CHICAGO - Grainger, one of North America''s leading distributors of facilities maintenance supplies, awarded the final 2006 scholarships to technical education students to complete the first year of the company''s Tools for Tomorrow scholarship program. The program provides funding for students at select community colleges to finish their second year in a technical career program.

"As we conclude our inaugural year of the Tools for Tomorrow scholarship program, we are proud to support these exceptional students as they progress in their education," said James T. Ryan, president, Grainger. "The students of today represent the future of the technical professions."

Grainger and the American Association of Community Colleges partnered in 2006 to launch the Tools for Tomorrow scholarship program, designed to help students in technical education who have demonstrated drive, commitment, and leadership to realize their educational goals. The pilot program awarded outstanding students at seven institutions across the country with a scholarship for their second year of college and a specialized tool package upon successful completion of the program.

The final 2006 scholarships included one to Troy Hastings of Baltimore in construction management. He is a student at the Community College of Baltimore County–Catonsville.

Earlier in 2006, Grainger also awarded scholarships to:

• Amanda Korte in construction technology at St. Louis Community College;

• Stuart Nielsen in welding fabrication at South Seattle Community College; and

• Margaret Braswell in construction management and construction technology at North Lake College in Irving, Texas.

"Students enrolled in technical career programs will help to meet a serious and growing skills gap in our country," said George R. Boggs, president of the American Association of Community Colleges. "By stepping up to recognize their potential, Grainger is not only helping deserving students, but they are also investing in our nation''s continuing economic success."

Grainger operates more than 400 branches in local markets across the U.S. Each Grainger branch offers customers such as contractors and facilities maintenance professionals access to a variety of products including HVAC equipment; hand and power tools; and electrical and safety supplies.

Publication date: 01/01/2007