Mike Rowe, formerly of Dirty Jobs, appeared on TheBlaze TV's "Wilkow!" Thursday night to discuss his exciting new scholarship program, the mikeroweWORKS Scholarship Fund. The goal is to get high school seniors ready to enter the workforce with the skills they need to land the jobs that are available in the U.S. -- the key word being available.
"The jobs right now that we have available, people don't seem to want -- and it makes no sense because we're lending money we don't have to kids who can't pay it back to train them for jobs that no longer exist," Rowe told TheBlaze TV's Andrew Wilkow.
Each mikeroweWORKS scholarship is worth $15,000 on average -- a nice chunk of change. However, any high school senior interested in the program must first take the "S.W.E.A.T. Pledge" (Skills and Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo) and make a case as to why they are deserving of the scholarship in the form of a video.
"If you're not willing to sign it, this particular pile of free money is probably not for you," Rowe said.
Over the next few months, mikeroweWORKS will partner with some of the very best trade and technical Schools in the country, starting with the Mid-West Technical Institute (MTI).
Here's the pledge via Rowe's website, profoundlydisconnected.com:
1. I believe that I have won the greatest lottery of all time. I am alive. I walk the Earth. I live in America. Above all things, I am grateful.
2. I believe that I am entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Nothing more. I also understand that “happiness” and the “pursuit of happiness” are not the same thing.
3. I believe there is no such thing as a “bad job.” I believe that all jobs are opportunities, and it’s up to me to make the best of them.
4. I do not “follow my passion.” I bring it with me. I believe that any job can be done with passion and enthusiasm.
5. I deplore debt, and do all I can to avoid it. I would rather live in a tent and eat beans than borrow money to pay for a lifestyle I can’t afford.
6. I believe that my safety is my responsibility. I understand that being in “compliance” does not necessarily mean I’m out of danger.
7. I believe the best way to distinguish myself at work is to show up early, stay late, and cheerfully volunteer for every crappy task there is.
8. I believe the most annoying sounds in the world are whining and complaining. I will never make them. If I am unhappy in my work, I will either find a new job, or find a way to be happy.
9. I believe that my education is my responsibility, and absolutely critical to my success. I am resolved to learn as much as I can from whatever source is available to me. I will never stop learning, and understand that library cards are free.
10. I believe that I am a product of my choices – not my circumstances. I will never blame anyone for my shortcomings or the challenges I face. And I will never accept the credit for something I didn’t do.
11. I understand the world is not fair, and I’m OK with that. I do not resent the success of others.
12. I believe that all people are created equal. I also believe that all people make choices. Some choose to be lazy. Some choose to sleep in. I choose to work my butt off.
On my honor, I hereby affirm the above statements to be an accurate summation of my personal worldview. I promise to live by them.
Now, we understand many of you might want to sign the pledge just on principle alone -- but remember, you have to be a high school senior to be eligible for the scholarship program.
For more information on the mikeroweWORKS Scholarship Fund, click here.
Watch Rowe and Wilkow discuss getting America back to work: