Tools of the Trade $1,000 Apprentice Scholarship

Apprentices often make sacrifices in order to invest in their futures. They earn modest wages with limited options for financial aid during their on-the-job training and classroom instruction—which can last up to five years. And costs for specialized equipment, tools and clothing on top of college tuition can present serious financial challenges to even the most motivated apprentices. Simply put, the price of steel-toe boots can stand in the way of program completion—and the promise of a rewarding career.

Wisconsin Apprentice Scholarships

We created the Tools of the Trade $1,000 Apprentice Scholarship to help apprentices with financial need meet their costs so they can complete their training and advance to good jobs.

Great Lakes partnered with the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) in 2013 to begin a $1,000 scholarship program for apprentices in the construction and industrial trades. The first scholarships were awarded to 20 apprentices at Milwaukee Area Technical College.

To provide this support to apprentices across Wisconsin who are struggling financially, Great Lakes expanded the program in 2014 to apprentices at all 16 WTCS colleges. In the spring of 2015, 170 apprentices received $1,000 scholarships to help keep them on track to earning journeyworker status. In the spring of 2016, the number of recipients increased to 200. We awarded another $200,000 in scholarships in the spring of 2017. Applications for 2018 scholarships will be reviewed by a WTCS committee that will select 200 apprentices to receive scholarships in March.

Nearly $600,000 in scholarships has been awarded to apprentices across Wisconsin over the past four years. These scholarships are having the desired impact, with 94% of past recipients either completing their apprenticeships or continuing their training the following semester.

Open Section 2016-2017 Recipients

Open Section 2015-2016 Recipients

Open Section 2014-2015 Recipients

Open Section 2013-2014 Recipients

Ohio Apprentice Scholarships

Great Lakes has expanded our successful apprentice scholarship program to Ohio so more apprentices can overcome financial obstacles to completion.

We partnered with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services in 2017 to award $1,000 scholarships to 200 construction and manufacturing apprentices attending Ohio community colleges. We look forward to learning the impact these scholarships will have, as measured by the number of apprentices who complete their training and build rewarding careers.

With the scholarships awarded in Ohio and Wisconsin this spring, our support for the Midwest's hardworking apprentices totals nearly $800,000 to date.

Open Section 2017 Recipients


Contact Program Manager Supervisor Nikki Wachter at or (888) 889-3299.

October 19, 2017

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