(MADISON, Wis.) – Wisconsin has a longstanding tradition of apprenticeship, developing highly-skilled workers capable of meeting industry needs while also providing individuals with a lifetime skill and knowledge of a trade. Today’s industry demands these trained workers, especially as Wisconsin businesses face a shortage of workers due to retirements, falling birth rates, and loss of talent as people leave the state for other employment opportunities.

Apprenticeships are a great solution to the skilled worker shortage. However, it may be hard for people to complete apprenticeships, especially if they are juggling school, work, and family. There are also upfront costs to starting a program, including the purchase of necessary items like tools, equipment and protective clothing.

It’s why Ascendium Education Group will support 511 construction and industrial trade apprentices in the Wisconsin Technical College System through their Tools of the Trade Scholarship program. Each apprentice received a $1,500 scholarship to help purchase tools, clothing, and equipment required by their trades to complete their programs and secure in-demand jobs. In total, Ascendium awarded $766,500 to eligible apprentices across 16 technical colleges this year.

Northcentral Technical College (NTC) is pleased to announce that nine apprentices studying at NTC received the 2021-2022 Tools of the Trade Scholarship.

Ascendium recognizes the important role of apprenticeships in preparing students for working in the skilled trades. The nonprofit has supported apprentices with a financial need in the Wisconsin Technical College System since 2013. With this year’s award, Ascendium’s Tools of the Trade Scholarship program surpassed $2 million in total scholarship awards to eligible apprentices across the system.

“When learners have the opportunity to overcome financial barriers, they can focus on completing their apprenticeship and securing an in-demand job,” Amy Kerwin, Vice President of Education Philanthropy at Ascendium said. “Whether studying to be an electrician, plumber, steamfitter, or another trade, these apprentices can breathe a little easier knowing they have some of their expenses covered. We wish them continued success in their apprenticeship and subsequent career.”

To learn more about Ascendium’s philanthropy, please visit ascendiumphilanthropy.org.

# # #

Northcentral Technical College (www.ntc.edu) is north central Wisconsin's premier two-year college of choice and is a resource for all District residents. It provides individuals, organizations and businesses with quality skills training in a wide range of programs designed to build a competitive, technologically advanced workforce in today's rapidly changing global environment. NTC has six convenient campus locations in Wausau, Antigo, Medford, Phillips, Spencer, and Wittenberg, as well as a Public Safety Center of Excellence in Merrill, a Wood Technology Center of Excellence in Antigo and an Agriculture Center of Excellence just north of the Wausau Campus in the Village of Maine.  The Wausau Campus also features a Center for Health Sciences, Center for Business & Industry, Information Technology & Entrepreneurial Center (iTEC), STEM Center, Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Center of Excellence, SPOONS restaurant, Studio Max Salon + Spa and a Center for Geriatric Education.

About Ascendium Education Group: Ascendium Education Group is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping people reach the education and career goals that matter to them. Ascendium invests in initiatives designed to increase the number of students from low-income backgrounds who complete postsecondary degrees, certificates, and workforce training programs, with an emphasis on first-generation students, incarcerated adults, rural community members, students of color and veterans. Ascendium's work identifies, validates, and expands best practices to promote large-scale change at the institutional, system, and state levels, with the intention of elevating opportunity for all. For more information, visit https://www.ascendiumphilanthropy.org.