Dirty Jobs star promotes industry careers at Cat event

By |  March 19, 2014

Television personality Mike Rowe, from the show Dirty Jobs, spoke at an event hosted by Caterpillar Inc. The company said it employs 18,000 service technicians in North America, and many will be leaving soon owing to retirement and other factors. And these employees will be difficult to replace. So Rowe is working with Caterpillar to address the negative image of this career path.

His MikeRoweWorks Foundation promotes hard work and supports the skilled trades in a variety of areas. Primarily, the foundation awards scholarships to young men and women who have illustrated both an interest and an aptitude for mastering a specific trade. Qualified candidates include those students who want to advance their education through an accredited trade school or apprenticeship program, exhibit high work ethics and need financial assistance.

During his talk, Rowe cited unemployment among veterans. “It’s almost scandalous the unemployment rate among returning veterans,” he said. And he noted that MikeRoweWorks is helping. Also during the event, Rowe discussed his Skilled Trades initiatives and shared copies of his new book, “Profoundly Disconnected: A True Confession from Mike Rowe.”

In other Cat news, the company held a press conference hosted by chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman. He said Tier 4 is the most significant product development in Caterpillar history. He emphasized sustainability, saying remanufactured equipment is big business for Caterpillar, and is economically friendly. He also touted the company’s hybrid and electric-powered offerings.

Oberhelman said he is “very guardedly optimistic” about the economy, and is extremely encouraged to hear President Obama proposing a new highway bill. He noted that the industry (including Caterpillar and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers) is supporting a standard for equipment-generated data, which will help operations with mixed-brand fleets.

Also at its press conference, Caterpillar discussed Cat Connect, a new framework for construction technologies and services. It is designed to help customers monitor, manage and enhance operations, and gain more control of jobsites. Using data from technology-equipped machines, customers get more information and insight into equipment performance.

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About the Author:

Darren Constantino is an editor of Pit & Quarry magazine. He can be reached at dconstantino@northcoastmedia.net.

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