Home -> Foundation -> Mike Rowe’s New Initiative: Profoundly Disconnected

Mike Rowe’s New Initiative: Profoundly Disconnected

On Labor Day of 2008, fans of Dirty Jobs built mikeroweWORKS, a trade resource center and non-profit foundation designed to reinvigorate the Skilled Trades. Profoundly Disconnected is the next phase of that effort. Mike’s 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the absurd belief that an expensive four-year education is the best path for the most people, and confront the outdated stereotypes that continue to drive kids and parents away from a whole list of worthwhile careers.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.

Visit Profoundly Disconnected

Related stories:

Mike Rowe wants Washington to help close America’s labor gapMike on FOX & Friends

America’s Real Dirty JobsFox Business – Varney & Co.

MSNBC The Cycle – Mike Rowe gets down and dirty for jobs

Fox News Radio – Kilmeade and Friends

INSIDE Edition Article – “Dirty Jobs” Mike Rowe Encourages Students to Learn a Trade. Watch video – HERE

Entertainment Tonight – Mike Rowe Reveals His Best-Selling C.R.A.P.

  • Chris

    As an experienced mechanic for 2 major manufacturers my advice is to stay away. if you prefer to to work 50 to 60 hours a week for substandard pay to your college educated counterparts jump right in. Otherwise get an engineering degree or any degree. The skilled trades are suffering because the people who provide them are unappreciated. Friends 3 years out of college are out earning me doing jobs as analyst and consultants. I dont begrundge them i simply am ashamed of my poor choices and i want others to avoid my mistakes and regrets

  • Michael McGee

    AS a forty year old man i find it hard to get a job with all years experience in job markets. I was told a few years back that i need to go back to school by unemployment. I choosed to go back to get certified for Electronic System Tech I received it honors & 3.82 GPA but it been three years i cant find anything either im over experience or under experience with a 20,000 student loan to pay back but can’t find a job and not consider that the economy has falling down . Now im not even consider for underline jobs…what can i do to find something or anything I made so many changes to advance myself in this career field

  • Deborah G. Bates

    My son Evan is representing New Hampshire in electrical motor controls installation at SkillsUSA. (If you meet him, he will probably tell you I am a bit obsessed with you.) Your talk tonight was terrific. Evan is already working full-time.

    I hope my daughter Raquel gets to see your speech too. She is an honor student beginning her senior year in a couple months. She has been getting pressured to go to college via the guidance department and LOTS of mail. Since I always expected both children to take the vocational/technical route, there is NO college fund. She does well in culinary, but may not continue in it. She admits that she does not feel passionate about any career field right now. Yet, she is planning to go to college. I hope whatever she decides will be a case of “work smart AND hard” and make her happy.

  • Veronica

    Greetings from Uniontown, OH! I had the pleasure of listening to you speak at the SkillsUSA national competition in Kansas City, MO. a couple of weeks ago. Fantastic!! My students were really getting into your message and gave them a renewed sense of pride in what they chose to do at our Career and Tech school. I graduated from high school in 1977 and certainly remembered the “Work Smart not Hard” poster! I hadn’t thought of that poster for years. I would love to buy at least 10 of the new posters, “Work Hard AND Smart” for our Career & Tech school – I want to put them in every lab, counselor office, Admin. office. How do I go about purchasing these posters with your words of wisdom? Thank you! Vbb

  • Kevin Weber

    Just watched Mike on Bill Maher.

    Best guest he has had, a real guy who talked clearly and intelligently.

    Not a political hack full of hot air trying to impress themselves.


  • Gwen Piland

    I saw you on Bill Maher and was so happy to hear about this website and the work you are doing. I see this at work in my own field, which is alcohol/drug counseling. It does not pay as well as other professions, but does pay a good wage and there is a good future in it if one works. Because of the clientele, many young folks will not consider it, but unless someone addresses this problem, we will be overrun with alcoholics/drug addicts who CAN’T work. This is a major problem with the American labor force even now. There are many thousands of jobs in the oil fields here in Texas and the southwest, but one has to be breathing and pass a drug test in order for them to be employed.

  • Gymmie

    Was glad to see you on Maher talking about the value of hard dirty work. As a trucking company owner I see not only lots of jobs go unfilled but also great attrition. Part of the reason people leave trucking is that the pay doesn’t always equal the amount of time worked because most truckers get paid by the mile not the hour. And, it is very hard work.

    Keep talking about this Mike. Hard work is good for the soul.

