Your introduction to Mike Rowe may have come from any number of television jobs he has had over the years. A familiar voice and face to anyone who has watched Deadliest Catch, Dirty Jobs, or How the Universe Works on the Discovery Channel, Ghost Hunters on Syfy channel or National Geographic's current hit show Wicked Tuna.

He is a classically trained opera singer, who has also worked as a voice actor (Fox's American Dad), appeared on other television shows as various characters, and has been a pitchman for Ford Motor Company, Lee Jeans, Caterpillar, and Novartis, among others.

He is currently the host of, Returning the Favor, on Facebook, where people doing good works for others are rewarded by Rowe and company, with something just for them.

In 2008 he launched another career as an activist for blue and white-collar workers with the mikeroweWORKS Foundation. This public non-profit "works hard to debunk myths about the skilled trades and help close the skills gap."

As the CEO of the foundation, Rowe speaks regularly about what he perceives as "the country's dysfunctional relationship with work". He also "challenges the persistent belief that a four-year degree is the best path for most people".

The website associated with the foundation ( provides information, resources, and offers tuition assistance to people "getting trained for skilled jobs that are in demand, most notably through the Work Ethic Scholarship Program. Since its inception, it has granted or helped facilitate the granting of, more than $5 million in scholarships or grants in support of technical and vocational education".


The mikeroweWORKS Foundation recently awarded ten scholarships to technical students across the state of South Dakota.

The Finish Strong Scholarship was open to students entering their second year at one of South Dakota’s four technical institutes to help students earn technical degrees and move into the state’s workforce with less debt. The scholarship program was funded by the mikeroweWORKS Foundation and matched by the state of South Dakota Future Fund for a total of $50,000 in scholarships.

The Finish Strong Scholarship came to life after Rowe’s visit to South Dakota in the fall of 2018, when he visited several South Dakota technical institutes and businesses in support of the New Day in Tech Ed campaign.

For more information on these scholarship programs see mikeroweWORKS, Finish Strong Scholarship or Build Dakota Scholarships.


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