Scholarships help trades students afford apprenticeships in Wisconsin

Future electricians might find it hard to kickstart their careers if they can’t afford trades school expenses
Wisconsin technical college students working and studying the trades industry can apply for $1,500 scholarships.
Published: Apr. 9, 2022 at 7:44 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Wisconsin technical college students working and studying the trades industry can apply for $1,500 scholarships.

Ascendium Education Group plans to pay students to join the workforce.

The non-profit’s strategic communications vice president Bret Lindquist said the biggest challenge is getting the word out there that this funding is available.

Electrical apprentice and Madison Area Technical College student Kyle Esser received the scholarship to pay for tools, work clothes and steel toe boots.

Esser said Wisconsin high schools do not promote trade jobs enough.

”If I didn’t hear about the apprenticeship through someone else I would’ve never known,” Esser said. “I would’ve never considered it. I was going to go to college for something or another.”

This is the second of his five year apprenticeship with Westphal & Company. He has worked on electrical wiring at the University of Wisconsin chemistry building and the Alliant Energy Dam in Prairie du Sac.

”It’s not just about the traditional two year or four year programs. We want to support apprenticeships, coding boot-camps, different programs and anything that leads to a degree or credential that can lead to a better job,” Lindquist said. ”There’s a growing recognition of the importance of the trades and apprenticeship programs. We’re seeing a movement across the country. We hope that what we’re doing here in Wisconsin can lead to additional efforts throughout the whole United States.”

Lindquist said he hopes this opportunity will inspire a new generation of skilled workers and help improve the skilled workforce labor shortage.

Ascendium will provide scholarships to 500 students in 2022.

Students must be enrolled in a Wisconsin technical college and work as an apprentice to apply.

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