  • Shannon Marie Conley

    At forty six starting a career without an education or the funds to afford one seemed impossible. Through volunteering in my community I was able to build my self esteem back up to a level that let me see above the rim. After obtaining my EMT certificate, I wanted more, for me and for my patients. It gave me the confidence to continue my education with Ridley Lowell, a local Technical Medical Institute. After I obtain my CMA I am planning on working my way into my future. No minimum wage will do. I thank God for mikeroweWORKS everyday. I cannot imagine the dismal alternative of my yesterday now. I have two hands. They are yours.

  • Joe Potter

    Mike, I’ve watched you through the years on Discovery mostly for my own entertainment. I have finally discovered what you are all about. I wish you were my guidance counselor in high school. I’m 23 now, and I work my a** off in a warehouse every day. And at the end of every day I drag my butt to college where I strive to get a degree in Engineering (out of my own d*)m pocked too btw). And now I wonder where life will take me in the silly miss-educated world of today. I am glad to see that someone is voicing these issues. I work hard every day so that i will not have to work hard when I’m older, and now I think, am I doing it right? Once I’m through college I’ll probably be so board I will quit and go right back to lumping boxes out of trailers day in and day out. God help us. Am I doing it right? My counselors always say, take the loan, get the education. You’ll have it all my son…..

  • Mr.Bouthot ( Mike )

    Mike was so glad to see you at Skills So many people dont even know what it is loved what you said about Equipment Techs we need to get that word out in Massachusetts .. Ever Visit Mass. ? We are in the south central area Hour from Boston. We get dirty in this work..Mr.B..h

  • Kathleen Roche’

    Dear Mike,

    Please read the following link and see how common sense regarding education and our country is not dead just yet! http://portjefferson.patch.com/groups/schools/p/comsewogue-supe-help-us-with-state-testing-or-remove-me

    Our school superintendent has made quite a noise just by expressing his outrage over the nonsense the NYS education department has forced upon us. I think this does relate to the message you are pursuing here.

    I believe that we do a child a disservice when we insist on extensive school testing, and that it will lead to higher education. We are actually harming our children by making them think they are not worthy for higher education if they fail these tests, thereby insinuating that blue collar jobs are less than worthy of pursuit.

    Some of the most brilliant people I’ve met are carpenters, mechanics and welders. A good one thinks with the basics of engineering – despite not having a college degree. My father (James C. Higgins) has been the proudest example of thinking and doing, despite consciously deciding NOT to pursue a degree like his parents did. He was a disappointment to his family, but not to me or my mother.

    He remains my fervent supporter (despite not finishing my bachelor’s degree), and knows that thinking smart, and enjoying your work, are much better than pursuing an ideal that has a false sense of security in this day and age.

    I hope I do as well with my son, who is now the product of an auto underwriter (22 yrs) and a 1st grade teacher with 2 masters degrees (18 yrs). They both know how intelligent I am, and don’t need a diploma to show it.

    I hope you take a few moments to read about another great man, Dr. Joseph Rella: Superintendent, Comsewogue SD – Port Jefferson Station, Long Island, NY.

    Thank you for your time.


    Kathleen Roche’

  • David Allen

    You are too, too right. I encouraged my kids to get a set of skills in order to succeed in life. I sent one to UTI (which, by the way, I no longer recommend) and he gained a good set of values and a real work ethic – he is now a welder in a fabrication shop. Not what UTI trained him for, but that was where he made the connection. He is not paid enough, and is now working on certification as a welder pipefitter. He will succeed. We offered him a ticket to college, but he was just not cut out for the kind of work that that usually leads to. Not that he is dumb, by any means; in his line of work creativity and just plain figuring out how to make a new product is what it’s all about. HE can fabricate just about anything in metal that you might want, and that’s not dumb. I would happily challenge a college grad to try his job for a day – good luck with that.

    I’ve always told my sons that there is no shame in getting your hands dirty – just make sure and learn enough that when you get old you won’t have to do heavy physical labor.

    Both my kids learned about cars by fixing their own, neither will be stranded by any simple vehicle failure.

    Good on you, Mike – let’s get the word out. Your program is a lot more worthy of some government support than most of the junk our tax dollars get spent on!

  • Modernist Architect

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for championing the rising cost of college.

  • Modernist Architect

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for championing the rising cost of college.

  • Modernist Architect

    Folks may be interested in my book, The College Question: Why college (as we know it) isn’t working for the Millennial generation. It’s available at Amazon, B&N, and local booksellers worldwide. goo.gl/4OFISn

  • Modernist Architect

    Folks may be interested in my book, The College Question: Why college (as we know it) isn’t working for the Millennial generation. It’s available at Amazon, B&N, and local booksellers worldwide. goo.gl/4OFISn