WMIA scholarship program: Building a workforce for woodworking
July 10, 2017 | 9:35 am CDT
WMIA provides students with scholarships to pursue careers in the woodworking industry. To date, the Educational Foundation has awarded nearly $380,000 to assist students in furthering their goals. (Photo: Fox Valley Technical College)

The Woodworking Machinery Industry Association’s Educational Foundation awards scholarships to those who want to study, and pursue a career in wood technology, machinery, and related fields. To date, the Foundation has provided nearly $380,000 to assist talented students with furthering their goals.

This year, the Foundation’s Board of Trustees selected 11 college students to receive a total of $16,500 in scholarships. The Foundation also continued its scholarship “pilot program” this year and provided a fixed amount of scholarship funds to several schools; the schools determine how many scholarships to award, and in what amounts. Three schools — Pittsburg State University, the New England School of Architectural Woodworking, and the École Nationale du Meuble et de L’Ébénisterie (ENME) — participated in the program, awarding a total of $15,000 in scholarships to 12 students.

For the second straight year, a record number of female students received scholarships, with 11  selected this year; nine female students received scholarships in 2016.

“Once again this year, WMIA’s Education Committee and the Foundation Board of Trustees were quite impressed with not only the skills and accomplishments of the scholarship recipients, but the passion they expressed about having a career in the woodworking industry,” said WMIA Education Committee Chairman Chris Hofmann, Lamello product manager, Eastern U.S., for Colonial Saw Co. Inc.

“We have been very pleased with the increased quality of the scholarship applicants, and the continued surge in the number of female students receiving awards bodes well for our industry. WMIA is very proud to support the industry in this way year after year!” he added. The Foundation’s total award in 2017 was $31,500.

The 2017 scholarship recipients are: Bryce Ahlers, Lincoln, Nebraska – Pittsburg State University; Chase Ankeny, Ferndale, Michigan – Cranbrook Academy of Art; Jax Bailey, Prince George, British Columbia, Canada – College of New Caledonia;  Andrea Berthold, Seattle, Washington – Seattle Central College Wood Technology Center; Amanda Bjornstrom, Bellevue, Washington – Seattle Central College Wood Technology Center;  Jake Czaja, Cummington, Massachusetts – New England School of Architectural Woodworking; Steven Daniszewski, Rochester, New York – Morrisville State College;  Christopher Deady, South Hadley, Massachusetts – New England School of Architectural Woodworking; and Sam Galliart, Hutchinson, Kansas – Pittsburg State University.

Also receiving scholarships are: Marianne Ganzer, Westhampton, Massachusetts – New England School of Architectural Woodworking; Jacob Jewell, Broomall, Pennsylvania – Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology; Myriam Lefebvre, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada – ENME; Jose Leos, Houston, Texas – Pittsburg State University; Jennifer Lopez, Houston, Texas– Pittsburg State University; Alexandra Mavrikis, Los Angeles, California – Cerritos College; Kort McDonough, Pittsburg, Kansas – Pittsburg State University; Darin Milovich, Seattle, Washington – Seattle Central College Wood Technology Center; Marissa Perry, Seattle, Washington – Seattle Central College Wood Technology Center; Moriah Ross, Meade, Kansas – Pittsburg State University; Zachary Spahr, Pittsburg, Kansas – Pittsburg State University; Pier-Anne Mercier Tremblay, Montreal, Quebec, Canada – ENME; Kendra VanPolen, McBain, Michigan – Pittsburg State University; and Mark Welle, Milford, Iowa – Pittsburg State University

The WMIA Educational Foundation is supported by contributions from business groups and individuals in the woodworking industry, and the International Woodworking Fair (IWF). Contributions can be accepted at any time and in any amount, and are tax deductible. For information on contributing to the WMIA Educational Foundation, contact Larry Hoffer at lhoffer@wmia.org.

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