Blue Collar Billionaire POTUS Starts Blue Collar Economic Engine – The Apprenticeship Model…

Intensely successful leaders, the ones of serious consequence, listen intently to the voices of people closest to the work before embarking on transformation. The expertise is always closest to the work. The most successful titans of industry have always kept themselves deeply connected to the actual work.

[VIA Mike Rowe] Barry Stout‎ writes… OMG did you have a chat with the President and Ivanka? I was just listening to the announcement and presser about 6 million open jobs in the country…Who knew?!

Ken Lucke writes… Did you write the comments for Sec. Acosta this morning? He sounded almost like you in his push for apprenticeship and vocational training. Your thoughts?

Sean Brink‎ writes… Thought I’d share this article with you, in case you hadn’t seen it. Sounds encouraging towards your pursuit. Ivanka Trump: CEOs can’t fill 6 million jobs, more skill-based training needed.

Gentlemen:

It’s been very gratifying, (and maybe a little vindicating,) to hear so much talk about the skills gap over the last 48 hours. To answer your question, Barry, yes – I did meet with some people from The White House a few weeks ago.

I happened to be in DC when I got an email inviting me to discuss mikeroweWORKS with the Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Public Liaison. George Sifakis and his team were kind enough to meet me at my hotel in Georgetown, where I shared with them my belief that closing the skills gap will only happen if we reinvigorate the trades, and make a more persuasive case for the jobs themselves.

George and his team were very engaged, very complimentary, and very interested in hearing about the many success stories we’d seen that start with the mastery of a skill. It was a great meeting, and I was flattered they reached out.

Obviously, I would never presume that my comments had any impact on the current media blitz around closing the skills gap, or the current push for vocational education. I’m not the only one beating this drum, and I seriously doubt that The White House is looking to my Facebook page for talking points and analysis. But…

In the coming days, the conversation around the skills gap is going to evolve from the existence of six million jobs, (which will shock many,) to the reasons why six million jobs currently exist. This is because the country is sharply divided between those who believe opportunity is dead, and those who do not. Consequently, the skills gap gets very political very quickly. Let’s start with conservatives.

On the Far Right, many believe that people are fundamentally lazy. These people will use the existence of six million jobs to underscore their belief. They’ll say things like, “See? The opportunities are there. If you’re willing to work hard, there’s no limit to how far you can go.” Many conservatives like to talk about the traits of the individual, not the job.

Implicit in their argument is the assumption that all unemployed people lack ambition – especially those on government assistance. Consequently, many conservatives will use the skills gap to attack the character of millions of people they’ve never met, and in the process, make all sorts of unfair generalizations about the poor.

On the other hand, those on the Far Left tend to believe that people are fundamentally greedy. These people will use the existence of six million jobs to underscore this belief. They’ll say things like, “Vacant jobs are nothing more than a reflection of supply and demand. If employers offer more money, the gap will close.”

Liberals like to talk about the traits of the job, not the individual. They separate “good jobs” from “bad jobs,” and define both on a sliding scale. Implicit in their argument, is the assumption that vacant jobs remain vacant because they’re simply not worth having. Consequently, many liberals will attack the legitimacy of millions of jobs they’ve never held, and in the process, make all sorts of unfair generalizations about the wealthy.

Please don’t let either group hijack the conversation. Remember, most people don’t live on the far left or the far right. It only feels that way, because those people are so damn noisy. Most people are somewhere in the middle. They just want to make an honest living, doing something that allows them to prosper. In many cases, that dream starts by mastering a skill – something far too few understand today.

To close the skills gap, we need to focus on debunking the stigmas and stereotypes that routinely discourage millions of people from exploring millions of available opportunities. We need to challenge the obscene cost of a four-year degree, and the absurd notion that the most expensive form of education is the best path for the most people. At base, we need to make a more compelling case for jobs that actually exist.

My advice? Find skilled workers who have mastered a trade and used that trade to prosper. (They’re everywhere.) Tell their stories to a national audience in a completely non-partisan way. Show America that it’s still possible to prosper by mastering a skill that’s in demand.

In a very modest way, this is what we do at mikeroweWORKS. We offer scholarships to people who demonstrate the kind of work ethic we’d like to encourage, and choose to pursue a skill that’s in demand. Then, we share their stories. At base, mikeroweWORKS is a PR campaign for skilled labor – one that takes many different shapes.

Most recently, I’ve appeared in five, ninety second videos on this very topic which have so far reached more than 130 million people. These little videos work, in a big way. They get people thinking and talking about career options they’d never considered. If I can reach that many people from my kitchen table, I suspect you guys can reach a whole lot more from 1600.

