Four Moraine Park Technical College apprentices were recently awarded “Tools of the Trade” scholarships from Great Lakes High Education Guaranty Corporation. Receiving $1,000 scholarships were Tyler Hickmann of Menomonee Falls, electrician apprentice; Jonathan TenDolle of Sheboygan Falls, electrician apprentice; Charles Vine of Fond du Lac, carpentry apprentice; and Ervin Westphal III of Sheboygan, electrician apprentice.
Great Lakes’ scholarships are designed, in part, to help combat a growing need by employers for skilled workers. The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development projects job growth at a 21 percent increase for construction jobs and a 15 percent increase in the industrial trades through 2022.
“We’ve seen that 96 percent of ‘Tools of the Trade’ scholarship recipients either complete or continue their training, so we know our scholarships work to help hardworking men and women build rewarding careers in the construction and industrial trades,” said Richard D. George, president and chief executive officer of Great Lakes.
Moraine Park, along with the 15 other colleges in the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS), is taking action by preparing a new generation with the skills and credentials needed for success in the trades.
“Our colleges are proven partners in developing and advancing the talent Wisconsin’s employers need to be successful,” said Dr. Morna Foy, WTCS president.
But before they can achieve worker status and fill good jobs that are available now, apprentices must complete up to five years of specialized training and classroom instruction. Apprentices earn modest wages on the job and have limited options for financial aid to help with program tuition. They also are required to purchase expensive tools and clothing for their trades.
“As employer and student interest in apprenticeship began to take off, so did the need to ensure those who begin training programs complete them. ‘Tools of the Trade’ scholarships from Great Lakes make a real difference for our students, whose success is ultimately great for employers,” Foy said.
In all, Great Lakes awarded $200,000 in scholarships to 200 construction and industrial trade apprentices attending 15 WTCS colleges. A total of 390 scholarships have been awarded to apprentices across the state over the three years of the “Tools of the Trade” $1,000 Apprentice Scholarship program.
TenDolle, who is in his third year of an electrician apprenticeship at Moraine Park, used his $1,000 scholarship to purchase tools, boots and work pants.
“I’m looking to be a journeyman electrician and, after that, I am hoping to be a master electrician. This scholarship helps me get the tools I need to get there,” he said.
For more information on Moraine Park scholarships, visit morainepark.edu/scholarships.