February 28, 2019

Work Ethic Scholarships for Electricians, Apprentices, and Students

Calling all electricians, apprentices, IECRM students, and anyone willing to learn a trade that helps make civilized life possible!

Read on for information on the following scholarship programs:
Work Ethic Scholarship Program through the The Mike Rowe WORKS Foundation

Associated Business Contractors (ABC) Looking for Scholarship Candidates

Arapahoe County Workforce Development Financial Aid Options

Adams County Workforce Development Scholarships Available

Through the Work Ethic Scholarship Program, The Mike Rowe WORKS Foundation gives away scholarships once a year to those who demonstrate strong work ethic, a positive attitude, and personal responsibility. This program is for the people who wake up early, stay late, and work tirelessly day in and day out. Even though these people are hard to find, we know they’re out there. Anyone who thinks they’ve got what it takes is invited to apply.

Television star and “Dirty Jobs” icon, Mike Rowe, is the force behind the movement. He believes that America has become slowly but undeniably disconnected from the most fundamental elements of civilization—food, energy, education, and the very nature of work itself.

“Over the last 30 years, America has convinced itself that the best path for the most people is an expensive, four-year degree. Pop culture has glorified the “corner office job” while unintentionally belittling the jobs that helped build the corner office,” says Mike.  

“As a result, our society has devalued any other path to success and happiness. Community colleges, trade schools, and apprenticeship programs are labeled as ‘alternative.’ Millions of well-intended parents and guidance counselors see apprenticeships and on-the-job training opportunities as ‘vocational consolation prizes,’ best suited for those not cut out for the brass ring: a four-year degree.“

The push for higher education has coincided with the removal of vocational arts from high schools nationwide. And the effects of this one-two punch have laid the foundation for a widening skills gap and massive student loan debt.

The cost of college tuition has soared faster than the cost of food, energy, real estate, and health care. Student loan debt is the second highest consumer debt category in the United States with more than 44 million borrowers who collectively owe more than $1.5 trillion. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 7 million jobs available across the country, the majority of which don’t require a four-year degree.

“Still, we talk about millions of “shovel ready” jobs for a society that doesn’t encourage people to pick up a shovel. We keep lending money we don’t have to people who can’t pay it back for jobs that don’t exist,” Mike says.  “Bit by bit, our culture reaffirms the misguided belief that a career in the skilled trades shouldn’t be desired. And that lack of enthusiasm has reshaped our expectations of a ‘good job’ into something that no longer resembles work.”

Mike Rowe traveled to every state and worked with plumbers, electricians, steamfitters, pipefitters, brick layers, farmers, fishers, and a bunch of other skilled workers who help keep our polite society humming along. They were individuals who found opportunity where no one else thought to look. They were entrepreneurs running successful businesses. They were happy people who managed to figure out a positive work-life balance. To his surprise, they didn’t resemble the unflattering, blue-collar workers often portrayed in the media. This misperception resulted in an undeniable disparity between available skilled jobs and the unemployed local population. Week after week, Mike saw “Help Wanted” signs everywhere, even when unemployment took over news headlines. Our society didn’t, and still doesn’t, have a trained workforce standing by or willing to fill the positions that actually exist.


“Our crumbling infrastructure, our widening skills gap, the disappearance of vocational education, and the stratospheric rise in college tuition—these are not problems,” Mike says. “These are symptoms of what we value. And right now, we have to reconnect the average American with the value of a skilled workforce. Only then, will the next generation aspire to do the work at hand.”

In 2008, Mike created the mikeroweWORKS Foundation to launch a national PR campaign for skilled labor…more like a one-man crusade.

Mike urges anyone interested in applying to check back for updates about the 2019 Work Ethic Scholarship Program.


Pass it on!


Associated Business Contractors Looking for Scholarship Candidates

Workforce Development is incredibly important and there are a number of  scholarship opportunities out there. Associated Business Contractors offers the Bob Piper Scholarship, available to high school students, with a value of $500 to $1000. The link is The deadline to apply is March 30.

Arapahoe County Workforce Development Financial Aid Options

In Arapahoe County, there are a number of financial aid options ranging from assistance with federal aid qualification to individual scholarships. The Women in Skilled Trades Scholarship Program is a need-based scholarship program designed to provide financial assistance to eligible female students with demonstrated financial need.

Adams County Workforce Development Scholarships Available

Adams County will be disbursing more than $1 million in student scholarships through the Adams County Scholarship Fund—a new collaboration between the County and the Colorado Department of Higher Education. For more information on the grants, contact Chuck Gross, ACEC Executive Director at or 303-453-8515.