SARASOTA, Fla. — One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning®, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing®, and Mister Sparky®, part of the Direct Energy® family of home service franchise brands, have launched a new webisode series to highlight the rewards, benefits, and opportunities that a career in the skilled trades can offer.

The series, called "Hot Under the Blue Collar," was co-created with Mike Rowe, executive producer and host of the TV shows Somebody’s Gotta Do It and Dirty Jobs, who’s been a long-time supporter of the skilled trades through his foundation, the mikeroweWORKS Foundation. All webisodes will be featured on

“The truth is that skilled tradesmen and women can earn the same benefits as people in a white collar profession,” said Mark Baker, president of franchise. “We want people to realize the earning potential, opportunities, and quality of life that these jobs can provide for people and their families. We don’t have enough qualified people to do these jobs.”

Each webisode will feature one myth that Rowe dispels with a variety of facts, statistics, and real-life experiences. Some of the myths include:

• There are no good jobs left in America.

• The best path to a good job is a four-year degree.

• Trade jobs are dead-end jobs.

• You can’t make six figures.

• There’s no room for women in the trades.

“As long as Americans remain addicted to affordable electricity, smooth roads, indoor plumbing, and climate control, the opportunities in the skilled trades will never go away,” said Rowe. “And those properly trained can expand their trade into a small business. But if we don’t do something to reinvigorate the trades and make a persuasive case for good jobs that actually exist, I’m afraid millions of great opportunities will go down the drain.”

One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, and Mister Sparky began working with Rowe and the mikeroweWORKS Foundation in April 2015 to help promote the skilled trades industry and empower future and potential trade professionals. As a part of the effort, the brands contributed $100,000 to the mikeroweWORKS Foundation’s Work Ethic Scholarship program, which assists eligible individuals who plan to pursue an education in a vocational or similar trade-related program. Applications are being accepted through May 15, 2016 at

For more information about the Direct Energy family of brands, visit,, and

Publication date: 4/15/2016

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