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No Mr. Rowe It Isn’t Just About Making Work Cool Again

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

It’s about making work functional for both employer and employee, not matter your field, your vocational talent, conventional or unconventional skill, skill set; it’s about us, society deciding what’s more important, our biased, antiquated views on work or a system where everyone who both can and desires to participates…Remembering this is the same Mike Rowe as mentioned in the Fox News piece of the show Dirty Jobs, Somebody’s Gotta Do It, better known these days for adhering to the Bill Maher, Dennis Miller school of thought mocking occupy Wall Street, spouting ‘we can’t all be the one drawing on the cave wall, ‘we need people who do something’ mocking liberal, entertainment, animation and standard art degrees. Mike Rowe who would probably wholeheartedly agree with the final judgement given to a cop suing a local Starbucks for the major burn on his leg costing him time off work, very literal and legitimate pain and suffering; without ever realizing both his purpose in suing wasn’t his too late comprehension coffee is hot, deficient intelligence robbing him of that conclusion earlier and that the whole situation could have been avoided if they switched from a 5 cents to make cup to a 10 cents to make cup, from a 2 cent lid to a 5 cent lid that, side effect fit properly, neither collapsed or boke, to quote Homer Simpson: DOH! Mike Rowe who has an odd bias toward blue collar work, a genuine desire for that kind of work he was steered away from in his youth. Yet an odd bias all the same coloring everything from his view, understanding of why students today shy away from it, to why their parents will do almost anything to steer them away from work they, themselves supported a family on. Sentiments blinding him to those up and coming persons who are proud to be a 3rd, 4th or 5th generation laborer in whatever industry, contributing factors vastly changing the landscape of employment, how manufacturing, pipe fitting, welding, engineering jobs are done, skills mandated to be successful in them. Mike Rowe who tried to explain Trump’s election by contrasting the white working class, rural voters to hedge fund managers making the papers, news for raking in millions while not completely buying his promise to bring back manufacturing jobs as he campaigned; saying to Fox News at the time looking back didn’t make sense to him, his philosophy was looking forward enter: comments on skilled trades and industries so desperate for workers trained individuals can write their own tickets. Mike Rowe who told students last year, in what was supposed to be a commencement speech, for a dubious university, not to follow their passion in seeking employment and that a degree didn’t mean ticket to your dream job instead admonishing students to follow, opportunity predictably in a skilled trade….. So in honor of 2017’s graduation season and the potential we could be wasting here is an in-depth look at Rowe’s concepts on American work, workers and how none of what he says truly works….Oh where to begin deconstructing his ignorance laden misconceptions, ones guesses it’s to say country wide STEM (science technology engineering and math) initiatives routinely overlapping traditional skilled trades aside no, we haven’t removed vocational training from high schools, wholly, completely or nationally; better classifying what schools have done, they have removed it in parts of the country where it is, by and large not used, major metropolitan economies much more dependent on other industries, hardly without individuals in all the trades Rowe mentioned and added ones to boot, just less so, based on need… Proof positive vo-tech is neither dead nor dying my high school alma mater in the Midwest hasn’t scrapped skilled trade prep in the least, the exact opposite, both expanding and adapting it to changing needs and times, creating more advanced block classes, direct lines to internships on school time if/once a student completes prep course X, reaches a certain level; H/VAC and construction equally popular with youth programs and vocational training seekers post college, engaging in retaining, jobs beyond minimum wage. I don’t fit well into my local economy because I’m neither good with these industrial trades or the helping/healthcare professions; leaving me virtually opportunity-less. Same regional area, take the McCaughey septuplets who reached a milestone times 7 graduating high school last graduation season, among them 2 hopeful computer science majors, 2 future teachers to be, one about to be military man, a music major, and 1 of the 2 staying home as opposed to utilizing the offered Hannibal Missouri scholarship studying what, construction; no coincidence either they are from Iowa. Even if Rowe were marginally right it wouldn’t impact where we are at present because, no matter how extensive high school courses, accompanying internships that rarely are long enough to encompass the full scope of jobs or satisfy employer experience requirements, students would still need continued instruction at a vo-tech school teaching advanced skills, certifying abilities, funneling graduates into the workforce; without it there would be left only another facet of employer complaining high school programs that aren’t good enough, expansive enough, teaching the right skills. Further rendering his assertions on high school instruction irrelevant, vo-tech has its place on the post-secondary circuit just like