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“Today, skilled trades are in demand. In fact, there are over 3 million jobs out there that companies are having a hard time filling.” ~ Mike Rowe


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Dec 10 2014 Video CAT

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  • Pingback: Mike Rowe, I want to take your S.W.E.A.T. Pledge | Matthew Grant McDaniel

  • Caleb Clardy

    I earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 1999. I had seen an episode or two of dirty jobs before my Fall 2009 NESA EagleLetter came in the mail. Then I was hooked.

    The Eagle Award was the perfect primer for Mike in terms of ethics and just plain willingness to fall in and “do the job”; whatever it may be.

    I myself have worked several “Dirty Jobs” over my 33 years; from oilfield roustabout at age 15 to “detailing” (a euphemism for cleaning hopelessly mucked out cars in hopes to make them worth even $100 more dollars for sale at an auto auction) cars. Also, there were other “dirty jobs” I have worked, like Telemarketing, which was so much “dirtier” in a different sense.

    Probably the DIRTIEST (non physical) JOB I have ever done was teaching high scool kids Spanish. Whew!

    I have always wanted to pursue voice acting and I was a DJ at Texas Tech while working on my Master’s degree in Linguistics. Plus, I have always loved cartoons and was blown away to see Nancy Cartwright speak. Mike has even done cartoon bits! This is yet another reason why I admire Mike and his dedication to his God given talents.

    I sure hope he reads this…and give me……my next Dirty Job!

  • Beth Mitchell

    My daughter is interested in becoming a farrier, aka someone who shoes horses, do you do scholarships for that like of work/schooling?

    • Guest

      Beth, I searched “farrier training scholarships in America” and came up with a very large list of scholarships and possible financial aid. Too many to list here. Just give it a try. Also contact your local farrier or large animal vet. Best of luck to your daughter.

  • http://twinlakedogsitting.weebly.com remipuppy0927

    seriously people whats the big deal about scouts and whatever! nobody cares!

    • Greg Fritsch

      Your obviously not a disciplined individual.

    • SomethingSimple

      Mike Rowe was an Eagle Scout. When a Scout becomes and Eagle Scout there is great ceremony, very few boys who started as scouts become an Eagle. I have a number of Eagle Scouts in my family, I’ve gone to a few ceremonies. . . Guess which Eagle Scout’s letter, congratulating this new Eagle Scout on his accomplishments, is read during these ceremonies I’ve gone to. . .

  • Kay Dunaway

    Mike can you PLEASE help my ex find a job…..He is truly desperate and will take just about any thing he can get. He has a DOD secret clearance, is 57 years old and works in telecommunications. I can tell you much more if you are interested…..he is not looking for a large salary….just a job to keep him going…..

    • Louise Outland

      Hi my name is Louise Outland. I am with Human Potential Consultants. We are a government contracted agencyhave Crane, Rigger and High Voltage job opportunities in San Diego, China Lake (Ridgecrest) and Ventura, we are currently recruiting for. Please give me a call at 310 756 1560

  • G. Alton

    Mike, I must say, you are a big role model for alot of people my age (21). I dought you would feel like getting into politics, but I don’t personally know you so maybe you would. Either way I think that this nation could use a great man such as yourself, in a place of power. If we could get a president in office with the work ethic and the understanding of the blue collar working man, our nation could turn around from the spiral we have found ourselves in over the last decade. Now days it’s all power and money in office, not truely looking out for others and influenceing people to want to work and provide for themselves. Cause even the smallest jobs are what makes American life the best this world’s ever seen. In short, Mike Rowe for president. If I may say so lol..

    • J.C Smith

      I have often wished for Mike to go into politics–formally. I understand why he would be reluctant to do so(not that he is reluctant, I have no clue). He IS involved in politics, though, and perhaps he is utilizing his particular skill set to the absolute fullest potential. He may be doing more for our country with MRW than he could as a congressman or senator– even president.

  • Andrew Myers


    I am a 14 year Army vet with 38 months of downrange time under my belt. I recently separated from the military honorably in January of this year and I have applied to so many positions that it is ridiculous. I was a Chemical Operations Specialist in the army and I have a large amount of training in leadership, Hazardous materials (HAZMAT TECH), and admin/HR. I have a wife and two beautiful young boys as one just joined the Under six league here in Arkansas, a league in which I go voluntold to coach with absolutely no experience but it has been fun to learn with the children as I teach. Arkansas unfortunately has a small amount of specialized jobs in my field and my unemployment benefits have been exhausted. I have had to resort to actually applying for welfare type programs which to be frank, that makes me feel like a total dirtbag. I do have a few problems that have been exacerbated during my enlistment but I am extremely willing to work hard and do whatever it takes to succeed. I am at my wits end and I really don’t know what to do. I need something to support my family.
    Thank you for reading and have a good day,
    Andrew Myers

    • Cyndia Rios-Myers

      Hi Andrew. Unfortunately, I have know of no positions in Arkansas. However, I did start a Facebook group called “From Boots to Wing Tips,” which is a page to help military folks in their transition to the civilian world. In it, we mostly discuss what we need to think about once we hit the outside world, and what we can do while we are still in the military to make that transition easier. We also love to hear from people such as yourself, who have experience in the outside world. If you are on Facebook, please look us up. Thanks. Cyndia Rios-Myers

      • Randy Willmon

        @ Andrew, Thanks for your service! Keep on plugging with the VA and the VRC if you qualify( I’m sure you do).
        @ Cyndia, Thanks for you support…. Unfortunately the support we get is, a website, celebrities plugging the value of our skills, and endless briefings that “Help us transition into the civilian sectors”. We don’t need another briefing, or job fair that tells us to go online and fill out an application. We need hiring authorities to show up, look us in the eye and tell us yes or no, what degree we need. You give us a target and we will move heaven and earth to not just meet it, but send it into orbit.
        An element Mike is missing is, “The secret”, We meet requirements on job postings and then some, but hear nothing back. Point; I made a profile on Caterpillar, they had an awesome testimonial from employs that had served. Submitted my profile data and resume. Then called the HR department to get any contact info for Vet counselors,( Shown on their vet page, no contact info) for the intern program and Dealer Tech program. The HR rep told me that was sensitive information and could not release it. Really?!? You mean to tell me, you’ll pay Mike Rowe to make a few commercials, set up a web page for the Vets, but when they try to use it, that’s classified. People, that is dirty.
        You may not understand us, or what we have done, you may even cringe to think about what our hands have endeavored to do, but remember this. We did it willingly for you, yes we bite, No good sheep bog doesn’t, but we will face lions for those we have not met, just to keep the lions roar from your dreams.
        You want to really support the troops, hire us, we work an honest days work for fair pay. We don’t need your thanks, or cup of coffee, magnets on your car do nothing for us, that is all for you.
        Andrew, I Never give up. NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK!

    • Rob Trivetti

      Hi Andrew,

      I don’t have an answer to everything you described in your message but I can offer some guidance regarding promoting leadership experience in the civilian world. Realize that unless that word is used on a job description, you probably don’t want to either.

      Here’s why: Most won’t understand what you mean nor how it would benefit them by hiring you. Should be obvious, right? It isn’t. You will shut down interviews if you use that word especially if you say it multiple times.

      What should you do instead? You have to camouflage that word by using examples of things you’ve done.

      Your resume should break out 2 different sections under each job you list: responsibilities and accomplishments. Responsibilities will read just like the job description. The accomplishments should be written in what I call Story Bullets.

      Each story bullet should include 3 elements. Describe what you did that was awesome, how or why you did it, and why it mattered to your organization. Usually these things will be saved time, money, lives, or prevented the loss of time, money or lives.

      I’m prior enlisted and a West Point grad. This week I interviewed at a big tech company in Silicon Valley. Despite having worked for LinkedIN and Walmart Global eCommerce (very relevant to the job I was interviewing for), one interviewer had a preconception that because I went to West Point, I would not be a fit with the company culture because I would naturally be too rigid and bossy. This is an example of why talking about leadership can often play into the preconceptions folks have about military experience.

      I’d suggest that you keep in mind that unless the word leadership is commonly used for the role you are targeting, do not speak the word but “lead” the interviewer through your experience with examples that illustrate initiative, sound decision-making, accountability, motivating small teams, etc.

      I wish you all the best.

    • Dave Hunter

      Andrew, are you looking in the HazMat arena? I know there are dozens on indeed.com. You may have to travel but these companies pay per diems. And, with your background, I would check out OSHA.gov and investigate either their 500 couse in construction or 501 in general industry. These certs with a background in hazwoper, it should be a breeze. The course takes a week and costs sbout $800.I would investigate indeed.com. Click on Advanced and when the screen comes up, type ” hazmat” in keywords. You can limit the search to around where you live or leave tjis blank and you’ll see all of the jobs in the US. Also limit the seach to 7 days ot 15 days or you’ll get hundreds of past posts with current ones mixed in. I’ve been working as a temp/contract construction environmental, safety, and health manager since I lost my job in 2008. BTW- I’m in my 60′s without a degree. You can expect $50k to $100k. Really, I’m not kidding if you’re willing to travel. Being on the road is tough on the family but most projects are short. You can get home maybe on the weekends. I traded some family time for a lot more money than I can find in Ohio. Good Luck!

