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Economy

Video: America's Workforce Is 'Disconnected'

"Dirty Jobs" host Mike Rowe talks about his new book, The Way I Heard It.

Media Editors · Nov. 11, 2019

Mike Rowe says, “We have unintendedly maligned an entire section of our workforce by promoting one form of education, in my opinion, at the expense of all of the other forms.”

“Forty years ago, colleges needed a PR campaign,” Rowe added. “We needed more people to get into higher education, but when we gave the big push for college back the in ‘70s, we did it at the expense of alternative education. In other words, we told people, 'If you don’t get your degree, you’re going to wind up turning a wrench.’”

“The skills gap today, in my opinion, is a result of the removal of shop class and the repeated message that the best path for the most people happens to be the most expensive path.”

“This is why, in my opinion, we have $1.6 trillion of student loans on the books and 7.3 million open positions, most of which don’t require a four-year degree. We’re just disconnected. We’re rewarding behavior we should be discouraging. We’re lending money we don’t have to kids who are never going to be able to pay it back to train them for jobs that don’t exist anymore. That’s nuts.”

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