Life After ‘Dirty Jobs’: Busting Myths About Blue-Collar Work
AOL’s David Schepp talked to Mike about what he is doing now that he is no longer shooting Dirty Jobs and about his continued support of the skilled trades.
Mar 3rd 2013
As fans of “Dirty Jobs” know, the host of the cable TV show, Mike Rowe, has been out of a job since last fall, when the series aired its 169th and final episode. The program’s end, after eight seasons, was bittersweet for Rowe, who called it “the most honest show in the history of reality TV.”
Rowe, 50, says that he feels good about his current state of unemployment. “I got way busier than I thought I’d ever be with ‘Dirty Jobs,’ ” he tells AOL Jobs. One of his current projects is a website, mikeroweWORKS.com, which is designed to be a resource center for people looking for more information about careers in trades. In a sense, it carries on the mission of the show, by providing information about the jobs that many Americans would rather not or simply won’t do — and where and how to get them.
Though some 12 million Americans are unemployed, roughly 3 million jobs go unfilled in the U.S. because too few people have the skills necessary to do jobs such as plumbing, welding, electrical, construction and related occupations. “It’s a symptom of a bigger problem,” Rowe says. “It’s the way we look at work. It’s the way we approach our vocation and the degree to which we assign our identity to what we do.”
Simply put: Too few people are pursuing trades because the work isn’t glamorous. What’s more, Americans’ views on education — that everyone should pursue a four-year college degree — further stigmatize blue-collar work. But Rowe says education isn’t only found in ivy-covered halls. It’s also found in the everyday lives and occupations of the nation’s laborers.
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