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About the Foundation

The mikeroweWORKS Foundation promotes hard work and supports the skilled trades in a variety of areas. We award scholarships to men and women who have demonstrated an interest in and an aptitude for mastering a specific trade. The mikeroweWORKS Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

The Foundation has participated in more than $2.5 million awarded in scholarships to schools around the country, including Midwest Technical Institute, Tulsa Welding School, The Refrigeration School and Universal Technical Institute.

mrWF WORK ETHIC SCHOLARSHIP

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AWESOME NEWS! Every eligible finalist in the 2014 Work Ethic Scholarship Program received an award!  Learn more – HERE.

mrWF/UTI AWARD $1 MILLION IN SCHOLARSHIPS

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 CONGRATULATIONS to the winners of the 2014 mikeroweWORKS/UTI Scholarship contest! Each recipient has won a full-tuition scholarship to attend any UTI school.~ Learn more and view recipient videos - HERE

mrWF/MTI
SCHOLARSHIP

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NOW AVAILABLE for high school seniors – mrW/MTI Scholarship Program. Learn a skill, Master a Trade – Enjoy a Great Career.
                                          CLICK HERE FOR THE CURRENT SCHOLARSHIPS BEING OFFEREDmrWF Scholarship News Fix

BOBBLE-HEAD MIKE ~ COMING SOON!

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Royal Bobbles took up the challenge to produce a very limited edition Bobble-Head of Mike & Freddy. The proceeds will benefit the mrWF.

DOING WHAT YOU LOVE
FOR FUN AND PROFIT

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Imagine being 20 years old and working at a job that you love and making good money at it. Luis doesn’t have to imagine – he is living his dream. Read his story – HERE.

MIKE & mrWF at SKILLSUSA 2014

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Find photos, videos, and links to all the happenings at this National SkillsUSA Conference – HERE.

FACES OF THE FOUNDATION

AED 2014 Will Coleman Lab edited for PD
mrWF is making a difference - check out more stories from our scholarship recipients.
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  • pat

    Older / I am a older worker and grew up in a diffrent time. I learnd a lot in school we learned basic welding mechanics and carpentry, but then I went to school on the job and in 40 years of working I learnd a lot and got kicked a lot. Now to my point thank you Mr Rowe ( yes that is how you adress ppl you do not know ) for giving the ppl a heads up and chance to learn EVERY job is important and if you can put your name on it when you are done then shame on you I do not care if it is even sweeping the floor. I hope the youn ppl do get something out of this cuze right now I do not see a lot of efort being made to respect the working ppl who make the plant called America work.

  • booksRbetter

    If you were born profoundly Deaf, you will have to battle ignorance. A guy I know was not allowed to learn skydiving in Spokane, WA. Why? Safety reasons. He was trained by the USFS to climb very tall trees. He got a job in Portland, OR as a tree trimmer. When they found out he was Deaf, they refused to let him go up in the trees. He had a friend that talked his boss into considering the deaf guy to work in roofing. A union job. But when they found out they would have to accommodate occasionally with interpreters & video phones, they used the old “safety reasons” not to hire the deaf guy! The Deaf’s own hearing cousin that has his own building painting business used that reason to not hire him. So what does this deaf Moab do? He goes to AZ and has a friend teach him skydiving AFTER he’s already taken up B.A.S.E. Jumping? He’s been doing BASE for 13 years. Trouble with it? No money in it. He needs a promoter! Mike – you?

  • Scott Ilkenhons

    Grants: Thank you Mike Rowe for performing an incredibly awesome and noble crusade. As a “vocational” educator I have watched your presentations to the politicians and it was very moving. It is a great thing to provide scholarships to young people that are very deserving. I have an idea for your next initiative; be a bridge to grants for vocation education. Teachers are doing a LOT to educate these young minds but writing a grant request is done at the twilight hours after all of our other duties are done and therefore both requirements of time and talent are lacking. These grants are used to do our jobs better, provide better and practical experiences for our students that our state government says we can make do without. I want to bring computer programming in to our school, but the $1600 for the curriculum makes the accountants cringe. You have the infrastructure to create a bridge between people who want to give money to education and educators who could really use it.

  • Jim Warren

    Hello mikeroweWORKSfoundation. My organization (Fabricators & Mfrs Association…focused on metal fabrication, tube and welding) would like Mike to speak/keynote at our annual mtg on Feb 26/800am in Orlando. We’d like to make a donation to Mike’s foundation as the speaker fee, and also make a scholarship donation to our foundation Nuts Bolts and Thingamajigs in Mike’s name. Hoping to talk with one of Mike’s team mates here soon about this — I can be reached at jimw@fmanet.org or phone 815-227-8213. Our foundation website is http://www.nutsandboltsfoundation.org. Thank you! Jim Warren, Sr. Director at the FMA.

  • william dennis

    So, I have been in the carpentry/ wood flooring trades since I was 17. 45 now and have owned my own company for 15 years now. I have 5 guys that work for me and we now do only wood floors all over NH , MA and ME with our main work area in downtown Boston. It is hard to find good help. Young people who are serious about learning a skilled trade. What you are doing here is amazing. I want to help support your cause Mike. T shirts, a pledge, and whatever. The work ethic you are promoting is what built this country. Pride, a word most of our younger generations never speak.

    I love reading the articles you write on your site and fyi…I have seen every episode of dirty jobs. My wife and I watch the reruns still. Not sure how I can help other buying some of you stuff but I’m willing to help in any way I can to support and promote your foundation. My email is willdennis@msn.com. please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

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  • Penny Colt

    I am 61 yr old woman die maker, journeyman, generalmotors. It took me 8 years to earn my master, even after taking machine classes at night school before I hired on. They trained me, sent me to really interesting classes at community college, and paid me for my work. It was wonderful and rewarding in so many ways. for one, I learned how to think and solve real problems and fix anything and build anything, anywhere, any time. Later, I became a mommy, and stayed home and homeschooled them. that was a whole ‘nother education! K-12, two children. While they were growing up, we traveled for three years in a horse drawn mobile home. When that didn’t work anymore we graduated to a truck and trailer and proceeded to buy an sell antiques and collectibles all over the country. We did that for about 8 years until we found a piece of property and homesteaded it. we built our log cabin skidding the logs with the horses and sawin them with a woodmiser and putting it together, along with a 30 X 60 storage building, fenced in 5 acres, plowed and planted the hay field – all in one year! We’ve been there 21 years now and still lovin it. Sooo the moral of the story is LOVE YOUR WORK. IT’S ALL YOU’VE GOT! pS. Enjoyed seeing yu with Glen beck Sat. nite.

  • Brock Samson

    Helping people who want to learn a trade… Finally!! Leave it to Mike Rowe.

  • Zach

    I just wanted to say I completely agree with Mike’s view on college and how the expense is ridiculous. I am not going for a blue collar job but have a tremendous respect for those who do. I am going to college to hopefully be a veterinarian and this requires 8 years of college. The undergraduate years are expensive and graduate years are even more expensive. I got to talking to older veterinarians at our clinic and when they would graduate from veterinary school they would not have much debt and they would open a clinic. That is how it worked back 40-50 years ago. Now when veterinarians get out of professional school hey are in so much debt they are just working most of their life to pay off this debt. I know the debt rate is extremely high but am so passionate about being a veterinarian I care more about being in this vocation and putting the debt to the back of my mind. The education system now is so wrong their is no way for a person to go through college and not have debt to pay. Thanks for letting me share my experience with how college prices have raised to ridiculous amounts. I love doing the dirty jobs around the house and have a great respect for the people who work in the background of blue collar jobs. I enjoyed the speech you gave at the 2010 National Boy Scouts Jamboree.

  • Guest

    To whom it may concern (because your website doesn’t point me to anyone in particular!),

    I am a principal of the company Vision Technologies. Since my partners and I founded the company in 2000, we’ve grown to about 350 employees. Vision Technologies is a national IT firm, with a division that specializes in the installation of voice/data cabling, fiber optic cabling, AV systems and security systems. In support of our mission, we are also a BICSI certified training center. (www.bicsi.org) Our BICSI Training Center enables us to train and certify low voltage cabling technicians, many of which we hire post-training. We also hired un-certified folks, and train them as well. (Hire for attitude, train for skills!) The Technician is a skilled trade, and aligns directly with the goals of the foundation.

