Apr, 2018


mikeroweWORKS Foundation and UTI are helping students prepare for careers in the transportation industry.

You may have the impression that being an auto mechanic is a dirty job but with a little help from Mike Rowe, you might start thinking otherwise.

Rowe, a leading advocate for blue-collar work, perhaps is best known for “Dirty Jobs,” his television show that exposed many Americans to the skilled trades and how much our economy relies on hard work and advanced training.

In 2008, he established the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, which provides financial assistance to students pursuing their education in vocational and trade-related programs. The widening skills gap and shortage of experienced workers has helped create a variety of career opportunities for those willing to work hard and consider an alternative to a four-year degree.

Recent UTI graduate Jackson Chartier had been unaware of scholarship opportunities available through the foundation. “I’m not even sure I would’ve applied for a mikeroweWORKS Scholarship if my (high school) counselor didn’t urge me to,” Chartier says. “Then I won. It was a total surprise.”

A combined effort by UTI and mikeroweWORKS Foundation

For the fourth year in a row, UTI and the mikeroweWORKS Foundation will award joint scholarships to students who set their sights on programs offered by the network of schools. Last year, 22 UTI students were awarded a total of $84,000 in scholarships. For 2018, students in the automotive, diesel, motorcycle, marine, collision repair, CNC machining and welding programs will be considered.

“We’re proud to be working alongside someone as passionate as Mike Rowe,” says UTI President and CEO Kim McWaters. “He’s endlessly educating the public on the opportunities that exist in the skilled trades while also helping to reduce the financial barriers that may be keeping students from pursuing such a career.

“UTI often supplements the scholarships awarded by the mikeroweWORKS Foundation but also offers many of our own scholarships and grants to students directly,” McWaters says. “We are not only committed to providing state-of-the-industry training but also to making it accessible.”

In 2018, UTI will make available more than $15 million in sponsored scholarships.10