Mike Rowe Interview

"If we are lending money that ostensibly we don't have to kids who have no hope of making it back in order to train them for jobs that clearly don't exist, I might suggest that we've gone around the bend a little bit," says TV personality Mike Rowe, best known as the longtime host of Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs.

"There is a real disconnect in the way that we educate vis-a-vis the opportunities that are available. You have - right now - about 3 million jobs that can't be filled," he says, talking about openings in traditional trades ranging from construction to welding to plumbing. "Jobs that typically parents' don't sit down with their kids and say, 'Look, if all goes well, this is what you are going to do.'"

Rowe, who once sang for the Baltimore Opera and worked as an on-air pitchman for QVC, worries that traditional K-12 education demonizes blue-collar fields that pay well and are begging for workers while insisting that everyone get a college degree. He stresses that he's "got nothing against college" but believes it's a huge mistake to push everyone in the same direction regardless of interest or ability. Between Mike Rowe Foundation and Profoundly Disconnected, a venture between Rowe and the heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar, Rowe is hoping both to help people find new careers and publicize what he calls "the diploma dilemma."

Rowe recently sat down with Reason TV's Nick Gillespie to discuss his bad experience with a high school guidance counselor (3:20), why he provides scholarships based on work ethic (6:57), the problem with taxpayer-supported college loans (8:40), why America demonizes dirty jobs (11:32), the happiest day of his life (13:14), why following your passion is terrible advice (17:05), why it's so hard to hire good people (21:04), the hidden cost of regulatory compliance (23:16), the problem with Obama's promise to create shovel ready jobs (33:05), efficiency versus effectiveness (34:17), and life after Dirty Jobs (38:24).

You can check out the entire 41-minute-long interview here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzKzu86Agg0. Visit http://reason.com/reasontv/2013/12/13... for full text, links, and downloadable versions of the video.

High Heels and Hard Hats Article Spotlights Women in Construction Jobs

It's becoming increasingly easier to find positive female role models in the apprenticeable trades, including in the media. For a great article focusing on women in the construction industry, check out High Heels and Hard Hats from the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Constructor magazine!

JCB tackles skills issue with apprenticeship program

The following article by Mary Carr Mayle appears in the Savannah Morning News:

John Patterson, president of Savannah-based JCB Inc., is nothing if not vocal about the problems he and other manufacturers have had finding skilled employees.

“Twenty-five years ago, manufacturing comprised 28 percent of our (gross domestic product),” Patterson said recently. “Currently, it’s 12 percent. The erosion of manufacturing meant fewer people were being employed and trained.

“Now, with the retirement of the Baby Boomer generation, that statistic is coming back to bite us.”

On average today, one skilled worker is trained for every four boomers retiring, Patterson said.

“Add to that the emphasis on college as the ultimate goal and the perception of manufacturing as dark, dirty, low-wage work, and it should come as no surprise that we have serious skills issues,” he said.

To read the complete article, visit the Savannah Morning News site!

MEATA 2013 Spring Conference Files

MEATA's 2013 Spring Conference, held May 15-17 at the Treetops Sylvan Resort in Gaylord, was a huge success, with over 50 professionals from across the state in attendance.

Presentation topics included:

  • MDOT: Apprenticeships - Our Way Forward
  • Charlevoix-Emmet ISD Manufacturing Partnership
  • Delta College Accelerated CNC Machinist Program
  • Qualifying for Veteran Training Funds Use
  • The Manufacturing Skills Mismatch Debate
  • MAT2 Mechatronics Apprenticeship Program Pilot
  • DOL Pre-Apprenticeship Update
  • Where is the Money for Registered Apprenticeship Training?
  • Michigan Merit Curriculum Legislative Update

Copies of the presentations are posted here!

Presentations/Links from 2012 Fall Drive-In

There were lots of great presentations at the MEATA 2012 Fall Drive-in Conference. If you missed the event or want copies of the Powerpoints and other documents from the event, you've come to the right place!

The event opened with a showing of the Edge Factor's "Metal & Flesh" film preview video that focuses on the incredible story of an innovative engineer/manufacturer who has "redefined what is possible" in the realm of prosthetics. (Watch for the film's release in 2013!). Here's a link to the Edge Factor website page where you can see the video for yourself: http://edgefactor.com/edgefactorshow/episode3

Next up was Russ Davis, State Director for the U.S. Dept. of Labor's Office of Apprenticeship, who provided a National Perspective on the State of Apprenticeships. Download his presentation.

Brad Erickson from the Capital Area Career Center provided an excellent overview of the processes, challenges and opportunities faced by Career/Tech Centers around the state related to integration of high school academic credits into CTE courses. Download his presentation.

John Hartwell, Apprentice Coordinator and Field Rep with IUOE Local 324 provided an overview of current legislation being proposed in Lansing designed to impact the High School Core Requirements. These include:

Senate Bill 1013 and House Bill 5645
Education; curricula; opt-out provision for foreign language and algebra II requirements for high school diploma; provide for pupils meeting certain alternative requirements. Amends sec. 1278a of 1976 PA 451 (MCL 380.1278a).
http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2012-SB-1013
http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2012-HB-5645

Senate Bill 0997 and House Bill 5451
Education; graduation requirements; Michigan merit curriculum; revise. Amends secs. 1278a & 1278b of 1976 PA 451 (MCL 380.1278a & 380.1278b). Includes credits for CTE "technical math" and "work-based learning" options.
http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2012-SB-0997
http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2012-HB-5451

House Bill 5456
Education; graduation requirements; completion of certain vocational technical or career and technical education in lieu of certain state high school diploma requirements; allow. Amends secs. 1278a & 1278b of 1976 PA 451 (MCL 380.1278a & 380.1278b).
http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2012-HB-5456

NOTE: You can follow these and other bills via the Michigan Legislative website, a free service of the Michigan Legislative Council, the Michigan House of Representatives and the Michigan Senate. The site allows you to search for bills from current and prior sessions and Public Acts (bills passed into law). The site can also automatically e-mail you legislative updates based on keywords, sponsoring legislators or categories (such as Education, graduation requirements and Education, career and technical).

Last but not least, Patty Adolfs from the Oakland County ISD could not attend the event but put together a great AdobeConnect presentation with lots of tips on how manufacturers (and really any industry representatives) can work successfully with K-12 educators and adminstrators. View her presentation. (Adobe Flash Player 10.1 or higher required.)