Marketplace Events Announces Partnership with Mike Rowe and the mikeroweWORKS Foundation

Solon, Ohio – February 5, 2019 – Marketplace Events, the largest producer of business-to-consumer home shows in North America, announced today that the company has partnered with skilled-trade advocate Mike Rowe, best known as the host and creator of Dirty Jobs, to promote its 60+ home shows.

Mike Row

The company will also work closely with Rowe’s Foundation, the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, which awards Work Ethic Scholarships to students pursuing a career in the skilled trades. Since 2008 when Rowe launched the foundation, he has led the charge to help close America’s widening skills gap – an issue directly impacting the home improvement industry. 

According to the Associated General Contractors of America, 75% of construction companies nationwide are having trouble finding qualified workers. “It was Mike Rowe’s work with his foundation and the fact that he has become an important voice in sounding the alarm around the skilled trade gap, that drew us to this partnership,” explained Tom Baugh, CEO of Marketplace Events. “We work with 20,000+ companies each year – primarily small, locally-owned home improvement business owners who exhibit at our shows. Our success is tied to their success in servicing homeowners and growing their business. They can’t do that without a skilled labor pool so our partnership with Mike Rowe makes total sense. It’s a meaningful way for Marketplace Events to support our customers and the home improvement industry throughout North America.”  

As part of the partnership, Rowe, who has been identified by Forbes as one of the country’s 10 Most Trustworthy Celebrities, will appear in the company’s advertising campaigns and make personal appearances at select shows each year.  

“The mikeroweWORKS Foundation is committed to supporting the local builders, remodelers, installers, repairmen, and all skilled tradespeople who do the jobs that most people are unable or untrained to do,” said Rowe. “I look forward to working with Marketplace Events in support of these companies and the home shows”   

About Marketplace Events

Marketplace Events creates vibrant expositions connecting enthusiasts with experts, products and services in dynamic face-to-face environments. The company produces 58 consumer home shows annually, including 42 in the US and 16 in Canada, as well as five holiday shows. The 63 combined events, in 30 markets, attract 20,000 exhibitors, 1.8 million attendees and another 3 million unique web visitors annually. From 14 offices, the 150-person staff produces some of the most successful and longest-running shows in North America, including market-leading shows in Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal—some of which have thrived in their markets for more than 75 years.

About the mikeroweWORKS Foundation

The mikeroweWORKS Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity that works hard to debunk myths and misperceptions about the trades and help close the skills gap. As the CEO of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, Mike speaks regularly about the country’s dysfunctional relationship with work and challenges the persistent belief that a four-year degree is automatically the best path for the most people. The Foundation gives away a modest pile of money to people getting trained for skilled jobs through its Work Ethic Scholarship Program.  Since its inception, the Foundation has helped grant, or facilitated the granting of, more than $5 million in technical and vocational education for trade schools across the country.


Shelly Gepfert
VP Marketing

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