Bottom line – I know for a fact that hard work combined with the mastery of a skill can lead to a six-figure income in just a few years. I’ve seen welders, plumbers, electricians, and HVAC technicians start their careers with a skill, and quickly morph into a successful small business. Their stories are important. Find them. Tell them. Share them. And let me know if I can help.

And that, as my grandfather used to say, is “another country heard from.”

Mike

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190 Responses to Blue Collar Billionaire POTUS Starts Blue Collar Economic Engine – The Apprenticeship Model…

  1. Ploni says:

    One thing is certain:

    Whatever work any American child chooses to do in his or her life, he or she needs a solid elementary education emphasizing reading fluency, writing and expression, mathematics, American and world history, the value of work, civics, reward and punishment, and morality.

    If this goes lacking, all hell breaks loose. This is what has happened.

    When anything in life goes wrong, it’s the foundations that must be inspected and repaired first.

    Liked by 9 people

  2. trapper says:

    America has needed this voice for a long, long time. Remember Bob Dylan’s “twenty years of schooling and they put you on the day shift”? Well, you don’t need twenty years of schooling to become educated in American and Western values and culture, and there was NEVER anything wrong with the day shift. The steady stream of anti-American and anti-blue collar propaganda, demeaning the men and women who get their hands dirty and the lives they lead (“little boxes made of ticky tacky”) has been relentless for over half a century.

    And one of the best things that can be done for the trades is to deport 10 million illegal aliens as fast as we can. THEY are the ones who wrecked the trades. Buying a hammer and a Skil saw at Home Depot does not make you a carpenter.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Beenthere says:

      I haven’t seen any illegal aliens as plumbers and electricians. One needs to be fluent in English to pass the state license board. I usually see illegals in lawn maintenance, roofing, simple brick laying & fence installation. Not a whole lot money in these fields unless you own the business & have a state license.

      Liked by 1 person

      • trapper says:

        They all but destroyed carpentry, dry wall taping, roofing, by undercutting union wages and driving union contractors out of business. One might say good for the consumer because he gets a lower price. But if you have ever watched one of these non-union crews try to frame a building with a pile of lumber, a Sawzall, a sledge hammer, and a radio blasting salsa music, well, a monkey and a football quickly comes to mind.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Ploni says:

          You’re 100% correct, trapper.

          This can be seen all over the tri-state (NY, PA, NJ) area. They work for half or 3/4 the wages of Americans and are seldom without work.

          If our hearts are not tuned in to the needs of our fellow citizens, why do we have a country?

          This classic from last summer’s campaign:
          ———————————–
          Joe Legal works in construction, has a Social Security number and makes $25.00 per hour with taxes deducted.

          Jose Illegal also works in construction has no Social Security number and makes $15.00 per hour cash, under the table.

          Ready? . . . now pay attention . . .

          57% of undocumented immigrants collect welfare.

          Joe Legal: $25.00 per hour × 40 hours = $1,000.00 per week or $52,000.00 per year. Now, take 31% away for state and Federal taxes. Joe Legal now has $31,231.00.

          Jose Illegal: $15.00 an hour × 40 hours = $600.00 per week or $31,200.00 per year. Jose Illegal pays no taxes. Jose Illegal now has $31,200.00.

          Joe Legal pays medical and dental insurance with limited coverage for his family at $600.00 per month, or $7,200.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $24,031.00.

          Jose Illegal has full medical and dental coverage through the state and local clinics and emergency hospitals at a cost of $0.00 per year. Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00.

          Joe Legal makes too much money and is not eligible for food stamps or welfare. Joe Legal spends $500.00 per month for food or $6,000.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $18,031.00.

          Jose Illegal has no documented income and is eligible for food stamps, WIC and welfare. Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00.

          Joe Legal pays rent of 1,200.00 per month or $14,400.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $9,631.00.

          Jose Illegal receives $500.00 per month Federal rent subsidy. Jose Illegal pays out that $500.00 per month or $6,000.00 per year. Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00.

          Joe Legal pays $200.00 per month or $2,400.00 per year for car insurance. Some of that is uninsured motorist insurance. Joe Legal now has $7,231.00.

          Jose Illegal says, “We don’t need no stinkin’ insurance.”… and still has $31,000.00.

          Joe Legal has to make his $7,231.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline.. etc.

          Jose Illegal has to make his $31,200.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline and what he sends out of the country every month . . .

          Joe Legal now works overtime on Saturdays or gets a part time job after work.

          Jose Illegal has nights and weekends off to enjoy with his family.

          Joe Legal’s and Jose Illegal’s children both attend the same elementary school.

          Joe Legal pays for his children’s lunches while…

          Jose Illegal’s children get a government-sponsored lunch.

          Jose Illegal’s children have an after school ESL program.