colleges, technical institutions provide classes, certifications and where appropriate ‘degrees’ in the very skilled trade aspects he’s talking about, a tech institution in nearly every state; many also present in local community colleges serving the same purpose singular possible exception, tiny rural areas or urban blight effected schools where there isn’t a shop teacher due to being unable to afford one, yet that has to do with the dollars and cents of simple math not Washington lobbying, the ‘national push to say this is the best path for the most people’ unto success and pulling back the curtain on 4 year college degrees. You also won’t see a trigonometry, advanced science teacher in aforementioned areas for the same lack of both funds and interest, local economies that just don’t support it. Other factors drastically effecting where students nationally, on the bigger macro-scale, get a job, what career they ultimately land in has nothing to do with positions parents, mentors, school officials, demonized by the coinsure of ‘dirty jobs’ repeatedly, guidance counselors think is ‘cool’ or the converse ‘uncool’ translating into totally unacceptable for my kid. Though, regular readers remember this one, multitudes believe parents who’ve ruined their joints by 55 after 30 years of jackhammering, ruined their knees via 30 years navigating an 18 wheeler, 30 years plumbing, crawling through sewer systems, multiple tight spaces for work, chasing various types of farm animals, 30 years on a bobcat giving them sciatica, injured on fishing, deep sea drilling oil rigs (think deep water horizon, oh) forcing them on disability long before the benchmarked 65 while the government keeps hiking up the retirement age incrementally pointing to longer lifespans and medical advancements evolving into a better quality of life they just don’t see, can be forgiven wanting better, different options for their kids, pushing their kids toward anything far from what they do daily, less grueling, catastrophic on the body… Similarly we don’t have crumbling infrastructure systems because there is a massive shortage of people to perform the work regardless what the numbers are telling us, Rowe’s theory kids of the past generation right up to the current one got psyched out said solid jobs due to ‘degree pushers’ calling college higher education and skilled trades, vo-tech, tech institutions alternative education developing a sigma personified in ‘if you couldn’t/can’t hack the other one; preposterous bullshit putting too much weight on what he believes guidance counselors are telling kids, precious little it might be added, and emphasis on parents’ wants kids are wired at that age to ignore anyway. We have a D+ graded infrastructure causing a domino effect of problems whether it’s tragic train derailments, subway/commuter train delays caused by crashes, mechanical failures and old underground structures directly because the federal government won’t release funds for upgrades and replacements, state and local governments don’t have it, won’t use if for that if they have monies to do the slightest incremental repairs, the true story behind our nation of potholes, rotting and collapsing bridges. Or their shady attempts to privatize aforementioned work to corporations/private contractors, think what Backwater did in Iraq when they were supposed to be rebuilding, getting rich while infrastructure doesn’t improve, improve enough to make a difference. Flint’s water crisis, subsequently found pockets indicating high lead levels in city tap/drinking water isn’t for want of pipe fitters, welders, pipe makers, machinists working together to make it happen, instead bluntly about a lack of political will to ensure the safety of our nations drinking water; Flint switched over to the dirtier water source sans chemical treatment neutralizing known lead in the water/pipes to save a few bucks. Older buildings, disproportionately public housing, subsidized section 8 housing are potentially lined with interior/exterior lead paint; one such complex in Mike Pence’s Indiana no less, built on the site of a lead industrial plant in years past sans adequate testing to ensure soil safety; because, we don’t have the political will of elected officials to remove all the lead from existing buildings, care enough about citizens, both current and future workers, to allot enough to public housing proper for adequate lead removal, vouchers for subsidized housing keeping up with rental costs so recipients don’t have to live in a dilapidated house, apartment, a dump that’s potentially toxic. Rather than the easily dismantled Rowe doctrine, diagnosis of what’s wrong with the American employment system current ‘job outlook deficiencies’ are indiscriminately tied to businesses, employers desperate for employees having, readers hearing this before too, done an abysmal job of saying to students these are jobs for which you can get paid money, earn a solid paycheck…
