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Talking to Glenn Beck About Hard Work & ‘The Worst Advice in the History of the World’

By Erica Ritz
October 23, 2013

Mike Rowe, widely-known from the hit TV show “Dirty Jobs” and a series of Ford commercials, appeared on The Glenn Beck Program Wednesday to discuss his efforts with the mikeroweWORKS Foundation in challenging “the absurd belief that a four-year degree is the only path to success.”

“We’re lending money we don’t have, to kids who will never be able to pay it back, for jobs that no longer exist,” he explained, echoing what he told TheBlaze TV’s Andrew Wilkow earlier this month. “That’s crazy, right? That’s what we’ve been doing for the last forty years.”

Rowe’s motivation for the work largely began with what he described as “the worst advice in the history of the world” – a poster he saw in high school challenging students to “work smart, not hard.” The picture of the person working “smart” was holding a diploma, and the person working “hard” looked miserable performing some form of manual labor.

“Today, skilled trades are in demand. In fact, there are 3 million jobs out there that companies are having a hard time filling. So we thought that skilled trades could do with a PR campaign,” he said with a smile. “So we took the same idea, went ahead and vandalized it. Work smart AND hard.’”

Beck said he believes in what Rowe is doing, and concluded the program by giving him a check from his Charity, Mercury One.

Read the complete article – The Blaze: Mike Rowe of ‘Dirty Jobs’ Speaks About Hard Work & How Many Are Following ‘The Worst Advice in the History of the World’


  • Curt Pangracs

    Awesome! I think if the starting, average, and highest salaries for these jobs are made clear to kids starting in elementary school, and guidance counselors who have a connection to their communities actually get involved, kids can start getting connected to trades earlier, quite possibly producing even better tradesmen and women! I’ve always told my kids to work hard in school, but if it doesn’t work out, they can always go to a good trade school. Boy, was I wrong in that thought process!

  • Chris Reddy

    Mike – saw this in rochester, ny in the parking lot. Thought you would appreciate it. Btw – I am giving the poster I ordered to a guidance counselor friend of mine.

  • IndieAnie

    Mike, Thanks for all that you do! I have 3 kids: 24, 19, and 17. All three went to the same public high school, the youngest, our daughter, is a Senior. We learned early on, through meetings at the school that if you do not aspire to higher education, and a school that makes the high school look good for you being accepted there, forget any support for any other path. That includes an education in high school that is less prestigious than the Honors diploma. Ironically, located on campus is the J. Everett Light Career Center. This career center is set up for intensive teaching of skills and trades, and the assortment is vast and varied. Other schools in our city bus their kids to the career center to take classes that their home schools do not offer. One would think that the high school would promote such a facility. Sadly, it is the consolation school.
    My eldest son learns differently than the high school was willing to teach. He is very smart, and hates school due to his experience. He worked for us for 10 years in our family owned restaurant. We sold it this Spring and he is working out what to do now. All of his friends that went to college have serious debt and are taking jobs that they never thought they would have to. My younger son finished basic training in September and is stationed here in the continental US, looking at his options for when his contract is up. My daughter knows what she wants to do after college and is on the fast track to going, she will earn an IB diploma in the Spring. I feel that these three fabulous individuals give me an interesting perspective. When you are informed in parent meetings during the middle school years that you need to plan your path to college right then(no alternatives), you understand just how big this machine has become. I love the motivation and movement that you have going. I think that the more people know about it, the less of a grip the machine of universities will have. That will be an interesting shift.
    I will keep up with what you are up to, so I can talk it up to my friends and family. I will also purchase a poster for the career center at the high school, I would love to see it hanging there.
    Never lose momentum Mike, this is too important, know that we support you!

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