Person writing at a communal desk

200 Wisconsin Apprentices Will Earn $1,000 Scholarships to Purchase Tools for Their Trades

Expanded Great Lakes Commitment Encourages Program Completion for Better-Paying Jobs

— Tyler Stewart of Milwaukee, like many other apprentices across the country, has made sacrifices in order to invest in his future. In January 2015, he was about to begin his last semester in the maintenance mechanic/millwright program at Waukesha County Technical College. Although he regularly puts in overtime to accelerate through 8,000 hours of on-the-job training at Waukesha Metal Products, the modest wages he earns can only cover so much. On top of commitments to school and work, he provides for a wife, a newborn and two young kids.

Tyler also has to purchase a variety of expensive tools so he can install, repair and maintain industrial machinery at the shop. When he got a $1,000 check in the mail last winter—his Tools of the Trade apprentice scholarship from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation—he was able to buy new power tools without cutting into his budget for other living expenses. "The scholarship was a tremendous blessing for me," he said. "It gave me hope that I could do this." Tyler finished his classroom instruction in May 2015, and now he's that much closer to earning his journeyman certificate and increasing his salary.

Apprentices like Tyler must complete up to five years of specialized training without the benefit of federal aid before they advance to good, family-supporting jobs. But financial obstacles can block their path long before completion.

Great Lakes created the Tools of the Trade $1,000 Apprentice Scholarship to help hardworking apprentices at Wisconsin's technical colleges who struggle to cover out-of-pocket expenses like tuition, clothing and tools. Great Lakes has increased its investment in the program from $20,000 in the first year to $200,000 in the third year.

"In partnership with the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS), we're building on a proud commitment to apprenticeship programs and preparing a new generation of workers with the skills and credentials they need to succeed," said Richard D. George, President and Chief Executive Officer of Great Lakes. "Together, we are moving Wisconsin forward."

The introduction of the apprentice scholarship program at Milwaukee Area Technical College in 2013 had the desired impact: 95 percent of recipients either completed or continued their training programs the following semester. By upping the number of scholarships to 200 this year, even more apprentices will get help they need to achieve professional certification, have rewarding careers, and meet employer needs for skilled workers in the construction and industrial trades.

Applications for Tools of the Trade scholarships have been distributed to eligible apprentices, and must be postmarked by October 17, 2015. A WTCS committee will select the recipients, and Great Lakes will issue individuals $1,000 checks in January 2016.


News Releases

Great Lakes Donates $115,000 to 10 Adopted Schools in Local Communities
12/22/2017


Great Lakes' ScholarNet for Private Loans More Widely Used Than Ever Before
11/13/2017


Great Lakes Funding Development of Online Support Community for College Freshman Women
10/30/2017


Great Lakes Shares Lessons Learned from Summer Melt Texting Initiative
10/25/2017


Great Lakes Awards $525,000 in Anniversary Grants in Nine Communities Where Employees Live and Work
09/01/2017


Completion Grants Remove an Obstacle for At-Risk Students Nearing Graduation
08/16/2017


New Initiative Connects Remediation Reforms and Guided Pathways to Boost Student Success
08/15/2017


Great Lakes Awards $1,000 Scholarships to 200 Ohio Apprentices with Financial Need
06/29/2017


Great Lakes Awards $7.2 Million to Launch Emergency Grant Programs at Four-Year Colleges
06/15/2017


Great Lakes Sparking Change in Scholarship Delivery
06/12/2017


Montana Guaranteed Student Loan Program to Transfer Portfolio to Great Lakes
06/05/2017


Statement from Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates Regarding Student Loan Collection Fee Policies
03/21/2017


200 Wisconsin Apprentices with Financial Need Awarded $1,000 Scholarships from Great Lakes
03/16/2017


Great Lakes Releases 2016 Philanthropy Report Highlighting $21.9 Million in Grants Awarded
03/09/2017


Great Lakes Invites Four-Year Colleges to Apply for Successful Emergency Grant Program
01/26/2017


USA Funds Transfers Ownership of Nation's Largest Guarantor to Great Lakes
12/07/2016


Great Lakes Commits $2.1 Million to Help 16 Community Colleges Create Internship Programs for Low-Income Students
12/01/2016


Great Lakes Commits $2.6 Million to Keep At-Risk Near-Completers on Track to Graduation
11/15/2016


Blackhawk Technical College Students Borrow $700,000 Less, Regain Financial Aid Eligibility
10/21/2016


Achieving the Dream to Enhance Coaching Services with $1 Million Great Lakes Grant
09/15/2016


Great Lakes National Scholarship Awards Over $2 Million to Support College Access
08/24/2016


Great Lakes Awards $1.5 Million to CCRC to Support Guided Pathways Reform in Ohio
08/18/2016


Successful 'New Mathways Project' Expands into Arkansas to Increase Math Achievement
07/14/2016


Great Lakes Career Ready Internship Grant Opportunity Now Open to
Two-Year Colleges

05/19/2016


Study on Student-Faculty Interactions Finds Multi-Channel Communication is Key
05/11/2016


Great Lakes Shares Lessons Learned from 2014-2015 Career Ready Internship Grant Partners
04/21/2016


New Great Lakes Grant Opportunity Invites Applicants to Address Barriers Preventing Near-Completers from Earning Degrees
04/05/2016


Student Loans of North Dakota to Transfer Portfolio to Great Lakes
04/01/2016


Great Lakes Releases 2015 Philanthropy Report Detailing $28.5 Million in Commitments
03/31/2016


200 Wisconsin Construction and Industrial Trade Apprentices Receive $1,000 Scholarships
03/09/2016


Great Lakes Shares Best Practices from Three-Year Emergency Grant Program
02/25/2016


Application Period for Great Lakes National Scholarship Begins February 15
02/15/2016


Great Lakes Funds New Emergency Grants Shown to Boost Community and Technical College Completion
12/10/2015


University of Pittsburgh Streamlines Private Student Loan Processing, Improves Student Service
11/19/2015


Great Lakes' Free Tool Adds Early Engagement Outreach Campaigns for Schools
10/27/2015


Great Lakes' Commitment to Producing More Undergraduate STEM Degrees Now Reaches $10.7 Million
10/22/2015


Great Lakes Launches Updated Education Philanthropy Website
10/15/2015


Great Lakes Commits Record $12 Million to Fund 7,000 New Paid Internships for College Students with Financial Need
10/08/2015


Great Lakes CEO Accepts White House Invitation to Join the College Promise Campaign Advisory Board
10/01/2015


200 Wisconsin Apprentices Will Earn $1,000 Scholarships to Purchase Tools for Their Trades
09/17/2015


400 MPS Grads Eligible for $5 Million in College Scholarships from The Degree Project®
08/13/2015


Great Lakes Introduces Newly Expanded Program to Increase Community College Graduation
07/09/2015


Great Lakes Shares Results of Applicant and Grantee Perception Survey
05/19/2015


100 Schools Using Great Lakes' Free Outreach Tool to Help Students by Connecting Them with Their Servicer
05/18/2015


Great Lakes Commits $28.6 Million During 2014 to Promote College Access and Completion
05/14/2015


Great Lakes Expands Grants for Colleges Committed to Making Internships More Equitable
04/30/2015


Great Lakes Commits $4.2 Million to Prepare More Students for College Math & English
04/23/2015


Great Lakes' Free Tool Helps Schools Improve Repayment Success for All Their Student Loan Borrowers
02/20/2015