USA Science and Engineering Festival: The Blog

By F. Mark Modzelewsk

Effort will highlight STEM’s massive impact on vocational education and careers

The USA Science & Engineering Festival (www.USAScienceFestival.org) is pleased to announce that mikeroweWORKS (mikeroweworks.com) will be hosting the “mikeroweWORKS Pavilion” at this year’s Festival. Today’s trade careers are being driven by hardworking, technologically-skilled workers and one of the goals of this partnership is to shine a spotlight on them at the Festival and to encourage young people to explore a multitude of career options in industries with millions of job openings.

Mike Rowe, host of Dirty Jobs and CEO of mikeroweWORKS (Photo: Business Wire)Mike Rowe, host of Dirty Jobs and CEO of mikeroweWORKS (Photo:Business Wire)

Dirty Jobs” creator and host, Mike Rowe, will be appearing and speaking each day at the Festival to help highlight the importance of a skilled workforce essential to America’s economy. He will be joined by leading manufacturers, technology companies, vocational education schools and other like-minded organizations that are committed to bring more awareness to the power of labor and how science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are essential components of any skilled worker’s toolbox.

The mikeroweWORKS Pavilion is a key element of the USA Science & Engineering Festival, co-founded by serial entrepreneur Larry Bock and Lockheed Martin Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Ray O Johnson. Upwards of 350,000 attendees are expected at the Festival which takes place April 25-27, 2014 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The free, nonprofit Festival is the largest STEM outreach event in the world, and is filled with hands-on exhibits, experiments, concerts, and talks from leading technology entrepreneurs, Nobel Prize winning scientists, Hollywood celebrities, Fortune 500 CEOs, and many others.

“This will be the Super Bowl of STEM and we couldn’t be more pleased than to partner with mikeroweWORKS to not only create more opportunities for America’s students, but to open new pathways to skilled labor careers through STEM education,” said Larry Bock, Co-Founder of the USA Science & Engineering Festival.

mikeroweWORKS CEO Mike Rowe stated that, “It’s easy to forget that skill plays a key role in many of today’s most rewarding careers, and I’m looking forward to highlighting those companies where skilled labor is still celebrated. Our Pavilion is open to companies large and small, and I’m thrilled by the support we’ve already received. We’re going to show kids and parents just how many great STEM careers exist for skilled workers, and I’m honored to have the chance to tell that story.”

Innovation and entrepreneurship are also components of many great STEM careers, and we want people to understand the role of skilled labor in those areas as well. With the help of the many companies attending, including the trade schools that mikeroweWORKS has already partnered with, I think we can make a very persuasive case for a host of great STEM opportunities that start with mastering a useful skill,” added Mary Sullivan, President of mikeroweWORKS.

To date, Caterpillar, Midwest Technical Institute, Tulsa Welding, Universal Technical Institute, Tech Shop, Turner Industries, Go Build Alabama and Fair Oaks Farms have committed to participate in the mikeroweWORKS Pavilion and many more are in the works.

About Mike Rowe and mikeroweWORKS:

As the creator and executive producer of Dirty Jobs With Mike Rowe, Mike spent ten years traveling the country, working as an apprentice on more than 300 jobs that most people would go out of their way to avoid. From coal mining to roustabouting, maggot farming to sheep castrating, Mike has worked in just about every industry and filmed in every state, celebrating the hard-working Americans who make civilized life possible for the rest of us.

On Labor Day 2008, Mike launched mikeroweWORKS. The initiative grew out of Dirty Jobs when Mike challenged the fans to help him build a resource center for skilled labor. That resource center quickly turned into a grassroots PR Campaign where skilled labor and alternative education are celebrated in the hope of highlighting the steady decline in the trades and bolstering enrollment in trade schools and technical colleges.

As mikeroweWORKS began to challenge the stigmas and stereotypes that surround skilled trades and “alternative education,” Mike quickly became the most visible and vocal advocate for millions of available jobs that require a “hands-on” skill. He’s testified before both houses of Congress on the country’s widening skills gap, the emerging student loan crisis, and the ever-changing perceptions of a “good job.”

Since 2010, mikeroweWORKS has awarded hundreds of educational and tool scholarships, travel stipends, and provided other financial assistance to those pursuing a trade. Most recently,mikeroweWORKS teamed up with Caterpillar to launchprofoundlydisconnected.com – a direct challenge to the marketing campaigns that currently promote four-year degrees at the expense of more affordable and more practical trade schools.mikeroweWORKS also partnered with Tulsa Welding and Midwest Technical to award $1.6M in “Work Ethic Scholarships.” For more information, visit mikeroweworks.com, as well as Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/TheRealMikeRowe, and follow Mike on Twitter @mikeroweworks.

About the USA Science & Engineering Festival 

The USA Science & Engineering Festival is the country’s only national science festival. It was developed to increase public awareness about the importance of science and to encourage youth to pursue careers in science and engineering by celebrating science in much the same way as we celebrate Hollywood celebrities, professional athletes and pop stars. Lockheed Martin is the presenting host sponsor of the Festival, a grassroots collaboration of over 500 of the leading science and engineering corporations in the United States. For more information, visit www.USAScienceFestival.org, connect with the Festival on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @USAScienceFest.

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