Where we’ve gone horribly wrong, beyond the extraordinarily specific job skill subsets within traditional general skilled trades/engineering, welding, pipe fitting, plumbing, bricklaying, machinists, industrial machine maintenance and repair, exc., workers holding those jobs past or present immediately highlighting don’t translate well into broader umbrella manufacturing or skilled trade jobs, often necessitating retraining when switching jobs, is where we’ve always gone wrong for the last 45 plus years. America’s projected 6 million jobs job gap encompassing every region has far less to do with skills and everything more to do with dissemination of information, hiring practices and bias against the very workers they need; starting with are the jobs listed even available or are they doing as some applicants have speculated listing jobs just to see what skills are out there… Shamefully New York has judges sitting on the bench, presiding over cases who don’t hold law degrees, mystifying is how that’s possible even adjusting perspective to understand small town court rooms, tiny townships; why it’s such a big deal (in light of popular shows like Suits, which at least housed a legal prodigy who could pass the bar sans a degree, expediently test out of courses to obtain his degree if he chose) isn’t limited to the staggering misconduct by judges egregious enough it would mean firing from any job let alone something as important as a judgeship, ultimately expelling them from the bench. It’s their totally lacking comprehension of basic legal principles, lack of jury boxes, an actual judges bench, ‘official proceedings’ held in office buildings, basement rooms, witnesses not sworn to hell the truth, no verbatim recording of testimony. “But serious things happen in these little rooms all over New York State. People have been sent to jail without a guilty plea or a trial, or tossed from their homes without a proper proceeding. In violation of the law, defendants have been refused lawyers, or sentenced to weeks in jail because they cannot pay a fine. Frightened women have been denied protection from abuse. The examination found overwhelming evidence that decade after decade and up to this day, people have often been denied fundamental legal rights. Defendants have been jailed illegally. Others have been subjected to racial and sexual bigotry so explicit it seems to come from some other place and time. People have been denied the right to a trial, an impartial judge and the presumption of innocence…” [Sic] And there are too many lawyers, though perhaps it does explain the bizarre rulings coming out of court rooms today, slaps on the wrist and diversionary programs for rapists, ignorant justifications offered for why what happened wasn’t rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual harassment….Endless résumé advice, a constant revolving door of do’s, don’t, cliché phrases to avoid; alternative providing examples of how you cut costs, improved sales figures exc., shutting out people in janitorial, reception work, anyone whose biggest selling point is they came to work consistently and constantly did their unglamorous job well. What they provided their employer, apart from a consistent worker, was a lack of hassle forced to hire someone else; as opposed to having a uniform résumé format at most varying by field of employment, a uniform transitional format for résumés of persons changing fields so applicants are not being docked points for meaningless aesthetics. Applicant seekers, businesses bemoaning sparse workforces, worker choice too enamored by outcomes produced from amateur psycho analysis of handwriting, what can be read into your walking gate, condition of your teeth, whether or not you wear glasses, wear a watch (it makes you seem punctual, organized caring of others time); swallowing valuable interview time, passing over potentially very talented, capable persons doling out ‘snowflake tests,’ the latest variation on asking silly questions what space alien/animal you are to determine personality, if you fit the work culture rather than investing in job scenario questions, paring answers to experience listed on their résumé, deciding who of those individuals had the best answers and hiring them. Flagrant abuse and misuse of Skype, Facetime, video chat services interviews as a window into an applicant’s home, routinely their bedroom, to make otherwise unattainable value judgments about crooked pictures, Victoria Secret posters, book titles on a bookshelf; just the latest in trends of finding increasingly petty reasons not to hire a worker. Taking a big gamble they even have access to fundamental hardware moving the interviewing technique outside tech, computer jobs; plunging neck in neck with using Equifax and Spokeo to ascertain credit scores, personal data employers shouldn’t have access to specifically age and relationship status, 2 things barred from job applications for a reason. Worse, Equifax lost a multi mullion dollar lawsuit for failure to correct serious errors on a woman’s credit report despite her repeated attempts and filling out reams of paperwork; an estimated 1-4 reports containing significant errors incorrect birth dates, social security numbers, and that was roughly 5 years ago. Where are you placing your want-ad, your job opening, older workers probably aren’t perusing the internet for employment, if they are they certainly aren’t using professional job boards, exclusive websites; skilled tradesmen not looking to uproot, relocate across the country, to a different city, town, state are most likely networking where they live, connecting with friends, family, work associates to land a gig, visiting the local employment agency. If you don’t then have a sign plumbers needed, ads in your city, town paper, postings at the employment agency, don’t use word of mouth, you’re missing out; i.e. in Larimer county Colorado….Next let’s stop beating around the bush about employers who have summarily done away with the internship, apprenticeship across all fields in the employment sector, even to a significant extent skilled trades; skilled trades producing students who will still need real working world experience and time to hone their skills to equal persons on the job 5, 15, 25 years. Hardly to be dismissed, employers unduly let off the hook, worth chastising them about also is their complete abdication of any job training at all, rudimentary basics they are many times legally mandated by law to give regardless experience level, past job experience they not only don’t, but blatantly refuse; their habit of hiring individuals off the street with no prior experience and no training fully expecting the employee learn by osmosis, observation, as a last resort ask similarly poorly trained co-workers how to do task X. Example, young man looking for a job, applies to an auto parts distributer is hired his responsibility, going around to local auto-parts stores ensuing they have the inventory they need; except he had no clue how to do that, differentiate parts, facts known to the employer upon hire, based on application materials, résumé finally fessing up to his boss how lost he was….Alluded to in the introduction was the interesting why everything had gone to a class, everything has gone to a class, certification, certificate or degree, less because the colligate money making machine and Washington lobby made it so and more due to employers expecting their applicants to come in with those skills, experience under their belt, believing it the responsibility of the higher educational institution excluding any corresponding internship cooperation to reach that goal; and, when that drastically turned out not to be the case, they couldn’t get all they wanted including the preverbal kitchen sink, then came the job listings demanding both degree and experience creating much of the catch 22 new grads find themselves in, but all we need to do is make work, as defined by Rowe, cool again…Paralleling the above asking when was the last time businesses wanting employees went into an educational institution and spoke, when was the last time companies like GE in Erie Pennsylvania took the highest aptitude workers/job applicants, (because the middle age worker has a point, you want the degrees but you have provided no means for experienced workers, been doing it for years, to get newer skills) and sent them to school, crafted programs only teaching the math and science, engineering skills for the job, the field not a 4 year degree, not a years long certification process? Contrast their mindset to the CEO paying for all his full time workers’ children to attend college irregardless where they choose to go to school, what the intend to major in because he knows what it’s like to watch a parent get by on minimum wage, knows what it’s like for higher education to be a dream and actively seeks to pay it forward. Contrast the G.E. standard approach to employers who have taken it upon themselves creating their own training programs, work in tandem with local community colleges, take the step to pay for a young workers’ college education that will advance them in the job they already had during high school, they are met with overwhelming success and experience, no shortage of workers, interested candidates, applicants; chief reasons Jamie Dimon’s aerospace high school and IBM’s fast track high school melding diplomas and associates degrees plus an internship at IBM remains so successful is directly owing to they are teaching up to the minute skills coupled with hands on internships. Conversely, universities, tech and trade schools can’t keep current if employers insist on keeping silent, being absent from the conversation, talks to aforementioned institutions, simultaneously complaining to any news outlet, labor study complier they can’t find workers; have eliminated and continue rebuffing the internship, apprenticeship, don’t know what to do with them when they have them, regularly giving them coffee fetching, filing busy work unrelated to the job, (to the point their next employer is saying I need to know if you got coffee or did actual work) shunting them away from true experience…. Adjacently America, society, teachers, guidance counselors, mentors, job coaches must strive to reorient existing, isolated up and coming workers expectations, employer expectations round 2; many of the people in ‘Trumpland’ rustbelt states, former, current manufacturing hubs housing those who excel at construction, bricklaying, drywall, plumbing, pipefitting, welding, machinist, mechanic exc., several kinds of factory work are quite frankly living in a 1980’s or earlier time warp. Why did the younger of 2 men featured in the Carrier update announcing jobs still going overseas, down to Mexico despite president Trump’s previous efforts think he would be able to retire at Carrier at his age of no more than 40; why does the 38 year old profiled in the obstacles to the American dream piece think at 38, taking a factory job just out of high school, he would retire in that field, be guaranteed a job all his working life? Mindsets dying latest, at the turn of the 21st century starting with the year 2000; trends any employment forecaster or person with eyes could conclude in the early, mid 90’s. 3rd case in point, you live in Williamson West Virginia and all you’ve wanted to be all your short life is a coal miner, yes there’s an argument for exposing people to job opportunities, young people to career fields especially in a place caught in an obvious time capsule, looking for all the world like the set of Steven Spielberg’s Goonies; immediate question jumping out is where are/were the city managers, city, state chambers of commerce bringing new business prospects in and why does it seem