  • Justin Archey

    Mr. Rowe: I really do look up to you for guidance, entertainment and wisdom. That makes what I feel I need to say so much harder…

    I’m 35 years old and I did exactly what I was told to do: right out of high school I got a full time job selling tools for Sears, Roebuck & Co. (was quiet good at it). I went to college, got my A.A., then my B.S. and M.S. in Criminal Justice. I got a job as a 911 dispatcher for a police department here in my county, and while I love the work it’s burned me out and I feel ready for a change.

    Problem is I have no skills. None. I know computers but not as well as many college graduates these days or even high school students. I don’t know mechanics, or plumbing, or electrical work, or engineering…I’m a voice on the phone and on the radio when someone calls for help.

    Someone asked me recently what would I want to do if I had to do it all over again, and I really thought about it. I’d love to work on railways: working the lines, fixing and maintaining them rail system of this great country. I’d love to work around and even on the locomotives that pull unbelievable loads of cargo from one side of this great nation to the other.

    My issue is: I’m 35 years old. I did what I was told to do, and now because of that I’m buried up to the chin in debt. Any return to the classroom has to be on my own dime, and I don’t know if you know what the average wage of a 911 dispatcher is, but it’s rather low. I live a modest lifestyle, but even with all that, the only way I could go back to school to re-tooled into engineering, mechanics or electrical work would be on more student loans.

    Someone from your generation owes mine and my nephew’s (he’s 21 and going to university for Computer Science – I have more faith with him: he’s grown up on technology due to his handicap) a big fat apology for selling us this false dream. I know it’s not your fault, and you’re doing a great job getting Americans to find new paths for their lives….but what do we do when we’re stuck in these holes with no way out?

    • payton babcock

      im so sorry! Your story is so touching. I have actually lived in a homeless shelter the first 2 years of my life. plz answer these
      1)do you love to read?
      2)do you have interesting life stories (other than that)?
      3)do you read in extra time/would you read in extra time?
      if you answered yes then you should be an author! you would get good pay-days and enjoy it! you are actually really good at wording things and your wording of ur story AND story is touching!!! you could also stay home a lot! My mom got a job as one and now we live in a real house! a pretty nice one, actually! you could never tell! (im 12 btw)

    • Mac

      I’d recommend a trade, personally. If you’re going into the computer field, pursue programming. IT, which is usually computer/network/software support, has been destroyed by H1B visas. I’m 32 and going to finish an associates IT degree I started a long time ago (my dad screwed me by moving my family when I was 21 and in college), just because I only have one year left. If I had to do it all over again I would have gone into a trade.

      See if you can get an apprenticeship.

    • Casey McMann

      The Union Pacific may be the answer for you, Justin. I live in North Platte, Nebraska, home to the world’s largest rail yard. In order to work for Union Pacific (there are other locations other than North Platte or even Nebraska) you pass some general & physical exams. I don’t personally work for them, but I have family that does and I think you would be surprised at how well you can do in this field without having to go back to school. From what I understand it is an on-the-job training situation.
      There is another competing company, Burlington Northern, but I don’t have any insight into how they hire.
      I wish you the best of luck and hope that you are able to find what you are searching for :)

    • Christopher Lynn Park

      Hey, Justin. let me encourage you that you can learn a skill that will help you become more marketable. In the tech industry’s choice between college-educated, and self-taught, “they’ll go with self-taught every time,” says my friend Jay Brown who’s worked in Engineering for a big name company. You don’t have to to into tech, like this guy http://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/never-say-i-am-not-technical-again.html who built a robot. You can get a welding kit cheap on craigslist or ebay. If you ask around, you may, “Know someone who knows someone,” that can give you the skills you need to become a certified welder or auto mechanic. HVAC is something to go to school for. Perhaps networking with friends and family or calling around various places asking to, “shadow,” various jobs may help. http://www.quora.com/With-₹65000-approx-1050-what-can-I-buy-or-invest-in-that-can-be-a-source-of-income-for-me .

      • Brett Starks

        Hey Christopher, would you by chance be able to direct me to these companies that are choosing self-taught over college-educated? I’m in no way trying to say what you’re saying isn’t true, but I am a self-taught, non-university educated person in computer programming and IT and have had VERY little success due to not getting any “formal” training. Does your friend Jay Brown have any potential leads?


  • https://www.facebook.com/greg.herren1 Greg Herren

    Greetings Mr. Rowe,

    I am a 51 yr old inventor/engineer of sorts. It is really difficult to find jobs at my age where you can get along with people and I am a bit eccentric when it comes to this! If you would like to know more about what I can do please check out my facebook page. I am trying to start my own business designing products! I have built from scratch all of my own equipment such as 2 3D printers, a Laser engraver and a CNC milling machine! I have a difficult time selling my self. If you could help me get pointed in the proper direction that would be fantastic!




