He started with a TV show about dirty jobs, then he launched a national campaign for appreciating all workers and valuing hard work. Now, he’s adding a new element, and Patrick Henry Community College is getting involved.
After traveling the country for the show Dirty Jobs, Mike Rowe realized that employers repeatedly reported a shortage of workers who exhibited professionalism and understood employability skills. To answer this need, his foundation, the Mike Rowe Works Foundation, has partnered with the National Council of Certification Centers (NC3) to develop a new certification program for anyone seeking these work-place readiness skills.
When the program was announced this semester, Patrick Henry Community College, as a NC3 Leader School, was selected as one of 20 schools in the nation to launch the pilot program. The certification aims to cultivate a generation of workers who know how to communicate and are reliable, trainable, and collaborative. The program is centered around Rowe’s S.W.E.A.T. Pledge (Skill and Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo). The pledge outlines four pillars of professionalism: work ethic, personal responsibility, delayed gratification, and a positive attitude. The entire training takes only a few days depending on the pace of the course.
PHCC’s Career Service Coordinator Shannon Whitlow recently completed the Train the Trainor course through NC3 and is preparing to offer the new program to the community.
“This training addresses the foundational skills that anyone would need to be a good employee,” Whitlow said. “We are really honored to be chosen as one of the only community colleges in the nation to offer this new training. It is going to be so beneficial not only to our students but also local to employers who are looking for employees with these skills.”
The college hopes to integrate the program into the soft-skills training courses that it is already offering to community partners like the West Piedmont Workforce Development Board, Ross and Martinsville and Henry County’s Workforce Center. Now, with the addition of the Mike Rowe Works Foundation certification, students who come through these organization’s soft skills training programs can earn a certification. The college also hopes to offer the certification training broadly to any community partner or student that would like employability training.