Two Automotive Technology students at Southeast Community College each were awarded $2,000 scholarships from Grainger, a local distributor of facilities maintenance supplies.
Chris Anderson of Omaha and Nick Campbell of Falls City each were awarded a Grainger Tools for Tomorrow® scholarship during a presentation at SCC’s Lincoln Campus Oct. 26. Anderson is a student on SCC’s Lincoln Campus, while Campbell is studying on the College’s Milford Campus.
“As a leading distributor of facilities maintenance products to businesses and institutions, Grainger understands that well-trained skilled workers are the lifeblood of American industry,” said Dale Ruhl, manager of Grainger’s branch in Lincoln. “One of the best ways to invest in this community is to contribute to the education of our future tradesmen and women.”
Anderson, 34, is a fourth-quarter student who commutes from Omaha. He said he visited several schools in the Omaha area before deciding to attend SCC.
“The teachers were really friendly on my visit,” he said. “They showed me around, and (Lincoln Automotive Program Chair) Ken (Jefferson) was helpful. This scholarship means a lot to me. It will help me get through school and get started with tools.”
Anderson, who holds a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, worked in that field 11 years before getting laid off.
“It was always a hobby of mine to work on cars,” said the Chicago native, who has lived in Omaha since 1999.
Campbell, 19, is a fifth-quarter student who graduated from Falls City High School. Working at his hometown Ford dealership, Hullman’s Ford Lincoln Mercury, influenced him to go to SCC-Milford and enroll in its Ford Automotive Student Service Educational Training program.
“Milford is the only campus around with a Ford program, plus my Dad is a master tech at Hullman’s Ford,” Campbell said. “It’s also nice to go home and work for the dealer while going to school. And any money is helpful. When I filled out the application, I really didn’t expect to get it.”
Ruhl said industrial skilled trades programs such as Southeast’s were important to future economic growth.
“Today’s community college technical education students will become tomorrow’s industrial skilled tradesmen, dedicated to keeping our communities working and growing,” Ruhl said. “These students play a critical role in helping to close the growing skills gap in our country. We must support these students and our local technical and community colleges today for a solid infrastructure tomorrow.”
Grainger, in conjunction with the American Association of Community Colleges, launched the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow® scholarship program in 2006. The program is part of Grainger’s continued commitment to supporting the industrial trades. The program awards $2,000 scholarships to qualified students entering their second year of technical education curriculum. Upon graduation, the program recognizes the student’s achievement with a Westward® toolkit to help them successfully launch their careers.
Grainger has been serving the Nebraska business community for more than 68 years, providing supplies and equipment needed to keep their facilities running. With two million customers in almost every type of business, Grainger knows first-hand how vital industrial skilled tradesmen are for keeping our country’s industries and businesses strong.