Grainger Presenting 200 Tools for Tomorrow Scholarships

The recipients are attending community colleges coast to coast. The distribution giant also has designated October as "Skilled Trades Awareness Month."

Calling attention again to what its CEO, Jim Ryan, has called a pressing national problem –- a growing shortage of professionals entering construction, heating, air conditioning, welding, and other industries dependent on skilled labor –- Grainger has designated October as "Skilled Trades Awareness Month." The goal is to increase the visibility of workers in these trades and to recognize significant opportunities that exist in those fields.

The distribution giant also has announced the 200 students who are receiving scholarships from its Tools for Tomorrow® scholarship program. For the current 2012–13 academic year, half of the scholarships being offered are for U.S. military veterans in recognition of their service and to help them pursue careers in the industrial trades.

"Jobs in the skilled trades are vital to the economic health of local communities. These jobs, and the people who do them, are the lifeblood of industry," said Ryan, who is chairman, president, and CEO. "The Grainger Tools for Tomorrow® scholarship program empowers future tradespeople to complete their education and helps them start their careers. Grainger's vision is to promote an environment that elevates awareness about the need and importance of these jobs. Skilled Trades Awareness Month is another way by which we are trying to engage people in the conversation."

The scholarship recipients are attending community colleges throughout the United States. Grainger started this program in conjunction with the American Association of Community Colleges six years ago.

"Grainger is committed to serving the men and women who keep our businesses and communities running," Ryan said. "We are honored to present this year's scholarships to so many talented and bright students who will make a difference in our communities through a skilled trade."

Grainger will celebrate the skilled trades all month through social media activities that include:

  • Hosting a live skilled trades discussion via "Grainger's Skilled Trades Awareness Forum" group on LinkedIn on Thursday, Oct. 18 from 11 a.m. to noon CDT. Industry experts will host a dialogue in an effort to connect students, businesses, employers, skilled trades professionals, and the general public about issues that facing the skilled trades today.
  • Launching an "Industry Innovators" Facebook contest Oct. 15 in which past and present scholarship recipients can qualify to attend Grainger's annual customer event in Orlando.

For more information about skilled labor and Grainger's technical education programs, visit www.grainger.com/teched.

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