  • Lesley Abraham Rutz

    Greetings Mike!
    I teach at Tri-Tech Skills Center in beautiful Kennewick, WA. I do not teach the skills part, but I teach the other classes that our students need to graduate such as math, history, etc.
    Tri-Tech is an awesome skills center and our teachers are outstanding in their trades and as instructors. Our students are amazing and very motivated for the most part. I was hoping to get you to come speak to our students and staff to encourage them to continue to work hard.
    I know that you must get many such invitations, but, “The answer is no if you don’t ask.”
    So, What do you say?
    Thank you for your time and attention.
    Lesley Rutz
    Tri-Tech Skills Center

  • Robert Brumbelow

    I used to be the kind of worker who was first in and last out. If I finished my work early, I took on more responsibility. If the work day ended and there was still work to be done, I stayed on and finished it. I was promoted quickly and had a very good paying job split between training, support and management. Then a congenital brain condition sidelined me 12 years ago. I tried every standard treatment, put myself out as a test subject, no joy. However neuroscience has come a long way over the past decade + and it looks like there are a pair of treatments that could get me back on the road to recovery.

    Given the above and my age (early 40′s) and presuming I am unable to get the funds together to be retrained. Is there a market for men who have a strong work ethic, big loyalty, learn quickly and can train others? I am praying my funding for treatment will come through (at the least) and my doctors will release me back to work. Where would I even start? I have lived globally and would relocate anywhere, though with my parents approaching 70 and 85 respectively it would be nice to be on the same continent.

    • Rami Rustom

      try USIC: http://www.usicllc.com

      my brother is a locator there and he’s loving it.

      and they do their own training, so one day you could be a trainer.

  • Cheryl Niño

    I saw you on the Queen Latifah show this morning and you gave me hope for the future. My husband worked for the city we live in for 24 years and 3 months before being laid off in 2009. He was an engineering technician II for the public works department. He began his career in the mechanical engineering field in Michigan. We moved out of Michigan in 1980 because of it’s bad economy and high unemployment rate. We settled in a small town in New Mexico with one engineering company. My husband went in to see what kind of engineering they did while I waited in the car. After a while he came out with one of the company owners, opened the trunk and showed him one of his drawings from his mechanical engineering job and was hired on the spot. He is 56 years old and I am afraid he will not find another job in this field and it is all he has ever done professionally. He has taught himself automotive repair over the years and is meticulous. He is willing to take a position outside of his field of experience but because of his extensive experience in the engineering field and his age, he is not getting any offers for any job. He was raised in a large family and began working when he was a child, picking beans when he wasn’t in school, to help the family. We live on less than $1500. 00 a month and use our local food bank for our food. I am thankful for all the help we are receiving but I hope for the day I can give back to my community. I am discouraged by the amount of time he has been out of work and wonder if he will ever be employed again. He gets depressed that he cannot support us but he keeps trying. Can you recommend a field of employment he could be retrained in? Please help us to be self sufficient again so that we can give back to others.

  • avengeflipper

    My son is very bright. He’s 19. He graduated 10th in his class and had a 23 on his ACT. He was planning to join the military, but it fell through when he broke his wrist during future soldier (pre enlistment) training. He’s not really interested in college. He is interested in things like tiny houses and that sort of thing. He can use his wrist, but apparently, not to the degree the Army wants him to. What he loves is building and fixing things around the house. I know of very few 19 year olds who ask for a drill for Christmas.

    We have no idea where to start. I’m a teacher and my husband works on computers. This is out of our roundhouse. We live in Ohio. Where would we start for something like this.

  • Stephen L Staik

    Mike, I have 8 years experience working in Higher Education after June 30 I was layoff. I have BA in Human Services and MS in College Student Affairs. Right now I work three jobs Driver for Dominos pizza which I hate ! Other two jobs are Working for city at golf course as golf attendant and Working for Medical Transport company as a driver ( which is willing pay for EMT, Paramedic or other mean better yourself for the company). Right now I am looking for some real life experience where I can apply it for my future career goals.

