Employers are in need of skilled workers in the trades. Apprenticeships help meet that need.
But many apprentices must make sacrifices in order to invest in their futures. They earn modest wages during their on-the-job training and classroom instruction—which can last up to five years. And costs for specialized equipment, tools, and clothing can become a barrier to program completion.
This spring, Ohio apprentices with financial need had the opportunity to apply for Tools of the Trade $1,000 Apprentice Scholarships from Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates. We partnered with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to administer the program for construction and manufacturing apprentices attending Ohio's community colleges. Two hundred apprentices received $1,000 scholarships to help them continue their training and advance to good jobs.
The scholarships for Ohio apprentices are an expansion of a successful program launched in Wisconsin in 2013. Great Lakes created Tools of the Trade $1,000 Scholarships to support Wisconsin Technical College System apprentices with financial need. Since then, 94% of scholarship recipients either completed their apprenticeship or continued their training the following semester.
"We're pleased to expand this scholarship program to help even more apprentices build rewarding careers," said Richard D. George, President and Chief Executive Officer of Great Lakes. "Based on the promising results we've seen in Wisconsin, we are optimistic that Ohio's hardworking apprentices will be more likely to continue or complete their programs."
With the scholarships awarded in Ohio and Wisconsin this year, our support for Midwest apprentices totals nearly $800,000 to date.
To learn more about the Tools of the Trade $1,000 Scholarship, visit community.mygreatlakes.org.