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Workforce scholarship impacts Wilsonville students going into skilled trade industry

SPOKESMAN FILE PHOTO - Two workforce scholarships for those interested in the skilled trade industry are now available for two Wilsonville graduating seniors.The Wilsonville Area Chamber of Commerce has responded to local businesses' need for skilled workers in the trade industries by announcing the availability of two workforce scholarships.

"We are super-excited, it's our first year to have a scholarship program," said Laurie Tarter, membership development and communications manager for the Wilsonville Chamber of Commerce. "What makes (these scholarships) unique is these can be applied toward tuition or if they are going to maybe be an auto mechanic they can use it to pay for tools."

The scholarships are for $1,000 each and are available to any Wilsonville graduating senior, including those earning a GED in 2018.

Two years ago, the chamber decided to start raising funds through their annual Chamber Golf Outing and this year, it is ready to launch the scholarship program.

The scholarships are designed for students planning to attend a vocational, technical or trade school programs — including specialized education for those interested in careers like an electrician, a welder or a dental hygienist — in fall 2018. Some companies also offer apprenticeships, which are applicable as well. The scholarship covers expenses like tuition, tools and specialized equipment.

"You can go on to use these skilled trades. They're needed; there's such a shortage right now," Tarter said, adding that she wants to help provide local businesses with good employees who already reside in the community. "To help our business members cultivate the future workforce of tomorrow, we want to keep people in Wilsonville. We love Wilsonville."

Tarter said the chamber plans to continue the scholarship program in the future. The applications are available in the chamber's office, online at www.wilsonvillechamber.com/doing-business/trades-workforce-scholarship/, or they are available for pick-up in the career counselor's office at Wilsonville high schools. Deadline to turn in the application is Jan. 8, 2018.

Wilsonville Spokesman reporter Clara Howell can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 503-636-1281 ext: 112.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Jennifer Keenan, WACC program and event manager (left) and Kevin O'Malley, WACC CEO (right) are instrumental in the scholarship program.

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