they’ve been asleep since the Carter administration, arguably when local establishments got a new coat of paint? Then again strapping 20-year-old, you own at TV don’t you, heard about Trump from TV didn’t you, don’t you ever see something on TV you’d like to be, aspire to besides coal miner, what’s holding you in Williamson, talked about elsewhere Erie, PA; why are you so insularly and like president Trump uncurious about your world, the rest of your country, what might be out there for you should you leave your dilapidated, one horse, run down home town? Why the clinging to a ‘home town’ that is literally dying, why does it escape the understanding of you and the newly minted college graduate in Erie that that dying is normal, the ebb and flow of time since the goal rush days, mining boom towns leaving the moment mineral access dried up, oil wells ran dry; your best course of action up against those odds take any, every opportunity to move, leave, go where things are that fit your credentials, what you want to do, talents you have. Continuing, for the former of the 2 young men, if you can sit through a class on underground drilling, you can sit through a class on installing solar panels to rooves, clean energy installations of any kind, an industry showing exponential growth, sit in a construction, welding, pipefitting, journeyman class. Ideal people to be inspired by fictional characters Augie March and Tom Joad read about in school, apparently not, ideal people to believe that is a path to a better life, larger achievement, greater stability apparently don’t, yet millennials are pegged as the go nowhere generation…On the flipside employers act put out they can’t find workers, claimed to have raised wages, offered amenities toward enticing workers to jobs, but never offered to cover even a fraction of relocation expenses for a single worker and their family content to wring their hands, whine to print publications, news outlets about ‘the skills gap;’ extraordinarily self-defeating when the problem in Larimer county Colorado (video 1 after paragraph 2) was they added almost twice as many jobs over 5 years than they did citizens, how does that even happen?… Combine that with entire growing segments of the population who are excluded from workforce participation through one hurdle or another; here’s a hint it’s not the typical republican, Robert A. Hall, Mike Rowe, Dennis Miller, Bill Maher, screaming, complaining and telling bad, supposed to be timely jokes, regaling us via relentless mantras depicting people too stupid or lazy to earn a paycheck. Top on the list women, we already know it isn’t safe, forget fulfilling to show up for work, whether you work somewhere like Fox News as a television anchor doing so much as your local news, in a place however reminiscent of Hollywood, that needs to retain its professionalism, sell jewelry at Kay, women sales staple Avon, try to sell your own created brand of product X, work in the tech industry unless you enjoy being inundated with work while on negotiated, unpaid maternity leave, relish being the odd duck in the office, only one of your gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation; here everyone thought it was because math was just too hard for their ‘fairer sex,’ programing/coding too complicated…. Proven you can’t be an athlete and a woman either, just ask the U.S. gymnasts systematically sexually abused as teenagers by the team doctor; don’t go into management women, don’t try to compete there guaranteed you won’t get it and be utterly demeaned in the meantime, passed over hardly knowing why. Jill Abramson was unceremoniously fired from her prominent newspaper job then replaced by a man known for punching holes in walls either because she couldn’t save an already sinking ship or for speaking out about the pay gap she discovered. When you can be fired in some states if you don’t wear makeup, deign to use birth control, veteran senator Elizabeth Warren is being told to sit down and senator Kamala Harris basically told to shut up; congress has new ‘dress codes’ for reporters standing outside the Whitehouse in dangerous heat told to don sleeves, too well do we remember the national outcry over former first lady Michelle Obama’s bare arms. Now imagine being a girl, woman holding an interest in the very do something, dirty jobs Mr. Rowe champions, does he honestly think that will go over well in the overwhelmingly male dominated fields he put on his show, housing the most vacant jobs, noting it took a viral twitter hashtag to break through stereotypes of who looks like an engineer, a line of pink building toys to let girls freely explore building things, chronicling news stories about air marshals gone wild resulting in the suicide of one lesbian marshal thanks in part to a perverted Jeopardy game played around the office demeaning women, minorities and the LGBT community, the sexual assault of another female marshal. Sexual misconduct, harassment, assault and full-blown rape in the military is as par for the course as boot camp; worse, women serving in military ranks who report sexual assault are pegged as having a personality disorder and told to get over it or discharged entirely, lock step in line with a society where Jennifer Lawrence’s self-deprecation regarding her pay inequality and lagging negotiation skills was readily accepted, women continually berated for lacking negotiation skills, so called refusal to negotiate. Compartmentalizing the undeniable questions about can a woman handle large hammers, industrial sized equipment, construction