Two Iowa Lakes students were recently awarded a $2,000 Grainger Tools for Tomorrow® scholarship by Grainger, a local distributor of facilities maintenance supplies.
Branden Garrett, a Construction Technology student from Algona, and Bryan Jenkins, a Wind Energy and Turbine Technology student from Anchorage, Alaska, were selected as the recipients.
Garrett said he chose Iowa Lakes because of the value and one-on-one atmosphere.
“Iowa Lakes is small and has a good student to teacher ratio, so you always get help when you need it. You get a great education for not a lot of money,” Garrett commented.
After graduation, Garrett plans to work for a local construction company for a while before starting his own company.
Jenkins chose Iowa Lakes for a different reason.
“I chose Iowa Lakes because the Wind program is endorsed by AWEA and has an outstanding reputation,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins has a job arranged with Alaska Village Electric Cooperative as a technician servicing turbines in 5 Alaskan villages. He plans to also continue his education, pursuing a Mechanical Engineering degree.
“Grainger is investing in the future of industry and communities through the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship Program,” said Aaron Dominowski, manager of Grainger’s branch in Sioux City. “We are proud to partner with Iowa Lakes Community College and believe business and community college partnerships are one solution to building a stronger workforce.”
Many businesses that rely on skilled workers report difficulty finding qualified individuals to fill open jobs. In fact, skilled trades have been the hardest segment of the workforce for employers to staff for the last three years, according to ManpowerGroup.
To promote the innovation and importance of careers in the industrial skilled trades, Grainger, in conjunction with the 4 (AACC), launched the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow scholarship program in 2006 to help students in the industrial skilled trades realize their educational and career goals. This year, Grainger will award a Grainger Tools for Tomorrow scholarship to129 students at 70 community colleges in the U.S., with one-half of the scholarships targeted to U.S. Armed Forces veterans. Upon graduation, each student receives a customized Westward® tool-kit from Grainger to jump start their career.
According to Tony Condon, Institutional Advancement Manager for Iowa Lakes, the scholarships are valuable.
“The partnership we have with Grainger supports our students with scholarships which ensure that they can obtain their educational goals,” said Condon.