          Joe Legal’s children go home.

          Now, when they reach college age . . .

          Joe Legal’s kids may not get into a state school and may not qualify for scholarships, grants or other tuition help, even though Joe has been paying for state schools through his taxes, while . . .

          Jose Illegal’s kids go to the “head of the class” because they are a minority.

          Joe Legal and Jose Illegal both benefit from the same police and fire services but Joe paid for them and Jose did not.

          Do you get it, now?

          If we vote for or support any politician that supports illegal aliens,… we are part of the problem.

          Its way PAST time to take a stand for America and Americans!

          We need to keep this going — we need to make changes ASAP!

          Liked by 6 people

        • filia.aurea says:

          I hired a local building contractor (for an addition) with a dedicated project manager.
          Although I paid union rates, many of the subcontracted crews that showed up were non-english speaking Latin Americans, who clearly lacked the skills and tools needed for the job. It’s not always the consumer that makes out on the price of labor. Firms that exploit the services of illegal labor have to be punished, without exception, then it will stop.

          Like

      • crepelady says:

        Beenthere: You make a point, but don’t forget more than likely they are being paid under the table, receiving food stamps, subsidized housing, free hospital treatment, free school and books for kids, etc. They pay no fed tax and can apply for welfare. Nice payoff for a criminal who broke our laws by being here in the first place. Just sayin’.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Dolorruborcalor says:

    The Tenured Professoriate is gonna hate this. I’ve been University Faculty. Non-tenure track. Decided I wanted to work for a living. Zero Sum Game for them – they’re at risk of losing tuition paying academic cannon fodder. The Faculty Lounges must be steaming – oh wait they’re not, they haven’t been at work since mid-May. Well wait a couple months.

    But must give a shout out to Larry Thompson President and the Staff and Trustees of Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota. Not all colleges are the same. Just dropped close to a quarter million all told for my stepdaughter’s BFA in Illustration and have no regrets. The curriculum was unrelentingly rigorous and focused with a goal of producing practical functioning artists. No one had time to protest, party hard or fuss about anything becauuse they were working too hard. Every faculty member is required to have past and ongoing experience in a production environment. No academic lifers. Decided that if we were going to spend that amount of money damned if I was going to have it go to peripheral BS “studies” with the possibility of her coming out hating me (Rich Old Republican White Guy). Even the Science, History, etc. General Studies courses were art centered.

    She came out damn talented, happy, and loving me :-).

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Triguy says:

      I have my doctorate. Paid for it myself. Was a bucket list thing that I needed to do. That being said, for the past three years I have been encouraging each of my four grandchildren that–even if they attend a college or university–they should focus on earning a degree that moves them towards mastering a skill set rather than simply gaining an almost useless piece of paper. Certification in a skill will be the currency of the future, not the BA, MEd, or the PhD they earn. And…they won’t start their adult life being hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. Let’s start following the rule of holes–When in one…stop digging. Best, Dr. Bill

      Like

  4. trapper says:

    While I’m at it, negative attitudes about blue collar work come from many directions. Remember John McCain’s snotty comment to a man at one of his town-hall meetings? A quote from the article:

    “In Littleton, N.H., he [McCain] chastised a man who challenged his open-trade policies, telling Jerome Danin that he is selling himself and his children short with protectionism. ‘I did not know that your ambitions … for your children were to work in a textile mill,’ McCain said. ‘I would rather have you work in a high-tech industry.’”

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/e98/e267.htm

    In the first place, there’s nothing wrong with working in a textile mill, perhaps the one your father and grandfathers worked in. Perhaps the one your great great grandfather laid the brick to build. Perhaps the mill that provided a living for four or five generations of your family, the mill whose payroll supported an entire town’s economy.

    In the second place, McCain and his globalist fellow travelers never asked us what our ambitions for our children were. He just assumed that the lives of those who worked in American textile mills were valueless and meaningless.

    In the third place, who gave McCain or anyone else the authority to make these decisions for us? It would be one thing if we had had an open and forthright debate and discussion about shipping American manufacturing jobs overseas BEFORE our government incentivized companies to do it. But we didn’t. They not only did it in secret, but lied to us about it as they did it.

    Liked by 7 people

  5. Davey says:

    Not many jobs when you come out of college/university with a degree in Black Lesbian Poetry.

    Liked by 2 people

    • crepelady says:

      Ugh

      Like

    • Benson II says:

      It seems there are to many colleges/universities that want our kids there to indoctrinate them not to prepare them for meaningful work and success in a chosen field. Why parents would want to spend or put their children in debt for a degree with no meaning is hard to understand unless you consider it’s the parents who have also been indoctrinated into thinking what’s worthless is valuable.

      Like

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