'Dirty Jobs' Host Backs Skilled Labor Drive

Jan. 23, 2009
Grainger selects Mike Rowe as spokesman for workforce campaign.

Facilities maintenance supplies distributor W.W. Grainger Inc. has teamed with Discovery Channel "Dirty Jobs" host and producer Mike Rowe to spread the word about the growing skills shortage and the importance of technical education, the company said Jan. 22.

As a Grainger spokesman, Rowe will be featured on the cover of the company's 2009 catalog and make several appearances on behalf of the company. Earlier this week, Grainger and Rowe co-hosted a panel discussion in Orlando to raise awareness about the skills shortage in industries including manufacturing.

The panel included industry experts from community college and trade organizations who discussed ways to address the skills shortage, including the need to educate young people and their parents on the career opportunities available in technical fields. The panel also stressed the importance of business/education partnerships.

Rowe's experience as the "Dirty Jobs" host makes him the ideal spokesperson to deliver Grainger's message, says Grainger President and CEO Jim Ryan.

"Mike is an excellent fit for Grainger because like many of our customers, he knows what it means to roll up your sleeves and do the tough jobs that make life easier, safer and cleaner for us all," Ryan says. "He's a strong advocate of our country's industrial and skilled workforce, and he understands the importance of preparing young people for careers in the trades, especially as baby boomers prepare to retire."

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