Adam Bell and Ryan White each wanted a better career and life for their families, so they enrolled in OSU Institute of Technology’s CAT® Dealer Prep program two years ago.
Their hard work in the classroom and in the shop has paid off with each receiving a mikeroweWORKS Foundation tool scholarship for $1,000.
The mikeroweWORKS Foundation supports and promotes skilled trades and grants scholarships to men and women who have an interest and aptitude in mastering a specific trade.
Fifty-one students from across the country were awarded MRW tool scholarships this year, and OSUIT is the only school in the state that had scholarship winners.
Students in OSU Institute of Technology’s CAT® Dealer Prep and programs are eligible to receive the scholarships, and this year, both went to CAT® students based on their grade point averages.
“Me and Adam, most of us in here, we’re all motivated to do the best in school,” said White.
The two scholarship winners are both from Arkansas and both were working other hands-on jobs before enrolling at OSUIT.
White was working at a chainsaw dealership in Dover, Ark., and was looking for a career change. Inspiration came after he inherited an old, beat-up CAT® bulldozer.
“I was always going into the CAT® shop to get it repaired. That’s how I found out about the program,” he said.
Bell was working in an underground coal mine near Fort Smith, Ark., before he enrolled.
“Working in a coal mine isn’t exactly the safest place to work. My wife and I decided it was time for a change,” he said, but the on-the-job training aspect of the CAT® program was appealing. “I didn’t have a lot of mechanical experience so the internship part of the program was a draw.”
Now both will graduate in August with a Associate of Applied Science in Diesel and Heavy Equipment.
“We’ll have an associate degree, I would think at most technical schools, you don’t get a college degree,” Bell said.
White said he feels more ready and prepared than ever to start his career at his hometown CAT® dealership.
“The two years we go to school here puts us five or six years ahead of where we would be if we had just started working at the dealership directly,” he said.
Both said the $1,000 tool scholarship from mikeroweWORKS Foundation is a great help in getting their careers started, especially when a basic tool kit can cost around $2,500.
“It gets us a good quarter of the way to a working technician’s kit,” White said. “It’s an honor honestly, being given this scholarship.”