Mike Rowe, star of the Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs, testified before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation on May 5. He testified about the current construction industry workforce and announced a new initiative in partnership with Discovery Communications called Discover Your Skills.
His remarks to the committee included his desire for a national PR campaign to attract much needed workers to get trained to fill the skilled-labor gap which is imminent in the industry. In the following video of his testimony, he points out:
“We talk about creating millions of “shovel-ready jobs” for a society that doesn’t really encourage people to pick up a shovel. In a hundred different ways, we have slowly marginalized an entire category of critical professions, reshaping our expectations of a good job into something that no longer looks like work.”
During his testimony, Rowe stated:
“The fact is, there are many initiatives out there making a difference. The problem that so many encounter though, is a tendency to "preach to the choir." With respect to issues like the skills gap, we too often speak only to the people directly involved, the employers, desperate to hire skilled talent, and the unemployed, woefully untrained for the task at hand. To really make a difference, we need to change the perceptions of a much larger audience, and challenge the prevailing definition of a "good job." Americans need to see these workers for what they are - the key to civilized life as we know it. And that means a campaign and a message that reaches everybody.
Toward that end, I'm pleased to help launch a broad-based initiative sponsored by Discovery Communications that will reach millions and millions of people. Discovery's goal is to empower both unemployed and underemployed Americans with access to critical resources that will assist them in obtaining marketable job skills.”
Rowe is quickly becoming a major spokesman for the future of the construction industry workforce and we applaud his efforts to make a difference in the future workforce.