His argument fell on deaf ears.
So he went again in April 2014, this time testifying before the House Committee on Natural Resources to discuss the opportunities for skilled trade workers in the energy industry. This time he brought props, specifically the poster his guidance counselor from high school pointed to when he tried to bully Rowe into picking a high-priced university over a community college his senior year.
Rowe said he had nothing against college, but the universities his counselor recommended were expensive. "I had no idea what I wanted to study. I thought a community college made more sense, but Mr. Dunbar said a two-year school was 'beneath my potential,'" explained Rowe.
"Mr. Dunbar pointed to a poster hanging behind his desk; on one side of the poster was a beaten-down, depressed-looking blue-collar worker. On the other side was an optimistic college graduate with his eyes on the horizon. Underneath them, the text read: Work Smart NOT Hard," Rowe told the committee.
"Mike, look at these two guys," Mr. Dunbar said. "Which one do you want to be?"
"I had to read the caption twice. Work Smart NOT Hard?" Rowe recounted.
The visual was jarring, not to mention insulting, yet once again, nothing happened.