Is there a "dirty job" in your future?

By Morf Morford
Tacoma Daily Index

If you or someone you know is interested in a job in the traditional trades — like plumbing, electrical work or welding — former “Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe has a deal for you. He is offering a scholarship program through his charitable foundation that will offer money for skilled jobs training.

If you have young people in your life who like hands-on experiences, this is for them.

Or if you have an old house – or maybe any kind of house – you know how essential these skills are.

Sooner or later everything needs to be painted, replaced or rebuilt. The real problem is being able to find someone who can do it all.

If you want job security, develop the skills that will always be in demand.

As much as I loved college, it could not have been more obvious that it was not for everybody.

For whatever reason, college has become the first choice for parents, but not always for their kids.

For the fifth year Rowe’s organization is offering its work ethic scholarship. Applications will be accepted through June 4.

The amount awarded has not been specified in terms of dollars, but the foundation has at least $500,000 to give away.

Over the years, Rowe says the scholarship program has given away about $5 million.

Think it’s for you?

There are a number of requirements in order to apply for the work ethic scholarship.

Applicants need to be a high school senior, graduate or GED recipient, enrolled in, or planning to enroll, in a vocational school and planning to graduate after Dec. 1, 2018.

On the official page for the scholarship contest, an applicant will find the “S.W.E.A.T. Pledge,” a 12-point pledge designed to hold each applicant to Rowe’s own standards of what makes someone worthy of this scholarship.

Mike Rowe Sweat PledgeWEB

Applicants must also have at least two references, excluding family members.

They must also submit an essay about why they want to work in the trades and what makes them deserving of the scholarship, along with a short video that helps make their case.

“Why are you drawn to the skilled trades? Why do you deserve to receive an award? Let us know any accomplishments or anything you do that shows that you believe in the S.W.E.A.T. Pledge,” according to the scholarship website. “For example, do you volunteer, or were you an Eagle Scout? Do you put in extra hours helping other students or mentoring kids?”

In other words, are you willing to do those “extra” things that make all the difference in a project or someone’s life?

“Bottom line – work ethic scholarships are for people who are hungry to learn a skill that’s in demand—it’s for the people who wake up early, stay late, and bust their ass day in and day out. Naturally, people like this are hard to find, but they’re out there,” according to the scholarship website.

“Every time you stay out late; every time you sleep in; every time you miss a work out; every time you don’t give 100% – You make it that much easier for me to beat you.”        – Unknown

Do you have what they are looking for?

Rowe’s goal is to help people get trained for skilled jobs that actually exist, according to the foundation’s website. He believes there’s too much student loan debt and that we should challenge “the absurd belief that a four-year degree is the only path to success.”

“As CEO of the foundation … Rowe spends a significant amount of time speaking about the country’s dysfunctional relationship with actual work, highlighting the widening skills gap, and challenging the persistent belief that a four-year degree is automatically the best path for the most people,” according to the site.  (1*)

How To Apply

If you meet the qualifications and are interested in applying, follow the link to sign up at the bottom of the work ethic scholarship page on the foundation’s website-

“Life is like art. You have to work hard to keep it simple and still have meaning.”                                                – Charles de Lint


(1*)    You can hear more of his thoughts on the skills gap in this video

Related Stories