Mike Rowe announced he is partnering with Direct Energy Services to encourage "men and women to get the training they need to pursue good jobs that actually exist." One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing and Mister Sparky will donate $100,000 in scholarships to the mikeroweWORKS Foundation. As part of the partnership, Rowe is appearing in several television commercials, radio ads and printed material alongside real technicians from each brand.
Contractor magazine broke the news with coverage of the Direct Energy Services brands' annual convention and an interview by Contractor magazine’s senior content editor Candace Roulo. Rowe talked about the partnership and how it will help promote the skilled trades, specifically in the plumbing, HVAC and electrical industries, while empowering potential trade professionals. Roulo also interviewed Mark Baker, president of franchise for the three Direct Energy Services brands.
“It is a great step for the trades to be partnered with Mike Rowe, it elevates the conversation to a national level about what we are going to do,” Baker told Contractor magazine. “There is a lack of skilled trades people out there and we recognize the fact that we need more good people to join the trades and this will help us do that.”
The article goes on to describe the mikeroweWorks Foundation beginnings and how one of his goals is to get people to move past "blue collar" stereotypes.
“Our civilization is held together by people who keep the lights on, pipe connected, and who keep it warm in the winter and cold in the summer," Rowe said.