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STLCC-Forest Park Student Receives Grainger Scholarship
September 19, 2008
With baby boomers preparing to retire from the ranks of the skilled work force in St. Louis and across the nation, a growing number of labor experts are raising concerns that there is a shortage of workers with the critical skills required to replace them.
Recognizing the emerging need, Grainger, a local distributor of facilities maintenance supplies, recently awarded a Tools for Tomorrow scholarship to St. Louis Community College-Forest Park student Melinda Johnson during a presentation at the Florissant Valley campus.
"Industrial trade students like Melinda Johnson represent the best and the brightest of the future of skilled labor," said Doug Coleman, Grainger branch manager. "Grainger is proud to continue our partnership with St. Louis Community College through our Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship program. Together we can help to ensure that the St. Louis community continues to have people to meet the demand in the skilled and technical trades."
Johnson, a St. Louis resident who is studying automotive technology, was nominated by the school’s faculty to receive the award. Her instructors describe her as an excellent student who is self-motivated and dedicated to the trade. Johnson is one of 35 students across the nation who will receive a $2,000 scholarship and, upon graduation, a Westward® tool package from Grainger to support to her future career.
"I am grateful for Grainger’s generous contribution that has helped to further my career in automotive technology," said Johnson. "I’ve never really been one to sit at a desk. I prefer to be up and moving, working in a ‘hands-on’ environment. My personality and skills are a perfect match for a career in auto mechanics."
Johnson hopes to work as a mechanic at a car dealership and ultimately open her own auto repair shop.
Grainger and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) have partnered to promote the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship program, designed to help students in the industrial trade curriculum who have demonstrated drive, commitment and leadership to realize their educational goals. The scholarship is awarded to full-time, second-year students enrolled in a technical education program at the associate level. A technical education program describes a course of study leading to an associate degree or licensed certification in electronic systems, heating/air conditioning, plumbing, welding, automotive, construction or other industrial trade.
“The industrial trades are in critical need of trained, skilled workers with an understanding of today’s modernized tools, technologies and processes," said Ashok Agrawal, dean of mathematics, science, engineering and technology at STLCC-Florissant Valley. "We thank Grainger for its support of technical education and for providing financial assistance to our students."
W.W. Grainger, Inc., with 2007 sales of $6.4 billion, is the leading broad line supplier of facilities maintenance products serving businesses and institutions in the United States, Canada, Mexico and China.