    I am talking with the BICSI organization about putting together a subsidized training program for the entry level technician, which could be in conjunction with mikeroweWORKS Foundation. My initial thought is to put together one class per quarter, for 12 students, at no charge to them (scholarship!) donating our training room and trainer, donated training materials from BICSI and promoted by your foundation. That would deliver 48 scholarships (value of approximately $1000 each) over a year, and provide skilled training to the participants. I can see this program benefiting all three organizations, through joint marketing, recruiting and promotion.

    Many of our entry level technicians have grown within the company, advancing technically and growing into foreman/project manager/management roles. To be candid, we see this as a great opportunity to market our services, use the class as a recruiting tool, and at the same time, do some good for our community.

    I would like to speak to someone at mikeroweWORKS Foundation about my thoughts for this program.

    On a personal note, you can let Mike know that I got my Eagle letter in 1973, and grew up 15 minutes from him…. :-)

    Sincerely,

    Al Saxon

  • Kathy Hopkins

    Thank you for supporting jobs that don’t require college degrees! There is nothing to be ashamed of by working in a trade. I support your Foundation with great pleasure through Amazon Smiles and ask that others do the same, especially those that gripe about “the way things are in America” right now.

    I was an aircraft mechanic myself for the USAF and an Texas Air National Guard Technician, (full-timer, civilian DOD employee) for 27 years, and the first woman to be hired into as a wage grade employee in the State of Texas. I retired in 2003 as a Chief Master Sergeant in aircraft maintenance. I used to tell my guys that if they were doing their jobs for recognition, they were in the wrong place. Their sense of self-satisfaction had to come from within themselves: Knowing they had done their best, done a job they were proud to sign their name to, and turned over a safe, operational aircraft that they would be willing to fly on themselves. If the sound of the engines “turning and burning” lifted their hearts, they were in the right place!

    Now I raise exhibition geese. It, too, is a dirty, thankless job, much like working in Propulsion. Nothing goes according to plan, Murphy’s Law prevails, and always seem to be behind schedule! Thanks again for all your hard work and support!

  • Dana

    I recruit for over 500 Mechanics and Electronic Technicians each year for a major energy services company headquartered in Houston, Texas. There is definitely a skills gap in this country. My employer is now offering Associate positions for students right out of school who have either a Certificate or Associate’s degree in Automotive/Diesel Technology or Electronics. We provide the best training in the industry. Our Mechanics receive a monthly tool allowance, excellent compensation and amazing benefits. We are visiting as many technical colleges as possible to get the word out about our great opportunities. Thank you MRW!

  • Jessica Beckling

    Can I just say that we have loved every minute of Dirty Jobs in our family. I have two girls, 9 and 8, who are absolutely leaning towards a skilled job when they get older. Your show has opened their eyes to the possibilities and the NEED for people to do those jobs. With that said, I have to bring up an untapped source of labor. Moms. Yes, we have raised our children, possibly even had a career prior to said family, and are now ready to return to the workforce. We are wiser. We are more concerned for this country. We have a lot of skills to offer. We want to contribute and don’t always want to go back to a desk job. So how does a mom who doesn’t want to “blog” (let’s face it, that’s pretty much what a stay at home mom who is ready to work is left with) get a skilled job that she can work at til she’s old and gray?? Just saying, Mike. Moms have done dirty jobs for little people. Now we would like to continue in this new skill set and get this country’s butt off the ground!

  • Jonathan Rudy

    Dear Mike Rowe,
    Please allow me to start off by saying how much I enjoy your work, attitude, and ambitions. You are an evangelist for the American worker and our country has great need for what you are preaching. Keep the fire burning my friend.

    Two of my favorite business entities in the US right now are Tesla Motors and SpaceX; both of which have a great and continued need of skilled labor. SpaceX designs, builds, and flies their own rockets. They have a significant need for skilled technicians and laborers to build and test their rockets, including a wide array of welders and metal fabricators. SpaceX recently broke ground on a new launch facility in south Texas and have a very aggressive launch schedule. This all takes a lot of hard work by a skilled and enthusiastic work force.

