President Trump campaigned on bringing jobs back to America, particularly manufacturing jobs. But there are mounting concerns there are not enough Americans with the skills necessary to fill those jobs. Mike Rowe Works Foundation CEO and former ‘Dirty Jobs’ host Mike Rowe sees the push for a college education in America as contributing to a wide skills gap leaving many manufacturing jobs unfilled.
“There is no hope without an education, got to be clear, you have to have some competency. But the idea that the best path for the most people just happens to be the most expensive path, there’s just something fundamentally corrupt,” Rowe told the FOX Business Network’s Stuart Varney. “The cost of college has just gone through the roof, and yet, we still talk about it as if it is truly the best way for the most people, $1.3 trillion in student loans, it’s not a mystery.”
Rowe says millions of American jobs don't require a college education. “I’m fascinated by the skills gap. The existence of opportunity shouldn’t be a polemic, it shouldn’t be political, but of course today everything is right? But 5.6 million jobs that exist as we speak 75% of which do not require a four-year degree are sitting there.”
Rowe says putting an emphasis on college education sends many graduates into the work force saddled with high debt--and without skills that could have been acquired more affordably at vocational schools.
“We have this subordinate view of all kinds of different forms of education that lead to these opportunities, therefore we have the same subordinate view of all these jobs that go begging.”
Rowe remained optimistic that opportunities in the job market are very much alive for those with the right skills.
“Of all the divides in the country right now, the biggest one is the group of people who are convinced opportunity is dead and those who are not. I think the opportunities are still there.”