  • Kristal White

    I’m trying to help my husband, Jason White, find a job. He has a Bachelor’s degree in religious studies and has been a waiter most of his life. For the last several years he’s been a balloon artist at parties and Santa for hire during the holidays. In other words, he’s a wonderful guy…but he has no skills that will ever get him a job. He looks like a joke on paper. Physically he’s strong as an ox, he’s great with math and precision. He loves to get things “just right” and he’s really good at following instructions. He works great with other people and enjoys getting sweaty and dirty and working with his hands and feeling like he’s accomplished something at the end of the day. He’s had the opportunity to tinker with wood-working and mold-making while working with me at a haunted house. He would love to learn welding and metal work and/or wood-working. He would love to build things, but he doesn’t have experience and doesn’t know where to start. We can’t afford to send him to a college or tech school, and he’d rather be working anyway. We are severely in debt and just scraping by. Is there any sort of paid apprenticeship or training he could do? He doesn’t care where he has to go and he’s lived out of his car before. He would be grateful for any guidance. He’s 40 years old trying to start over. Please help.

  • puzzled1

    Mike: I just want to give you a “high five” for the inspiration and role model you provide to our young people . . . if they have any desire to look. FYI, I am retired (former banker, executive at two manufacturing companies and for a few years even “doubled up” to become a deckhand/diveboat captain). I now teach (amongst other classes) personal finance for high school students on a volunteer basis here in Columbia, SC.

    The first few weeks of the personal finance class I write on the board one of the 14 items in your S.W.E.A.T. pledge. I spend about 10 – 15 minutes discussing either my experiences or drawing from the classes own experiences in each area.

    I also use the video’s you have so generously provided to open the eyes of my students to consider the opportunities of going directly into a trade – rather than spending money they (or their parents don’t have) to go to college.

    Keep up the good work, Mike.

    PS: There are some elements for a great TV show in tracing the opportunities in the “trades”.

    C. Suggs
    Columbia, SC

  • Dar

    My son n law to be has a Bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineering he received while in the Airforce. Problem getting a private sector job as they call him pigeon holed as he worked in warfare electronics engineering. The guy is brilliant by my standards and is a great carpenter and has worked with tile with his father. Started to go to medical school, but on hiatus now. Another story all together. Just thought I would throw that story out there. Thanks for reading.

  • Rahlf43

    Mike , I am an older American, not old, just older and just bought your dumb book with blank pages. My Mom and Dad graduated from high school and got jobs, Dad made nails and wire for ten years, then taught men to fly in WW2, then flew every kind of plane Eastern Airlines had until he aged out ( government regulation). Mom did office work for awhile then assumed the drudgery of raising three boys and a girl,( she was a Master at this), all are college grads, with degrees up to PhD. All of us had dirty jobs as we made it up the ladders, mowed lawns, fixed cars, pool boy, fry cook, bag boy, retail clerk,and many others. every job was a joy, every job taught us another lesson. Every job was good.I work three jobs now and they are great!

    I don’t know what it will take to get the country back to thinking the way it used to but thank you for pointing your dirty finger in the right direction. My kid has the work ethic, she has been working since fifteen and continues passionately doing what she has to to raise two kids and run a family with her husband who works hard too.

    I fear that it may take a financial or other calamity to get peoples’ minds back to a logical state and appreciate work for its innate value and joy. If someone can really say that they enjoy sitting on their butt collecting Government checks then I can really say that they have lost their humanity, much less their dignity.

    it appears that this will be a long haul done by individuals educating other individuals and hopefully the word will spread. You certainly got my attention and it is being spread as far as I can yell it

    Thank you

  • Jacob Wilkinson

    Mike I am in need of a job but I made some poor choices about a year ago and lost my license now with this over my head I find it hard to find a job I can get my license back when I have the money but also my most recent problem was in an interview and my last job I was told I was over confident not a know it all but I was over confident and I need to be more submissive I don’t understand that maybe you can elaborate on that for me and hopefully someone or you on here can give me a direction on how to overcome this situation which is becoming over whelming for me please and thank and if anyone on here has an idea it would be appreciated.

    Please and thanks

    • Rami Rustom

      what do you think you said that they found “over confident”? can you walk us through how the interview went, like word for word?

      what questions did they ask you and how did you answer?

  • moleshired

    Great to see a site like this. I have heard of the many jobs available to those with special training, yet I have not seen a list of those jobs or training programs. I am 55 and interested in acquiring the training necessary, to perhaps, be placed in one of these positions. Anyone that can provide a listing of these opportunities will have my gratitude.

  • Kathy Price

    I’m writing in regard to my twenty year old son, at a young age he was diagnosed with ADHD, this made schooling a large challenge for him, getting one on one attention, and smaller classes were basically impossible at the time he was in school. Often being told he was a waste of space, and that he shouldn’t be wasting the schools time, against my wishes he ended up dropping out when he was legally able to do so. He has been able to obtain part time/temporary work, but never having a set goal for the future. He is very hard working, always on time, doesn’t lay out of work, and has great work ethics. Unfortunately he has been put into the position where he has to financially help our family due to me being on disability and being unable to work. I would love to see him have some hope for the future, with not only a stable job, but a stable income as well, and hopefully having a positive look toward the future. I hope to hear back from you.
    A Concerned Mother.

