Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs speaks at SolidWorks World 2012

One of my favorite shows on TV is Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe.  Even though the keynote speaker was announced ahead of SolidWorks World 2012 (Tony Fadell), there was still a surprize guest speaker!  Can you guess who (as if you didn’t already know): Mike Rowe.

Mike Rowe is a down to Earth kind of guy that has a passion to honor the men and women who do the jobs that the rest of us are thankful we don’t have to do.  Rowe spoke about wanting to bring white collar and blue collar trades together.  Though there is value in having degrees (of which he has one in Communications), he states that our society is too focused on that.  In particular, he does Dirty Jobs to honor his Grandfather, Carl, who was a plummer and mechanic.  With all the unemployment, there doesn’t seem to be enough people to fill jobs like plummers and electricians.  A very good article covers details of his talk on Graphics Speak

He talked about mikeroweWORKS, built by the fans of Dirty Jobs, which seeks to help close the skills gap and link up tradesmen.  His mission statement says it better than I ever could.

Meeting Mike Rowe

When travelling across country late last year with my wife, I discovered a section of our hotel store at the Grand Canyon that was dedicated to Dirty Jobs.  There was a foam board cut out of Mike Rowe’s image.  To joke with my wife, who never found her way into the store, I took a photo of me with the 2D cut out.

In a bit of irony, I actually did get a chance to meet Mike Rowe at SolidWorks World 2012, and yes, he gracitiously took his photo with me.  Can you tell which is the real Mike Rowe?


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