Mike Rowe Scholarship: Key Eligibility and Application Guide

The Mike Rowe Scholarship is an initiative by the mikeroweWORKS Foundation to support the next generation of skilled workers. This scholarship program focuses on promoting work ethic and providing financial assistance to individuals pursuing careers in the trades, technical education, or other hands-on skilled professions. Each year, the foundation awards a significant amount in work ethic scholarships to deserving students across the United States.

Starting from March 15, 2023, the mikeroweWORKS Foundation will be accepting applications for the Work Ethic Scholarship. These scholarships are designed to encourage and support the development of essential skills that will be valuable to students pursuing their careers in various fields, that may not require traditional four-year college degrees.

The program has helped numerous students in the past, with examples of successful recipients from various years available on their website. By offering these financial resources, the mikeroweWORKS Foundation strives to empower students to develop and maintain a strong work ethic and contribute to the skilled labor force in America.

Mike Rowe and the Work Ethic Scholarship

Mike Rowe’s Career and Background

Mike Rowe is a versatile television personality known for his roles as host, narrator, and executive producer for the popular show “Dirty Jobs.” His extensive career has led him to become an influential advocate for the next generation of skilled workers in America. Rowe’s passion for promoting work ethic and the importance of skilled labor has been the driving force behind his educational initiatives and support for various causes.

Mikeroweworks Foundation

In response to the growing need for skilled workers, Mike Rowe founded the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the merit of hard work, enhancing the perception of skilled trade careers, and providing financial assistance to individuals pursuing training in these trades.

The foundation aims to help individuals who possess a strong work ethic, exhibit personal responsibility, and demonstrate a dedication to their chosen trade through the Work Ethic Scholarship Program. Starting March 15, 2023, the program is accepting applications to award a total of one million dollars in scholarships. The scholarships are specifically designed to recognize students who showcase qualities such as delayed gratification and a positive attitude.

To support these initiatives, the foundation receives funding and support from a variety of organizations, partners, and individuals, while its success stories show the impact that the scholarships can have on recipients. This has led to multiple generations of skilled workers getting an extra push to enter crucial industries and contribute to the workforce, thus addressing the ongoing skill gap in America.

Purpose of the Work Ethic Scholarship

The Work Ethic Scholarship is an initiative by the mikeroweWORKS Foundation to support and encourage individuals who exhibit a strong work ethic and personal responsibility. The scholarship aims to help develop the next generation of skilled workers in various trade-related programs, with a primary focus on bridging the skills gap in the modern workforce.

This scholarship targets those who plan to pursue vocational education in a variety of fields, including skilled labor, which has experienced a shortage of skilled workers in recent years. By focusing on these areas, the Work Ethic Scholarship is addressing an important issue by supplying the required workforce in industries where having a skilled workforce is essential.

One of the criteria for applying to the Work Ethic Scholarship is an understanding of the importance of personal responsibility, delayed gratification, a positive attitude, and dedication to hard work. These values reflect the core principles of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, as they believe these traits contribute to the success of the individuals and the industries they work in.

In summary, the Work Ethic Scholarship seeks to:

  • Support and encourage individuals with strong work ethic and personal responsibility
  • Develop the next generation of skilled workers in trade-related programs
  • Address the skills gap in the workforce, primarily in the field of skilled labor
  • Uphold the core values of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, such as personal responsibility and a positive attitude

By promoting these objectives, the Work Ethic Scholarship hopes to have a meaningful impact on both the lives of the recipients and the industries they serve.


Applying for the Scholarship

Eligibility Requirements

To be considered for a Work Ethic Scholarship, candidates must meet specific eligibility requirements. They should have a strong work ethic and be passionate about pursuing a career in skilled trades. The scholarships are designed for those individuals who are committed to obtaining an education from a technical school, trade school, or vocational program.

Application Process

The application process for the Work Ethic Scholarship entails multiple steps, beginning with completing an online application form. In addition to providing general information about themselves, applicants must also submit:

  • A statement on their work ethic
  • A reference from an employer, supervisor, teacher, or other authority figure who can attest to their strong work ethic
  • Verification of enrollment at a qualifying educational institution
  • A short video demonstrating their skills in a trade or technical field

The application details and links to relevant forms can be found on the mikeroweworks.org/scholarship website.

Key Dates and Deadlines

For those interested in applying for the 2023 Work Ethic Scholarship, it’s crucial to be aware of key dates and deadlines. Applications are accepted starting March 15, 2023, and it is advised that applicants submit their applications promptly, as funding is limited and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants can visit the official scholarship website for any updates or changes to deadlines and application details.

By adhering to these guidelines and ensuring they meet the eligibility criteria, candidates can make a strong case for themselves in their pursuit of a Work Ethic Scholarship to help defray tuition costs and obtain the education needed to excel in their chosen skilled trades career.

Scholarship Components

S.W.E.A.T. Pledge

The cornerstone of the Mike Rowe scholarship is the S.W.E.A.T. Pledge, which stands for “Skill & Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo.” Applicants must sign and submit this pledge as part of their application. The S.W.E.A.T. Pledge emphasizes personal responsibility, delayed gratification, and maintaining a positive attitude towards work. By signing the pledge, applicants commit to being hardworking and dedicated in their pursuit of skilled trades.


As part of the application process, candidates are required to write an essay demonstrating their understanding of the importance of work ethic and skilled trades. The essay provides an opportunity for applicants to showcase their writing ability, critical thinking skills, and commitment to pursuing a career in the trades. Through the essay, the mikeroweWORKS Foundation aims to identify individuals who are truly passionate about their chosen trade and understand the value of a strong work ethic.


In addition to the S.W.E.A.T. Pledge and essay, applicants must provide references to support their application. These references should come from individuals who can speak to the applicant’s work ethic, character, and commitment to their chosen trade. The references play a crucial role in verifying the applicant’s dedication to personal responsibility and their ability to succeed in the skilled trades.