    • Rami Rustom

      your son wasn’t interested in what school was teaching. that’s normal. it’s not a brain deficiency. i mean, don’t you remember how boring the stuff was?

      he should have been learning what he is interested in, not what other people think he should be interested in.

      maybe he should consider working for USIC (http://www.usicllc.com) as a locator. no college or certification necessary. they train for the job. your description of your son seems to be the type of people USIC hires. (my brother works there so i have an idea about what kind of people they hire)

  • april

    Used to be, you could join the military and learn a trade to support a family on. Now, those jobs are done by contractors (for twice the money to the company with no repercussions for doing bad work). Interestingly enough, the training you thought you were going to get is barely enough to begin working in that field. When you get out, blue collar workers are competing with legal and illegal immigrants for the few manufacturing jobs that haven’t been shipped overseas. White collar workers compete with H1b visas and outsourcing. Add to that, I can’t think of many jobs these days that allow one person to raise a family much less own a home and a vehicle.

    I put 15 years in with the military and successfully attended three different schools – I was a Mess Management Specialist (cook) in the Navy. I jumped to the Air Force because the fields were so limited for women in the Navy, and became an F16 AFCS technician. I was the first one in that shop and the guys didn’t exactly welcome me so I switched over to Firefighting. I figured I could earn acceptance by getting through the academy. Not so much so I tried again, going in to the Intel field. I’ve been licensed as an EMT, Hazmat certified, wild land firefighting certs… so many others I could pretty much paper my bathroom with them. I’ve been a bartender, waitress, and civilian cook. I was tired of being away from my kids on nights, weekends, and holidays…..

    So…I did ‘the American Dream’ – against all odds (missing most of my k-12 education while going in and out of the foster care system) I paid my own way (still paying the 30K in student loans) through college as a single parent (while also working a full time job and being the Guard still) to not only ensure my future but also give my kids a higher bar to hit.

    So here I am, 50 years old, looking for contracting work since my field has gone to part time contracts instead of full time careers. The phone interviews are getting hard to get, the money discussed is less than I made 20 years ago, straight out of college with no experience. What was the point? I can’t get a job that doesn’t require a degree because I’m ‘overqualified’.

    I’ve tried everything and gotten no where. I’ve never taken a hand out, never been given a hand up I hadn’t earned.

    We used to be able to raise a family of 2.5 kids, own a house, and drive a car, on one salary. Now people have 3 or 4 room mates just to pay the rent or hold down multiple part time jobs to put food on the table.

    Executive level salaries are 100s of times higher than the average worker. Jobs are being outsourced or H1b visa workers are imported while Americans are on unemployment or welfare.

    There’s no such thing as company benefits or pensions – unless you’re in the government or the top of the top of a corporation.

    I guess my point is, it’s not just blue collar workers having a hard time – I’ve been both and they each have their own issues.Until we begin to take care of our own – understand that America is made of every culture, race, creed, nationality, and belief system in the world – this is “our own” – we will never be able to recover.

    Please don’t jump to the assumption that I have issues with immigrants or other cultures – one of my favorite things about the military was having the chance to live in other countries and learn their cultures. There’s just nothing wrong with taking care of our own first.

  • Chuck Oaks

    I just wanted to say a THANK YOU to Mike for pointing out that the U.S. has ample opportunities that are not being taken advantage of. I am a Printing Plant Manager and we cannot even get people to apply for jobs that pay $20 an hour and up to $28 an hour.

    • Deanna Jewett

      Chuck….I am very interested. Can you please give out info on where to apply and any other details?

  • Rami Rustom

    Hi Mike,

    (i’m posting this a second time because i think i put it in the wrong place earlier.)

    Wow this list of partners is so small. I want to help improve it.

    There’s a company called USIC who hires people to locate utilities underground. The company trains people for the job – no college or certification needed. Their job listing page is here: http://www.usicllc.com/work-at-usic

    My brother got a job locating for USIC and he’s loving it. The pay is good. The benefits are good. And he even gets paid to not work during the off season (winter).

    All of this can be had without a college degree or school training program. The company trains you instead.

