Sep
05
2012

#rsrh Mike Rowe to Mitt Romney: please help us remember the virtues of work.

So I see this in my Twitter Timeline:

“This” being an open letter from Mike Rowe (of Dirty Jobs fame) to Governor Romney, talking in large part about the need to respect real jobs, and a request for assistance along those lines:

On Labor Day of 2008, the fans of Dirty Jobs helped me launch this website. mikeroweWORKS.com began as a Trade Resource Center designed to connect kids with careers in the skilled trades. It has since evolved into a non-profit foundation – a kind of PR Campaign for hard work and skilled labor. Thanks to a number of strategic partnerships, I have been able to promote a dialogue around these issues with a bit more credibility than my previous resume allowed. I’ve spoken to Congress(twice) about the need to confront the underlying stigmas and stereotypes that surround these kinds of jobs. Alabama and Georgia have both used mikeroweWORKS to launch their own statewide technical recruitment campaigns, and I’m proud to be the spokesman for both initiatives. I also work closely with Caterpillar, Ford, Kimberly-Clark, and Master Lock, as well as The Boy Scouts of America and The Future Farmers of America. To date, the mikeroweWORKS Foundation has raised over a million dollars for trade scholarships. It’s modest by many standards, but I think we’re making a difference.

Certainly, we need more jobs, and you were clear about that in Tampa. But the Skills Gap proves that we need something else too.  We need people who see opportunity where opportunity exists. We need enthusiasm for careers that have been overlooked and underappreciated by society at large. We need to have a really big national conversation about what we value in the workforce, and if I can be of help to you in that regard, I am at your service – assuming of course, you find yourself in a new address early next year.

Mike ends by noting that he wrote a similar letter to Barack Obama, which was of course promptly ignored. Like Ben above, I think that this is the sort of thing where Romney can really shine…

Moe Lane

14 Comments

  • Mija 'acat' Cat says:

    Talk about a nice slow pitch, I don’t see how Team Romney foul this up.

    Not to mention it’s almost exactly aligned with the Walker Wedge (SEIU vs. UAW, skirts vs. hard hats) and Rowe is a spokesperson for Ford.

    Mew

  • Doug Stewart says:

    Whose inbox on Team R+R does this need to end up in, and how do we get it there and MAKE SURE THEY REPLY?

  • Spegen says:

    Read the whole letter, wonderful, glad to see he even supports Boy Scouts. Need to get Mike, Mitt and a F-150 together, that would be a create spot about hard work and that government bailouts are not the solution.

  • Jbird says:

    This should be an easy one for Romney to capitalize on. . . . why does it feel like it won’t be?

  • acat says:

    Heh. Romney needs to read the reply to this from the bed of an F-150.

    In downtown Boston.

    With Scott Brown.

    And pudding.

    Mew

  • BackwardsBoy says:

    Great! As a machinist, Toolmaker and QC guy, I’m all behind this idea.

    There are two ideas I emphasize over at my little blog:

    1. We once had a place for folks who were smart enough for college, but preferred to work with their hands. It was the trades. When I started out in machine shops in the ’70’s, pay was good, there was an apprenticeship program, and I could look forward to making pretty good money. These days, after NAFTA and GATT, not so much. Thanks a lot, Washington.

    2. We hear a lot about “diversity,” why don’t we have it in the job market?

  • Apple says:

    Second the reply, acat! That would be hard to top!

  • acat says:

    To BackwardsBoy .. I think, had I been born a decade earlier, that I would have been a tool-and-die guy, or maybe a carpenter.

    What killed the trades, by the way, goes back to the ’60s and ’70s .. when the unions refused to back off their wage increase requests while, at the same time, core U.S. industries were facing real competition from abroad for the first time since .. ever.

    Pre-WWI, the U.S. was not a manufacturing-exporting nation .. we became so after WWI to an extent, and after we (and others…) blew up the rest of the worlds’ means of production in WWII, we were the only ones with non-bombed factories and a willing labor pool… creating an “iron triangle” – big businesses hiring from big unions overseen by big government.

    When businesses were faced with the first real competition, when the overseas companies we’d rebuilt in the ’40s and ’50s started trying to export to the U.S., businesses offered their semi-partners the unions the choice of lower wages for all or reduced membership .. unions chose poorly, to spite the business owners, and shattered the “iron triangle”.

    We’ve just been watching the pieces of the triangle fall ever since…

    Mew

  • DirtyJobsGuy says:

    Mike Rowe has acquired a fondness for working guys. Their generally good attitudes, work ethics, and total lack of acknowledgement by the elites (why is it you see no small businessmen in ads as anything but cutesy restaurants and gift shops?)

    I can still remember sitting in the control room of a small power plant in Ontario after Sarah Palin was nominated. There was an election in Canada coming up, but all they wanted to talk about was Sarah. The strong feeling was that finally a national candidate somewhere was “one of us”.

    Show them you give a shit and all will vote for you

  • acat says:

    Mike Rowe has, whether by accident or design, rediscovered the Hawthorne Studies, @DirtyJobsGuy.

    Hawthorne et al wanted to find out what made employees more productive, so they built a separate assembly line in a separate very climate-controlled building to check it out.

    They pulled in a pool of average workers, set everything (light levels, temperature, etc.) to what the main lines were at, and .. voila. Productivity spiked, and *stayed* spiked.

    The study concluded, after messing with heat, cold, light, shift length, etc., that what motivates employees most is, in fact, “knowing management gives a shit about us.”

    This is not hard stuff .. but it is stuff that requires politicians to do things like .. shaking hands outside Fenway. (Brown did, Coakley didn’t, who’s a Senator?)

    Mew

  • tater says:

    Saw a tweet from Ted Newton, Senior communications adviser to Romney campaign about this. He stated the campaign has responded to Mike Rowe and they are waiting to hear back.

  • acat says:

    @tater – don’t suppose you could copy/paste?

    @Moe – what’cha got against posting dead (i.e. not clicky) links?

    Mew

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