In 1882, over 10,000 people flocked to New York to participate in America’s first Labor Day parade. While it was seen as a celebration it was also a time to discuss strategies for securing not only better jobs but safer working conditions. That movement became so successful that for many now just seen as one last hoorah as summer is coming to an end & football season gets into full swing.
4 years ago a switch was thrown & a video was aired on Labor Day announcing a new website with a simple & yet not so simple mission. That mission was to create a new awareness among Americans that those “better jobs” many had fought for; are not only out there, but they need people to fill them as they are a great career choice & not just a fallback. Thus mikeroweWORKS was born & the PR campaign for blue collar workers & work was officially launched. Since that time, quite a lot has changed and when one takes a few minutes to look back it is quite remarkable.
The mrW Tradesmen was originally conceived as a group of individuals with experience willing to share their knowledge with the rest of us. An mrW Tradesman should be able to answer your questions (or point you in the right direction) whether you’re an “apprentice” type, someone looking to get into the business, or just a genuinely curious individual. When they officially launched the site I think there was maybe 20 of us “tradesmen” signed up & know there are 118 officially listed.
The Foundation back then was started with Mike’s own money & was big time in the red due to all the setup costs, lawyer’s fees, etc… Donations slowly started trickling in & now they are rolling in which has helped over 70 students attend the Skills USA National Championships in just the last two years. This doesn’t include the numerous other types of cash & tool scholarships that have been handed out or given to other organizations.
The Mission Spreads:
With sponsors like Viva, and numerous others, some superb moderators & forum regulars, and of course the crew at mrW headquarters the message is spreading far & wide. Congress has gone from just thinking about college to actually inviting, listening to & acting on Mike’s words. Go Build Alabama was one of the first state sponsored sites to launch with Mike’s help followed up by Georgia with rumors of a nationwide campaign starting soon.
Still plenty to do:
While the PR campaign is well under way & appears to be picking up steam there still is a lot to do as this Skills Gap infographic from workboots.com shows.
So on this Labor Day, here’s to Mike for what he has started & continues to do. It sure will be interesting to see how much more it grows and what is accomplished in the coming years by everyone. Happy Labor Day everyone
Oh, ok I had to throw this one in – the cast & crew of mikeroweWORKS headquarters having a little fun & shoot if this video gets a million hits My Dirty Jobs, LLC will donate $5,000 to the mikeroweWORKS Foundation.