    I’ll end my post with a blurb from a recent article where I talk about the knowledge it takes to do this locating job: http://www.howtogetmorerightanswers.com/#!Gaming-the-ACT-Is-that-the-right-way/c1q8z/556b77170cf298b2d3f51236

    > … I remember students complaining that their professor would put problems on the test that weren’t covered in the lectures or homework. They thought that it’s not fair. But they’re wrong. That’s the point of the test! It’s to check your understanding of the concepts by changing up the situations so that you can’t just memorize your way through the material. It requires that you understand the abstract concepts such that you can apply them to any situation that the concepts apply to. Any. That’s any infinite set.
    > That’s actually how the world works! Like for those guys that locate utilities underground, there’s no such thing as studying every single possible situation and getting tested on all of them. Instead, it’s an infinite set of possible situations, and what they are supposed to learn is all the necessary general-purpose information about electricity and other physics concepts, meant to be applied universally, to any possible situation that a locator can find himself in.

    One last thing I want to mention to potential job applicants is that if you’re having trouble learning abstract concepts and applying them on tests, you can improve your learning skill, and your test-taking skill with my book _How to Get More Right Answers_ (http://www.howtogetmorerightanswers.com/). This book could make or break your opportunity to succeed at learning the company’s training material effectively enough to pass the tests and succeed on the job.

  • Rami Rustom

    I’ve read a bunch of the comments here and I’m surprised to find out that people assume that there are no companies that hire people and THEN train them for the job. Everybody seems to assume that you have to pay some school to train you on X Y Z skills and THEN you apply for jobs that need those skills.

    Here’s a company that hires you and THEN trains you for the job. USIC: http://www.usicllc.com

  • Frank

    I’m in my late 30s and live in a super low job placement part of northeast Ohio. Unfortunately I have no experience and most employers are not willing to do on-the-job training any longer it seems. Those same companies will re-post open positions all year long due to them not wanting to teach and only accepting “qualified” candidates. So how does one gain experience or get their foot in the door without paying for a trades certification that isn’t necessarily guaranteed? Not to mention, there aren’t any trades schools relatively close to where I live. So now what? I obviously I have yet to find the answer.
    Seems like a majority of the employers aren’t willing to even want to meet me let alone train someone. Shoot, I can’t even get a job making minimum wage by doing super low menial work at this point–nothing against the people who have to do that sort of stuff.
    The only thing I can think of is making a website for my artwork, but that’s not going to pay the bills, at least not for a while, if ever.
    Any suggestions? And trying to get into the railroad industry is not easy. Couldn’t even get in when I knew a person who worked at one of these companies for 25 years.
    Also, I’m not interested in driving big rigs, nor working for USIC due to their lack of giving raises.
    Thank you in advance to anyone who actually wants to help or give advice.

  • Angelie

    I’m wondering what the job options are out there for people who do not drive. My husband is a great guy with very little in the way of practical work skills who is unable to drive. This severely limits the jobs that he can even apply for. He is a quick learner and is currently working in a small restaurant with limited prospects. He would love to be able to do something else, but it seems that with his lack of skills and driving ability that there is little out there for him. We would love to have some suggestions for something that would provide on the job training. We are not in a financial position to seek trade school opportunities.

  • Ace Linne-Speidel

    I was reading through the board and thought to myself “what have I got to lose?”.

    I’m in my mid thirties and married with a little girl who’s just under two. After twenty years of working in the culinary industry I realized that I simply didn’t want to do it anymore. Twenty years is a long time and I wanted to move on and do something different. Something, anything – that would allow me to provide for my family, keep my wife at home to raise our daughter and pay off our bills/debt & hopefully put away a little bit for retirement for both of us as well as funds for the kid when she’s older.

    I left the industry and landed a job that is doing okay as a transition. I’ve realized that after so long in one industry I have nothing to offer in the way of any other skills. To make things even more challenging – I’m deaf. So, the odds are stacked against me a bit. I don’t have the luxury of going back to school and learning a trade & then hunting for work. I have a family to provide for. I’m looking for a trade that can be taught/trained on site that will lead into a solid career. I’ve applied for an apprenticeship with the IUOE recently and have to wait to see if my survey test will be accepted and put on the waiting list for opportunities.

    Are there other places/jobs/trades that I could possibly look into that would be willing to train/educate on site for someone with no other experience outside of Cooking and kitchen management? I can’t think of anything that attracts me or grabs my curisouity for work. I work with my hands, I believe in hard work and being able to work with a team as a unit or work solo & accomplish what needs to be done. I would love to work outside most if not all the time or at least in a shop of some sort. I’m slow on understanding electrics and wiring and those types of jobs scare me away but welding, heavy machine opps, forestry/land/farm – things of that nature appeal to me. But I am at a loss as to where to turn, where to apply, where to seek help for training.

    I live just South West of Denver, in Colorado and really want to stay in this area. We want to raise our daughter in the same town her mom grew up in. So I’m taking a shot into the void that is the internet and hoping that someone reading these threads will have an idea or a “heads up” for me.

