Six students from Career and Technical Education (CTE) schools in Maine were awarded nearly $7,000 in scholarship funds from ABC Maine in June.
“The ABC Maine scholarships provide an opportunity for students to earn an education in the trades,” says Shari Johnston, ABC Maine’s Workforce Development Coordinator. “The connection with CTE schools is an important part to growing our future workforce.”
Logan Carter, a student at Eastern Maine Community College, and Thomas Spurling, who studies at Maine Maritime Academy, were awarded the Amos D. Bridge Scholarship—$1,375 each to help pay for college.
“This scholarship will help me pay for my food and room and board in college,” Carter says. “It’ll also help me reach my goal of becoming a carpenter.”
ABC Maine has awarded the Amos D. Bridge scholarship since 1996. The scholarship is given to students enrolled in a construction-related program, including architecture and engineering students.
This scholarship honors Amos D. Bridge, who founded Bridgecorp in Connecticut in 1875. A first-generation immigrant, Bridge’s company was known for treating its employees fairly—and paying them well.
Bridgecorp was a leader in Maine road construction for 90 years until it was sold to Pike Industries in 2004. Today, the company’s people and equipment are an integral part of the Pike’s Heavy and Highway Construction Division, and we’re proud to honor Bridge’s legacy with a scholarship in his name.
Evan Helwig, a student at Southern Maine Community College, was awarded this year’s $1,000 general trade schools scholarship (known as the Education Health Safety Workforce Development scholarship). To be nominated, a student must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate construction-related program.
“I feel extremely grateful and fortunate to be awarded this scholarship from ABC Maine, which has a great team that has supported me since the beginning of my career in the trades,” Helwig says. “ABC Maine has continuously provided me with helpful information and advice, and I look forward to continuing my relationship with the organization.”
This year, three students were named ABC Maine Students of the Year, with each receiving a $1,000 scholarship: Freeport High School/JMG Cody Arsenault, Northern Penobscot Technical Center’s Jeremy Frenette, and Zachary Spurling from Portland Arts Technology High School.
Congrats to all of this year’s scholarship winners!
Doing Our Part
At ABC Maine, it’s our mission to promote the merit shop philosophy, which encourages open competition and a free-enterprise approach, awarding contracts based solely on merit.
But the obstacles are growing—and not because tradespeople don’t support this philosophy. A recent report by a professional electrician association found 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, including awarding scholarship to help students on their education journeys. Over the years, we’ve given scholarships to more than 30 students—and we’re looking to do more.
We also want to thank everyone who contributed to ABC Maine’s Cent for CTE program, which helps support CTE schools in Maine by providing scholarships, books and other supplies. If you’re interested in supporting the Cent for CTE program, email email@example.com.
These scholarships and the Cent for CTE program 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 a Trade School Scholarship
Trade school scholarship applications for 2023 will be available at the first of the year.