    Tesla Motors designs and builds all electric vehicles. They are increasing their production capacity, product line, and building a massive plant to fabricate their own batteries. Like SpaceX, this all takes huge amounts of skilled labor.

    These two companies are bringing pride back to American manufacturing but they need more workers than they are able to find. An orbital welder position has been posted by SpaceX since I was knee high to an ant hill.

    Your foundation’s relationship with Caterpillar got me to thinking about how we can extend the reach of your foundation into other industries. My passion of SpaceX and awe of Tesla Motors immediately sprang to mind.

    I hope that you would consider reaching out to these two companies to help provide them with the well trained, well motivated American labor that they so desperately need.

    Your friend in sweat,

    Jon Rudy
    (Everyone just calls me Rudy)

  • random

    i agree with pretty much every thing you’re saying.. except that it just isn’t how the world is. it’s what it should be. me: served in navy, got out and worked at a top tech company. i pictured how things would be when i retired, and started planning what i’d do with my time there. except, i was laid off. because, you see, the problem isn’t so much at the bottom. it’s at the top. i’ve spent countless hours trying to master different things. all to find out later that they (being employers) don’t want skilled laborers. they want fresh people, that they don’t have to pay as much. they want people that don’t know anything, and that they can lay off at whim, and not let retire, since they want to cut costs.

    just thought i’d put my two cents in here, since most people seem to be thanking you. but, no one’s saying how little choice the youngins have, except to branch out and find other fields to work in.

    i love every concept you put out there Mike. but, maybe… just maybe the grease needs to stop going on the bearings, and needs to go on the people.

    (please don’t think i’m giving negative vibes to you. you’re awesome, always <3)

    -Mike

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  • Wilma Duran

    Dear Mike, I love adore, admire, respect, and enjoy you and your show. You are a true American Hero. Thank you.

  • Chris Crawford

    I have been a master stone mason for 4 decades on two continents (had to cross the pond to teach the Americans how to do it right). I am now ready to pass on the trade/s to the next generation to ensure stone masonry and all the other skilled trades have a future as well as the kids willing to learn to them. To that end I have started my own non-profit called Passing on the Trades at http://www.passingonthetrades.weebly.com.

    For all my fellow tradesmen and women I ask that, if you believe the skilled trades are dying out in our high tech society and want to join me in passing them on to the next generation, that you donate to Passing on the Trades where we are apprenticing at-risk-youth, struggling adults and returning veterans. Mike, if you read this my non-profit could use a grant to train thousands as opposed to giving a grant to individuals. I am on a crusade to pass on the trades – who’s with me?! Thank you for your help fellow tradesmen and women!

  • http://www.passingonthetrades.weebly.com Chris Crawford

    I have been a master stone mason for 4 decades on two continents (had to cross the pond to teach the Americans how to do it right). I am now ready to pass on the trade/s to the next generation to ensure stone masonry and all the other skilled trades have a future as well as the kids willing to learn to them. To that end I have started my own non-profit called Passing on the Trades at http://www.passingonthetrades.weebly.com.

    For all my fellow tradesmen and women I ask that, if you believe the skilled trades are dying out in our high tech society and want to join me in passing them on to the next generation, that you donate to Passing on the Trades where we are apprenticing at-risk-youth, struggling adults and returning veterans. Mike, if you read this my non-profit could use a grant to train thousands as opposed to giving a grant to individuals. I am on a crusade to pass on the trades – who’s with me?! Thank you for your help fellow tradesmen and women!

    • narniagirl55

      Love this poster! It should be up in EVERY SINGLE HIGH SCHOOL! Let’s start celebrating skills and not just scholarships to colleges! what good are a bunch of degrees if you can’t get a job and you’re profoundly deep in debt! Let’s get back to making people that DO THINGS that matter…matter! People are more important than the level of job they do…and the work they do is more important than how much they make. The goal….to do ALL THINGS WELL!

      • http://www.passingonthetrades.weebly.com Chris Crawford

        That’s awesome, thanks for your comment Narniagirl55. That’s a great way to put it. Thank you! Let’s get rockin’.