Over the weekend I came across an interesting video of Mike Rowe, creator and host of Dirty Jobs. Rowe recently testified before the U.S. Senate’s Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. He made an impassioned case for the type of difficult but essential jobs he highlights on his show, as well as the vocational and other training programs that prepare workers for them — programs facing tremendous cuts due to state budget crises. While we hear a lot about the need to increase the level of 4-year college degree completion in the U.S., Rowe argues that skilled plumbers and welders are every bit as essential to our economic development, and that such jobs are worthy of respect and public support: