Mike Rowe

Mike Rowe is known for his TV show Dirty Jobs or for narrating the Deadliest Catch series and Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week!” But not everyone knows how much Mike gives back.

For more than a decade, Mike has been a “behind the scenes” philanthropist though his foundation, mikeroweWORKS, which he designed to reinvigorate the skilled trades. The foundation awards scholarships to students pursuing a career in manufacturing, construction, automotive technology, and other STEM-related occupations. It focuses on issues related to a widening skills gap, an aging workforce, and millions of unfilled trades jobs. Mike actively runs mikeroweWORKS.

Rowe also works closely with SkillsUSA, a partnership of students, teachers, and industry that provides educational programs and competitions. The SkillsUSA framework empowers every student to succeed at work and in life, while helping to close the “skills gap” in which millions of positions go unfilled. SkillsUSA’s championships program ensures schools are teaching relevant technical skills. Since 2011, mikeroweWORKS has provided travel scholarships to nearly 400 SkillsUSA students, representing an investment of over $365,000 in America’s future skilled workforce.

Mike is also the spokesperson for Go Build Alabama. Through the Go Build campaign, Mike educates young people on the value of learning a trade, dispels misconceptions about the construction industry, and inspires them to consider a career in the skilled trades. Go Build and the Alabama Construction Recruitment Institute aim to provide more highly skilled tradesmen for construction businesses, and enhanced economic development for Alabama and the nation. Training programs throughout the state help workers start earning a competitive salary with increasing benefits right away – without worrying about student loans.

Mike Rowe is a dedicated philanthropist and a friend to both skilled trades and our entire industry. Forbes identified Mike as one of the country’s 10 Most Trustworthy Celebrities in 2010, 2011, and 2012. CII is pleased to honor Mike Rowe with the Carroll H. Dunn Award of Excellence.