equipment, unscrew corroded pipes, handle large animals, manage duties on a fishing ships, comments on their lesser upper body strength, based on medical research or no, can they tolerate grueling hours, the sexist nature those comments are bound to take, fact employers, no matter how desperate, wouldn’t dream of hiring a woman to do these jobs. Who would tell their daughters to go into such a field understanding how easily they could be sexually harassed, assaulted on a construction jobsite, inside someone’s home as a plumber doubted for her abilities, the reverse of perception on male handymen, predators posing as utility company workers, using that job to assault people when; 2 New York City female bus drivers performing an unsung, do something job allege they were systematically sexually harassed at work to the point one contemplated suicide to end pressure of keeping quiet, who felt broken like never before post the experience of having her face licked trying to pick up her daily schedule…Similarly, persons overcoming disabilities, mental health challenges, developmental delay are a whole different section of slammed doors in their faces; because despite the Americans with disabilities act, businesses determined to help these individuals secure a job and a means to support themselves, at least in part, there aren’t nearly enough of them to accommodate need….Returning exclusively to the able bodied or mostly able bodied, further if you want to start, have a full discussion about both moving forward, defacto meaning embracing innovation as well as filling jobs that consistently go wanting for workers, there has to be a serious conversation surrounding restoring the dignity of work; not just how we talk about blue collar work and workers, not just convincing employers to fill said positions they must raise wages, moving it away from implied hazard pay for extremely strenuous work, being covered in various levels of filth for the should be middle class life they can’t achieve. Rowe is right it is completely up to us to define what a good job is, what productive, solid work looks like, fine; however, a good job should be one where employers are treated with decency beyond how their bosses and co-workers speak to them, tones on the jobsite…Why, not because of ever talked about American laziness, lacking stamina, perceived softness; but, knowledge people allowed to do physical labor safely, correctly can work longer, be on the same job along enough to pass on their expertise to younger workers, cost less to programs like Medicare, Medicaid, such people need less disability payouts, none at all. No young person 16 to 30 is going to entertain the idea of engaging in do something, manual labor work despite their inclinations, known skills with their hands until you do, not because they are allergic to work, fear getting their hands dirty, possess an aversion to sweat, but because they know the end result of decimated physical ability and live in an increasingly health conscious society. Instead of the most basic safeguards complying with laws we already have, workers are daily subjected to dangerous conditions, temperamental, poorly working machines, outdated, overly repaired rather than replaced tools or equipment partially explaining the man in the extended Erie, PA profile haughtily asking how much the jobs scooped up be immigrants pay, causing viewers to bristle until he mentioned unsafe working conditions and hazardous tools; Deepwater horizon oil rig explosions, mining operations leading to the death of workers, factory fires all things we know/knew about. Proving there is nothing perfect or reasonable about asking someone to do a job, in order to earn a living that will eventually leave them with a serious musculoskeletal deformity in their golden years no matter how good a shape they keep themselves in throughout their life, there is nothing to be celebrated, around a kitchen table or anywhere else, about promoting work, doing work that multiplies exponentially the chances of respiratory disease, cancer and other serious maladies, literally cripple young, youthful persons in a few short years because it satisfies anyone’s definition of what a good job, hard work, solid work looks like, what it is to be a man’s man or any of that other macho, rah, rah crap that went out with the 1950’s for good reason, and no, Tucker Carlson there is nothing dignified, that confers dignity about forever being sweaty, filthy, dirt covered, unable to get car grease, industrial lubricants or the remanence of manipulating plumbing all day, farm excrement, meat packing scraps out from under your nails, out of your work clothing, chancing experiencing heat exhaustion, heat stroke, hypothermia or frost bite, constant exposure to temperature extremes weakening the immune system and leading to colds, bronchitis, pneumonia, sick days, extra sick days taken, blindness or asthma just to go to work….As mentioned at the start of the paragraph embracing technology, as opposed to shunning college degrees, comprehending computer programing, coding, robotics, engineering and all its facets will solve problems of both now and in the future preserving the health of current and coming generations, believe it or not; calculating how many practical applications of science, engineering, technology and math bent towards solving an existing conundrum, bettering someone’s life with cheaper adaptive technology, prosthetic limbs or related materials began as high school, 4 year university class projects in STEM, advanced STEM subjects, science fair contest