Grainger Foundation Scholarship Helps Four CTC Students

Four students enrolled in the automotive technology, HVAC (heating, ventilation, air-conditioning), and welding programs at Columbus Tech have an additional 625 dollars to help pay for college. The money is part of a scholarship donated by the Grainger Foundation to Columbus Technical College  in support of its mission of providing a quality workforce education. The scholarship is managed through the Columbus Technical College Foundation.

“This grant is being used to provide scholarships for qualified students in these specific trade and industry-driven programs,” said Meredith Yoe, dean of the school of professional and technical services. “We are so grateful to the Grainger Foundation for its generosity.”

Yoe says these kind of programs are vital to the greater Columbus area in that they provide community service through donated work. It’s a win-win for everyone since the students learn how to hone their skills through real-life situations.

Grainger scholarship winners

Congratulations to the winners of the Grainger Scholarship. Posing with their award certificates are (l to r) Gary D. Bruce/Welding, Christopher B. Davis/HVAC, Leighton “Brent” Rollins/Automotive Technology, and Ricky Kopec/Welding. Also pictured are (l to r) Gloria Dodds/CTC Foundation Director, Brian Brock/Grainger Branch Manager, Bryan Golden/HVAC Instructor, Ron Barfield/HVAC Instructor, Craig Oldenburg/HVAC Program Director, Ronnie McBride/Welding Program Director, and Alan Ashmore/Automotive Technology Program Director.

Students seeking the financial helping hand from the Grainger Foundation must submit an application that includes a 300 word essay, be in good academic standing, and provide at least one instructor recommendation. In his essay, Army veteran Gary Bruce wrote about his dream of providing a better life for his three children through his love of restoring cars. He already has a diploma from Columbus Tech’s automotive technology program and is working on a diploma in welding.

“With this scholarship, I could afford to purchase a welder which would be a start to acquiring the necessary tools to be able to repair frames, exhaust systems, body panels, and hard to find or expensive parts.”

Chris Davis graduated from the major appliance repair program and is now enrolled as an HVAC student.

“This is a field that I am pursuing hard and with 100 percent,” Davis wrote. “I enjoy the hands-on process, the troubleshooting and diagnosis of the units, and figuring out the problem to make them work.”

Leighton “Brent” Rollins plans on using his scholarship money to purchase tools needed to start his new life in the automotive repair field. He has big dreams for life after his scheduled graduation in 2013.

 “I plan on joining a team at a large dealership in order to acquire a higher salary and better benefits. Even after starting my new career, I plan on continuing to better myself by attending evening classes to keep abreast of new technology and keep my mind sharp.”

Ricky Kopec’s family is surviving on one income while he attends school. He also plans on using the welcomed scholarship money to purchase welding supplies and assist with tuition.

 “Welding school is a top priority right now in order to better myself and create more stability and support for my family,” Kopec wrote. “This new career path has helped me to build more confidence in my skills, as well as in my day-to-day life.”

This donation was recommended by Brian Brock, Branch Manager of W.W. Grainger, Inc.’s Columbus location. Grainger has been a part of the Columbus business community for more than 20 years as the leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair, and operating products.  

“We are proud to recommend the programs offered by Columbus Technical College,” said Brock.  “We understand the need for highly skilled, well educated people to join the workforce and keep our community productive.”

The Grainger Foundation, an independent, private foundation based in Lake Forest, Illinois, was established in 1949 by William W. Grainger, founder of W.W. Grainger, Inc. For further information about Grainger contact: Kristen Lawrence, Communications Manager at