WASHINGTON — Mike Rowe, former host of the television series Dirty Jobs, explained why he would decline an opportunity to work with the White House on economic initiatives.
“Never happen — not in a million years, no, and it’s not because I disagree. It’s because half the country can’t hear them. I’m talking to a bigger audience if I can,” Rowe said after a panel discussion at the American Petroleum Institute conference this week on the “future of American energy.”
Rowe is the founder of Mike Rowe Works, which is “on a mission to help close the skills gap by challenging the stigmas and stereotypes that discourage people from pursuing the millions of available jobs and redefining the definitions of a good education and a good job.”
In the past, Rowe has commented on politics, describing why he thinks President Donald Trump won the 2016 election and offering to help the new administration “reinvigorate the skilled trades.”
“When the dust settles, and The White House gets a new tenant, I’ll make the same offer to President Trump that I did to President Obama – to assist as best I can in any attempt to reinvigorate the skilled trades, and shine a light on millions of good jobs that no one seems excited about pursuing,” Rowe wrote in a Facebook post after the 2016 election.
When asked if he is satisfied with Trump’s job performance so far, Rowe responded, “No thoughts at all unless it’s involving education or labor. I’ve been out over my skis way too much on this stuff — foundation, work. I’ve got an opinion.”
Rowe urged the country to “change the definition of a good job. It’s evolving. We can do it.”
During the panel discussion, Rowe said there are still “misconceptions” that keep parents and guidance counselors from encouraging students to enter a field that “looks like work.” Rowe added that many college students wind up taking on too much in loans and having a hard time finding work in their major after graduation.
“We’re still tacitly proposing that the value of a 4-year degree is somehow going to translate into a magic ticket,” he said.