Finally, to be considered for a Work Ethic Scholarship, applicants must submit an official transcript from their most recent educational institution. Although academic performance is not the primary focus of the scholarship, it demonstrates the applicant’s ability to commit to their education and succeed in their chosen trade.

The Mike Rowe Scholarship aims to support individuals who possess a strong work ethic, personal responsibility, and dedication to the skilled trades. Through the S.W.E.A.T. Pledge, essay, references, and transcript, the scholarship application process evaluates candidates holistically, identifying those who are most deserving of financial assistance in their pursuit of a successful career in the trades.


Expectations and Guidelines

The Mike Rowe Work Ethic Scholarship aims to support individuals who demonstrate a strong work ethic and a commitment to pursuing careers in the skilled trades. This scholarship expects applicants to exhibit certain qualities and follow specific guidelines.

Work Ethic Qualities

Successful applicants are typically those who:

  • Show up early: Punctuality and commitment to arriving before their work shift begins is essential.
  • Stay late: A willingness to extend working hours to complete tasks, showing dedication to their responsibilities.
  • Keep the lights on and water running: Applicants should be dependable, maintaining essential services to ensure smooth operations.
  • Ensure air is flowing: They should also make certain that environmental conditions, such as proper ventilation, are conducive to a productive work environment.
  • Bust their asses: Hard workers who put in significant effort to get the job done efficiently and thoroughly are favored.
  • Are team players: Collaborating and working well with others is a critical component of a strong work ethic.

Application Guidelines

Applicants for the Work Ethic Scholarship must follow these guidelines:

  • Eligibility: The scholarship is available to individuals pursuing careers in the skilled trades in the United States.
  • Application period: The 2023 Work Ethic Scholarship application opens on March 15, 2023.
  • Documentation: Applicants must provide necessary documents, such as transcripts, training program information, and proof of enrollment.
  • Essay requirements: A written essay is part of the application process, allowing applicants to showcase their work ethic and commitment to their chosen trade.

By adhering to these expectations and guidelines, applicants can increase their chances of being awarded a Mike Rowe Work Ethic Scholarship, advancing their skills and career prospects in their chosen trade.

Training and Career Paths

Skilled Trades

The mikeroweWORKS Foundation Work Ethic Scholarship aims to support individuals who are eager to learn and develop skills in various skilled trades. These trades often involve hands-on training and practical experience rather than pursuing a traditional four-year degree. Some of the skilled trades supported by the scholarship include:

  • Aviation Technology
  • HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning)
  • Plumbing
  • Construction

By focusing on these industries, the scholarship assists individuals in acquiring the necessary skills required for these in-demand and vital positions within the workforce.

Technical Schools

Aside from skilled trades, the mikeroweWORKS Foundation also supports those who wish to attend technical schools to master a particular skill or trade. Technical schools provide specialized training in fields such as automotive technology, electrical technology, and welding, among others. The curriculum in these schools is designed to provide students with hands-on experience and practical knowledge in their chosen field, thus ensuring a higher likelihood of success in their careers.

Students who wish to apply for the Work Ethic Scholarship can seek assistance by selecting a training program in any of the supported industries. By investing in technical education, the mikeroweWORKS Foundation aims to help close the skills gap in the American workforce and promote a successful, skilled labor force.

Impact and Future of the Scholarship

The Mike Rowe Scholarship Program, also known as the Work Ethic Scholarship, has had a significant impact on the lives of hardworking men and women across the nation. By providing financial assistance to individuals pursuing careers in skilled trades, the mikeroweWORKS Foundation has helped to address the growing skills gap in the workforce.

The Foundation’s S.W.E.A.T. Pledge (Skill & Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo) serves as a cornerstone of the Scholarship program, emphasizing the importance of work ethic, personal responsibility, and a positive attitude. Applicants are required to complete this pledge, along with an essay, as part of the application process. These requirements help ensure that deserving, dedicated individuals receive the support needed to achieve success in their chosen field.

Through its Facebook page, the mikeroweWORKS Foundation shares updates on scholarship recipients, showcasing their determination and drive to succeed. These stories have garnered nationwide attention and have helped positively influence public opinion about the value of skilled trades.

Looking ahead, the Mike Rowe Scholarship Program’s impact is expected to grow. With a current commitment of one million dollars in scholarships for the 2023 cycle, the Foundation continues to demonstrate its dedication to fostering a skilled workforce. To broaden its reach and build greater awareness about the importance of skilled trades, the mikeroweWORKS Foundation has also initiated a national PR campaign.

In summary, the Mike Rowe Scholarship Program’s impact on hardworking men and women has been significant, empowering them to pursue skilled trades careers and contribute to a stronger workforce. As the Foundation continues to expand its reach and support more individuals with its scholarship program, its influence and role in revitalizing the skilled trades industry is expected to grow stronger.

Helpful Resources

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1 thought on “Mike Rowe Scholarship: Key Eligibility and Application Guide”

  1. I first learned about the S.W.E.A.T. Pledge by watching TBN while incarcerated. After hearing that there were about 2.8 million dirty jobs that were available and knowing that there are 2.3 million incarcerated I thought that training the incarcerated population would be a great way to contribute to society and the economy. I am free now and want to take advantage of the opportunity to show that I agree and believe in strong work ethic and trades. I’m learning the electrical trade through Interplay Learning and working towards being accepted into the apprenticeship of Local 26 Electrician Union. I will apply for the scholarship in March and see what happens. I’m only a month out of prison and searching for employment. I’ve also self-published 8 books while incarcerated, I’m no stranger to determination, work ethic and creativity. I hope to become a success story of what you have going on. God bless


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