Distributor’s Tools for Tomorrow program now includes 50 scholarships specifically for veterans of the armed forces
W.W. Grainger announced today the expansion of its Tools for Tomorrow scholarship program, which provides 75 community colleges nationwide with two, $2,000 scholarships for students enrolled in industrial trades programs.
Making the announcement on Veteran’s Day, Grainger said the program will now allocate one-third of the scholarships—50 altogether—to veterans in recognition of their service to the country. The scholarships go to students enrolled in industrial trades programs such as welding, plumbing, automotive and construction. In addition, scholarship recipients receive a Westward toolkit outfitted for their particular industrial trade skill upon graduation.
“Grainger appreciates the contributions veterans have made to our country and their potential for service in the workplace,” Jim Ryan, Grainger’s chairman, president and CEO said in a statement announcing the expanded program. “Industrial skilled trades are vital to keeping our infrastructure sound and our communities strong. The Grainger Tools for Tomorrow scholarship program empowers future tradespeople to complete their education and helps them start their careers.”
In 2009, there were 22 million veterans over the age of 18, with a significant number likely to enter occupations in installation, maintenance, repair, production and material-moving industries, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. What’s more, a report form the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce recently pointed to a growing mismatch over the next 10 years between available skills and required skills in goods-producing industries such as manufacturing and construction. New jobs in those industries “will look nothing like the old ones and will require employees with postsecondary skills and preparation,” the report said.
Grainger launched its Tools for Tomorrow program in conjunction with the American Association of Community Colleges in 2006. Over the last four years, the distributor has awarded scholarships to more than 200 technical education students at 50 AACC community colleges across the country.