MACKINAC ISLAND (WWJ) – One of the dirtiest men in show business is partnering with the state to promote skilled trades jobs in Michigan.
The state announced Thursday that Mike Rowe of TV’s “Dirty Jobs” — along with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Rowe’s foundation “Mike-Rowe-Works” — has produced a series videos highlighting skilled trades jobs.
“They’re looks at professions and vocations through the eyes of the kids who are pursuing them,” Rowe explained, speaking live on WWJ Newsradio 950.
“So if you’re a 14 or 16-year-old kid — or more importantly, a parent — you can sit down together and you can make a case for IT or tool and die or health care,” Rowe said. “It’s not just a weird idea of a job. This is real work that really exists and real people are really doing it.”
Rowe and his foundations has already helped other states that are looking to bolster their skilled trades — which Rowe said sometimes get a bad rap.
“So many images over the last 40 years have really subtly degraded and marginalized this positions; and it started with the abdication of vo-tech (vocational-technical), and you can see it pop culture, you can see it in the TV shows we watch, you can see it in the books we buy,” Rowe said.
Rowe and the MEDC are making six videos, while Tom Daldin of TV’s “Under the Radar” is working with the MEDC on five others. The project was announced Wednesday during the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference on Mackinac Island.
Skilled-trades work make up about one-third of our state’s employment, according to the state, which reports more than 8,300 jobs are currently available.