  • LDBrown

    What about ex-cons? They seemed to be an untapped resource that no one wants to touch. I know of at least two ex-felons who haven’t been able to find work in years. They don’t want to go back to doing what it was that got them incarcerated in the first place but they way things are I fear that they will slip back to that bad place.
    One of them was incarcerated for 15 years and feels that he is still being punished for charges he received in 1993 when he was 22 years old. He’s been out and on the straight and narrow since 2008. He received his CDL back in 2010 but was not able to put it to use because he was on parole (many trucking companies require a driver to be able to travel out of state). He’s been off parole for two years now and still has not found work that will pay the bills. He’s put in applications with several labor unions to get on their apprenticeship programs. Nothing. He’s tried working for landscaping companies but was critiqued by the Mexican workers and was let go. He’s tried working for one of those companies contracted by cable companies to pick up the cable boxes but that was difficult work (they pay by the box, send you into really rough neighborhoods, a lot of wear and tear on your vehicle. He also noticed he kept getting sent back to the same houses.) He has tried driving a taxi in an area where he was able to get a taxi permit but there was too much competition and the nightly leases ate chunks into what little money he made for the night. He’s even applied for UBER and LYFT but was shot down because of his record even though the conviction is over 20 years old. He’s at his wit’s end. He feels like he has no recourse but to go back to the streets. Despite being young and dumb in his past, he is not that person anymore.

    • Brian Herd

      6 months on here and not one response, the government wants the ex-con to be a fruitful member of society, but employers don’t care how long ago you were convicted. in their eyes you’re still not worthy of employment. States that say that employers can’t ask if you’ve ever been convicted of a felony have just change up the wording and say you must be able to pass a background check. no difference then asking if you ever been convicted. So much for rehabilitation eh?
      In the eyes of the majority they are not ex-cons or ex-felons, they are still felons and con artists. while locked up they learn a trade, get a good work ethic but can’t use it in the real world because they never get a chance. and the majority of ex-felons are non-violent offenders too.
      They never really pay their debt to society because they still are paying everyday. This really bothers me that people would rather have them reincarcerated then give them a second chance. I mean who really cares if the guy working 40 to 50 hours a week on an assembly line, making deliveries or even running a piece of equipment has a record or not?

      • LDBrown

        Update: one of my friends became so depressed and distraught he committed suicide 2 days before Christmas. He was feeling really bad because he couldn’t provide for his family the way he wanted.

  • michelle Ralls

    Does anybody know of a trade school for youth at risk? I have a 16 year old Son who wants to learn a trade in construftion, new or remodel, electeical, plumbing , HVAC, etc. He is not acacedemically inclined towards Highschool. He has been working with his Dad and Grandpa and knows quit a bit already. He will be 17 in December. I have alot of young teen boys who do not have a clue what they will do once and if they graduate. I am a single Mom and currrently looking for a job as well. I have worked at Honeybucket, commercial driver CDL B PASSENGERS, TRAILERS and can get a Haz Mat endorsement for chemical transportation. However my last two previous employers refuse to give a reference for my work performance ( will not respond my requests either) and it already cost my training with Seattle Metro Transit and nullifies me for recieving unemployment. I have only had a response from Lowes for part time, I will take the job even though it’s a 30 mile commute because I am afraid we will be evicted from our home. Any info would be appreciated, because living in my car is not an option.

  • Jason Michael

    After going through your website and many of the articles/videos, I felt inspired! However, I have been unemployed for over six months, and have yet to ever see ANY of your “partners” advertise for open positions. I went to the CAT Dealership website linked here. It produced NO OPEN positions in my state of Texas. If these “partners” are looking for over 3,000,000 candidates, then why aren’t they letting us know? I would love to be a CAT Tech apprentice with OTJ training, but apparently I need to move to a new state…? Nothing in Houston, Texas? Really?

    By the way, I am a 45 year old white male with over 25 years of Management experience in Supply Chain, Production, Logistics, and Loss Prevention, and STILL cannot seem to find even an adequate “career change” position through 6 months of unemployment. Sad.

  • BeatDownInBaker

    I am 54 years old. When I was 18 I was writing computer programs – DOS – I LOVED it and was good at it, but believed my dad when he insisted that personal computers were a luxury that would NOT take off because the average family couldn’t afford them. Programming was stupid. I needed to find a real job. So I sold my IBM stock, moved out of the Silicone Valley and got a job installing pay phones in order to put myself through VCR repair school. I kid you not. The Midas touch i do not have. Determination and a never say quit attitude is the only way I survived. Thank you for helping so many people find their success. It gets discouraging. I wish someone had been there when I was making my mistakes – well, at least I had my dad!