A gaping skills gap to the tune of 5.6 million available jobs, $1.3 trillion in student loans, and a crumbling national infrastructure are all tremendous problems facing our nation, but the drum Mike Rowe has been beating for years just might be the solution.
The former Dirty Jobs host has become something of a champion for the blue-collar folks he worked beside during his tenure on the long-running Discovery Channel show, and on Tuesday he took his act to Capitol Hill to testify on the issue before Congress.
But before that, Rowe appeared on Fox & Friends to discuss the topic.
“I’m gonna suggest that the skills gap is every bit as important as unemployment and the presence of 5.6 million available jobs right now that people don’t seem excited about,” Rowe said, referring to the fact that thousands of American employers simply can’t find qualified candidates to fill their positions.
There are a variety of reasons for this, ranging from the unreasonable expectations of millennials who think a college degree entitles them to a cushy job and an expense account to the welfare state to an influx of low-skilled labor driving down wages, but the best way to close the gap, according to Rowe, is to “make a case” for the jobs that actually do exist rather than the ones that simply do not.
The fact is, a “sense of completion” is a driving factor in blue-collar professions, and can be as rewarding as any desk job. Additionally, students trained in the “trades” learn far more than the trade itself, things such as “to start a thing and finish a thing,” consequences, and aspects of the trade, such as chemistry in welding, that will help in other areas.
“There is a band of brothers mentality among people who do work that’s both important and largely unappreciated. They know if they all call in sick for a week, the party’s over,” Rowe said.
The fact is, college, and the thousands of dollars of student loan debt that often comes with it, isn’t for everybody, nor should it be. President Trump has made it clear that he would like to see America’s manufacturing base increase, but first, according to Rowe:
“If you wanna make America great again, you gotta make work cool again.”
The first order of business along those lines would be a revival of vocational education in America that would teach Americans the skills needed to repair our own crumbling infrastructure.
Watch the full interview below:
Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.
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