WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — The mikeroweWORKS Foundation recognized the potential of nine Pennsylvania College of Technology students to shrink the skills gap by awarding them Work Ethic Scholarships for the 2020-21 academic year.
The foundation, created by skilled-labor advocate Mike Rowe, distributes the scholarships annually to students who “embrace personal responsibility, delayed gratification, a positive attitude and a strong work ethic” in preparing for a career in the skilled trades. Over $1 million was distributed to 223 recipients nationwide. Nearly 1,000 students applied for the scholarships.
“The response this year really was extraordinary, and the quality of applicants amazing,” Rowe wrote in a Facebook post. Rowe’s experience as host on the Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs” series inspired him to create the foundation in 2008. The show — which aired from 2005-13 and enjoyed a four-episode revival this summer — paired Rowe with skilled workers to highlight the value and potential of careers in the skilled trades.
“The skills gap is real. In manufacturing alone, studies show that there will be more than 4 million jobs to fill through 2028,” said Bradley M. Webb, dean of engineering technologies at Penn College. “We are proud to prepare tomorrow makers in these essential occupations, and we are pleased that a number of our students were rewarded by the mikeroweWORKS Foundation for their career aspirations.”
Penn College had more scholarship recipients than any other Pennsylvania school.
Students representing a half-dozen majors within the School of Engineering Technologies at Penn College received the Work Ethic Scholarships.
The students are:
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology: Jonah M. Hartman, Jersey Shore, William R. Hugar, Hughesville, and Luke M. Preso, Chambersburg; welding and fabrication engineering technology: Taylor J. Elliott, State College, and Steve J. Kougoures Jr., Chester, Maryland; welding technology: Carissa J. Shirk, Lancaster; diesel technology: James A. Brubaker, Sinking Spring; building construction technology: Sabatino D. Cerroni, Ridgway; and heavy construction equipment technology (operator emphasis): Christian J. D’Angelo, Bethlehem.