entries, robotics competitions. Whether you’re talking about the incubator designed specifically to aid low birthweight babies in developing counties miles from a hospital, the boy who invented a lighter more portable and effective sandbag, the older young man who created a better detector for pancreatic cancer, the disease taking famed lecturer Randy Pausch, the middle school class who used 3D printing to create a prosthetic limb for a farmer following in the footsteps of college students who did the same for people in war torn Africa; another created a custom wheelchair for a little girl who couldn’t easily fit into standard models, never mind her parents couldn’t afford it, weighted backpacks helping calm kids with autism. Too it’s acknowledging the primary reason we don’t already possess machines, innovations, apparatuses to help workers work safer, to make work less strenuous and grueling toward lessening joint degradation, eventual replacement, chronic pain is precisely due to there also always having been an immigrant, slave, negro, disadvantaged African American or desperately poor white person, prior convict, societies ‘undesirables’ willing to do such back breaking work, viewed lowly, humble work for meager money. However, just because we always previously could hire such workers and cheap too, doesn’t mean we should have in the past, should continue doing so now; said advancements positively putting less stress on human bodies not because we’re wusses, have gone soft, are ‘all obese and so out of shape we can’t work,’ and countering instead because repetitive stress injuries, tendonitis, arthritis and joint damage were always bad, costly and most importantly unnecessary in the modern era…Using either robots to fight fires or soundwaves to douse flames only makes sense considering both monetary and human cost should a firefighter be injured, burned unto death, inability to continue working as a fire fighter or working at all; mitigating, minimizing property damage, fire spread, possibility for greater loss of life if spread is an added happy side effect. Imagine for the remainder of coals usage as fuel using robots to enter mines, do work, collect natural materials saving future generations’ black lung; it can happen if we let it. Hopefully machines changing pipes in tight places, navigating dirt and debris in some of the places Rowe has routinely filmed himself removing the daily contortions required for the love of saving the human musculoskeletal structure of every U.S. inhabitant; migrating the machines globally for everyone’s benefit. Science, technology applied to everyday problems is what’s going to eliminate flushable wipes clogging of sewer pipes, the toilet paper clogging pipes in Mexico and more importantly eliminating the filth in the poor man’s job who’s raking that ewww away from a water filtration screen; either by creating a better degradable wipe, a natural non-toxic substance to be put in pipes removing clog build up and/or replacing the man with a robot absent a sense of smell….
Finally, people who have a passion for the work they do, do their best work period end of sentence; people who have a passion for their work 9 times out of 10 have an inherent talent for the largest part of their job description, making them better than the best educated, trained person you cultivate for years because they possess a natural instinct for what they are doing. Perhaps a more accurate, inspiring way to phrase, rephrase what Rowe was getting at is to replace the word passion with natural talent, aptitude, what you do best and how you can turn that into a job or career, avenue to make you money. Watch video on the high school who made the students it’s IT department; sure under Rowe’s doctrine he’d much rather our featured young man walk his original course going into diesel mechanics, because we desperately need those, but he found something that ignites his world, makes it worth living in and isn’t that the point too, where all the dirty job workers would like to get to? Nor is it that there aren’t people who want these so called and aptly named dirty jobs, forgetting momentarily all the pervious aspects discussed about job knowledge, post high school training while costing less than college is still unaffordable to persons possessing no way to pay for post-secondary schooling at all; people who desire vacant jobs driven by dollar signs, the last remaining employee market where they can drive their own destiny, may not have the mathematical skill, but more importantly the mechanical aptitude to quickly distinguish tools i.e. types of wrenches, screwdrivers or drills, may not be physically capable of doing the job owing less to obesity and poor physical shape instead manual dexterity, individuals who are clumsy, klutzy, don’t work well with their hands, excel and wood working or even understanding welding, small gas engines, have no facility with computer operation, never mind coding or programing, clearly their brains aren’t wired to excel in this area. Exactly who you don’t want working in a STEM or dirty job; if someone is more likely to show up at a Mike Rowe apparently coined phrase ‘shovel ready’ job promptly bonking themselves in the head with said shovel, stabbing their co-worker in the foot with it, they need to be somewhere else and that’s ok. We want them somewhere else, if we’re smart, we’ll help them find that somewhere else making room for people with the aptitude, inherent skill; the challenge is getting them out and the right people in.

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