CHICAGO - Grainger, a leading facilities maintenance supplier, has expanded its Grainger Tools for Tomorrow® scholarship program for the fifth consecutive year. In the 2010-2011 academic year, Grainger will offer 75 community colleges across the United States two $2,000 scholarships to award to community college students enrolled in trades programs such as welding, plumbing, and construction. In addition, upon graduation, scholarship recipients will receive a Westward® toolkit outfitted for their trade skill.

Of the 150 total scholarships, Grainger has targeted one-third of the awards, 50 scholarships, specifically for veterans in recognition of their service to our country. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2009 there were 22 million veterans over the age of 18 with a significant number likely to enter occupations in installation, maintenance, repair, production and material moving industries.

“Grainger appreciates the contributions veterans have made to our country and their potential for service in the workplace,” said Jim Ryan, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Grainger. He added, “The Grainger Tools for Tomorrow scholarship program empowers future trades people to complete their education and helps them start their careers.”

Grainger, in conjunction with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), launched the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow scholarship program in 2006. The program is designed to help students enrolled in community college skilled trades programs realize their education and career goals. The program works with AACC member colleges across the United States to award students who have demonstrated drive, commitment, and leadership. Over the last four years, Grainger has awarded scholarships to more than 200 technical education students at 50 AACC community colleges across the country.

AACC President George R. Boggs noted that available jobs in skilled trades will grow significantly as current workers retire. “We need to help students see the potential in these well-paying and in-demand career fields. Community colleges can help guide military veterans and others who need to get back on the job to the right training at an affordable cost.”

Visit for a full list of community colleges participating in the Tools for Tomorrow scholarship program.

Publication date:11/29/2010