COVID-19 Updates & Business Resources

October 5, 2020

PHCC Selected to Pilot Program Developed by Mike Rowe

From Dirty Jobs to training America’s Workforce, Mike Rowe creates professionalism program and PHCC gets involved.

 Martinsville, VA – 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 over and over again 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) and developed a new certification program for anyone seeking these work-place readiness skills. 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.

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 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 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,” says Whitlow. “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 to not only our students but also local employers who look for employees to have 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.