At ABC Maine, it’s our mission to advance the merit shop construction philosophy, which encourages open competition and a free enterprise approach that awards contracts based solely on merit.
But the obstacles are growing, and not necessarily because tradespeople don’t support this philosophy. A recent report by a professional electricians association stated that 10,000 electricians retire each year, but only 7,000 electricians join the field. That’s not a good recipe for growth, particularly when you consider the trades lost nearly a million skilled workers during the recession who have yet to be replaced.
There are many things the construction industry can do to get more young people interested in the trades. For instance, we have offered the Amos D. Bridge scholarship since 1996. The Amos D. Bridge scholarship is given to students enrolled in a construction-related program, including architecture and engineering students. More recently, ABC Maine offers a general trades scholarship, the Education Health Safety Workforce Development (EHSWD) scholarship, to a student currently enrolled in an undergraduate construction-related program. Over the years, we’ve supported over 30 students and given away thousands of dollars.
And we’re looking to do more.
GIVE THE TRADES A CHANCE
In addition to the scholarships named above, we offer the ABC Maine Student of the Year Award, which recognizes the most outstanding students graduating from construction or construction-related programs at Maine high schools. Students are nominated by their instructors.
All nominated students receive a certificate and recognition in an ABC Maine press release about the award. Each nominee will also be entered into a random drawing for one of two $1,000 scholarships—notifications will be made in May 2022. Winners must submit a copy of their first semester transcript showing passing grades before ABC Maine will remit payment to the college in the student’s name.
Students eligible for the award will have completed one year in a construction or construction-related program and will have been accepted to a two- or four-year college construction or construction-related program. Nominations must be received by April 30, 2022.
We are also proud to announce the creation of a new $1,000 scholarship for a female college student entering a construction-related field. Like the Student of the Year Award, nominees will be awarded a certificate and recognized by ABC Maine. Each nominated student will be entered into a random drawing for the scholarship. Nominations must be received by May 2 and the winner will be chosen later that month.
MORE TO GIVE
For the Amos D. Bridge & EHSWD scholarships, preference is given to applicants who are employed by a current ABC member firm or are the child of an ABC member or one of their employees. The application and supporting materials for this scholarship are due by May 2.
The Bridge scholarship honors Amos D. Bridge, an immigrant who founded Bridgecorp in Connecticut in 1875 and whose company treated employees fairly and paid them based on what they produced. The company was a leader in Maine road construction for 90 years until it was sold to Pike Industries in 2004. The people and equipment work today as part of the company’s Heavy and Highway Construction Division, and we’re proud to honor Bridge’s legacy with a scholarship in his name.
Applications and supporting materials are due by May 2, and recipients will be notified later that month.
These scholarships are meant to bring attention to the merit shop and its place in Maine’s construction industry, providing opportunities for students looking to get into the trades. We can’t wait to continue to provide these opportunities in the years to come.
HOW TO APPLY
For information on our scholarships and to complete an application for one of the available awards, visit our Scholarships page, or contact Shari Johnston, our workforce development coordinator, at (207) 560-7573 or firstname.lastname@example.org.