THOMASVILLE, N.C., July 27, 2015 – Grainger, a local distributor of maintenance, repair and operating supplies, recently awarded toolkits to two 2015 Davidson County Community College Welding Technology graduates to help them launch successful new careers.
Ronnie Crook and Todd Perry, both of Lexington, earned the toolkits as part of a Grainger Tools for Tomorrow® scholarship package. Each received a $2,000 cash scholarship from Grainger for the 2014-2015 academic year to complete their second year of study in the welding program. They were eligible to receive the toolkits upon receiving their associate degrees.
“We love partnering with community colleges such as Davidson and partnering with our scholarship recipients and students” said Casey Whitesides, market manager for Grainger’s Greensboro/Winston-Salem market. “This is a great honor for me to represent our organization and award these guys with tool sets.”
Each customized toolkit has a retail value of around $2,000.
Rodney Jackson, dean of the School of Business, Engineering and Technical Studies, expressed appreciation for the opportunities that the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow® program and other corporate partnerships provide students.
“As DCCC continues to engage industry, it’s gratifying to see our students recognized for their academic achievement,” Jackson said. “Continuing these relationships can only help our students, local employers and the larger community grow and prosper in the coming years.”
Crook enrolled in the welding program after losing his longtime job as a gold mine foreman due to the economic downturn. After completing a one-semester certificate program, he realized he could get a job but wanted more and decided to continue his studies and earn the associate degree.
“At my age, I wanted more than a job; I wanted a position,” Crook said. “Receiving this scholarship and toolkit meant I didn’t have to worry about stressing out about paying for school. It gave me the ability to concentrate on nothing but my studies.”
Perry was looking for a better life for himself and his children when he enrolled at DCCC.
“I wanted to be skilled in a trade, and I want to be a master of this craft,” he said. “I needed these tools in order to be successful. The Grainger scholarship helped me be able to finish the welding program. Without it, I don’t know if that would have happened.”
Perry has started his own business, New Generation Mobile Welding in Lexington.
The Grainger Tools for Tomorrow® scholarship program is designed to help second-year students in technical education who have demonstrated drive, commitment and leadership to realize their educational goals. To be eligible, applicants must provide a letter of recommendation from an instructor or adviser as well as a list of accomplishments and leadership roles relating to their area of study, write an essay on why he/she chose their career field and their future goals within the technical field and maintain a grade-point average above 3.0.
Editor’s note: In the photo, Grainger representative Casey Whitesides (center) presents toolkits to DCCC welding technology graduates Ronnie Crook (left) and Todd Perry.
About Grainger’s Tools for Tomorrow® Scholarship Program
Grainger invests in the future of the skilled trade workforce through the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow® scholarship program. Each year, the company works with the American Association of Community Colleges to offer 250 scholarships of $2,000 each at 125 community colleges in the United States. They are awarded to students in skilled trade programs such as plumbing, welding, automotive and construction. Half of the scholarships offered are earmarked for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. Since 2006, Grainger has donated more than $2.7 million to support technical education.
About Davidson County Community College
Founded in 1963, Davidson County Community College is noted for its quality educational programs and services. As one of 58 institutions within the North Carolina Community College System, DCCC offers studies in more than 50 degree programs. A fully accredited, multi-campus college, DCCC celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013 and is looking forward to serving students in Davidson and Davie counties for many years to come. The college is committed to developing minds, inspiring imaginations and preparing students for enhanced career and educational opportunities within a changing global environment. Visit Davidson County Community College at DavidsonCCC.edu.