Fifteen Moraine Park Technical College apprentices were recently awarded “Tools of the Trade” scholarships from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation. Receiving $1,000 scholarships were William Anderson of West Bend, Eric Chilson of West Bend, Brett Dille of Fond du Lac, Matthew Gryzwnowicz of Oshkosh, Kiara Kuehl of Watertown, Joshua Lange of Saukville, Daniel Reineke of Sheboygan, Derek Salmon of West Bend, Eric Sarauer of North Fond du Lac, Ripley Sartain of Port Washington, Cody Schrauth of Campbellsport, Jonathan Ten Dolle of Sheboygan Falls, Aidan Tremmel of Rubicon, Isaac Weiland of Belgium and Ervin Westphal III of Sheboygan.

Great Lakes’ scholarships are designed, in part, to help combat a growing need by employers for skilled workers. Construction and industrial trades jobs are projected to grow 10 percent or more through 2024, according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

To help meet this need, Moraine Park and Wisconsin’s other technical colleges instruct apprentices in the theory and practice of these highly skilled occupations. But for apprentices struggling to make ends meet, the cost of something as basic as a pair of steel-toed boots can stand in the way of program completion.

Some apprentices juggle work, school and family obligations, and their modest wages are often not enough to cover equipment, clothing and tools for their trades. And even if they qualify for financial aid, it might fall short of their need.

Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates has supported Wisconsin apprentices with financial need since 2013 when the Tools of the Trade $1,000 Apprentice Scholarship program was created. Since the program was launched, 24 Moraine Park apprentices have received $1,000 scholarships from Great Lakes.

“With the scholarships awarded this spring, our support for Wisconsin’s hardworking apprentices totals nearly $600,000 to date,” said Richard D. George, president and chief executive officer of Great Lakes. “We’re proud to help apprentices complete their programs and do our part to help Wisconsin build a stronger workforce.”

The 15 Moraine Park students receiving scholarships this year mostly consist of electrician apprentices, except for Chilson, Gryzwnowicz, Lange and Tremmel, who are tool and die technology apprentices.

For more information on Moraine Park scholarships, visit morainepark.edu/scholarships.