunctional relationship that the country has with work." In this CNBC interview, Mike addresses education, training and the future of the American worker.
In the interview, Mike says, “we've always tried on Dirty Jobs to celebrate the people who do the kinds of jobs that make civilization work, and it's no secret to us those people are everywhere. So, we go everywhere to find them. But this business of a skills gap has become more and more interesting to me because nobody really talks about it. Unemployment numbers get all the press, and they should. They’re high, but they're 500,000, 600,000, 700,000 jobs right now that can't be filled, skilled jobs, manufacturing and even farming. There's a lot of opportunities out there that is not meshing up evenly with the skill set that we currently have in the workforce, so that made me think maybe there's something to give something back to the industries that have been good to this show.”
Mike explains that “places all over the country are full of really smart people doing very specified things, and to in any way suggest that that level of learning is on some different level, that it's alternative education, that's just crazy. When you see terms like alternative education become immersed in our lexicon, you start to realize that we have fundamentally started to change. It's not just our relationship with work; it's the definition of what a good job is. And if anything good comes out of this show, aside from maggots, a few poop jokes and laughs, it will be the idea that parents can sit down with their kids and really seriously look at the benefits of learning a skill and mastering a trade.”