Joey R. Green 2014 mrWF Work Ethic Scholarship Recipient
We recently received an email from Joey, he wanted to share with us a blog his wife wrote about their family and the beginning of his new career. We wish the Green family all the best!
The Importance & Need for Skilled Trade Workers
Team Green Rocks
Until my husband decided to go school at the YOUNG age of 40 for welding – I really had never put a lot of thought into skilled trade. He has always done skilled trades.. without schooling. He rebuilt our house in Oregon, designed audio systems in cars and rebuilt old cars. I was always in awe of his abilities. It is nothing I could do.
I was so excited for him to go for one of his dreams of learning and getting his welding degree. He applied for the FAFSA and received a grant. It covered his tuition, but ONLY his tuition. He was going to have to go to school full time. FULL TIME. For a family of 5 this was a little scary. My teacher self decided to go into overdrive looking for more scholarships for him to help us get through the 10 months of school.
What started out as a search for help, became a lesson in our societal values. At some point in the 70’s trade work became looked down on, as if skilled work had little to no value. The push was for degrees at major universities, at a high cost. Trust me I know. I have a masters in education and still owe on my loan. I don’t make anything as a teacher and I am not alone. My husband’s entire 10 months is fully paid for and he can get a skilled job making more than I do. At almost no cost to us. We forget about all the jobs that someone has to do. Jobs that require technicality, jobs that require accuracy, jobs that require SKILL. Yet, our society has placed little value on these jobs. Many are in high demand – due to the current workforce retiring and no one to replace them.
Finding a scholarship took me over a week searching into the middle of the night until my eyes crossed. I was determined to find something – there had to be something – anything. I looked up his nationalities, family history, parents (only for mom’s) going back to school – he didn’t qualify for any. around midnight one night I came across the most amazing site!
It is a foundation supported and run by Mike Rowe (you might know him from Dirty Jobs). On his site there was a scholarship The 2014 mikeroweWORKS Foundation Work Ethic Scholarship. I read the details – WAIT.. this might work though the deadline was a week away. I was able to gather all of the materials we needed and post marked it 2 days before it was due. My husband received an email saying he was one of finalists – we just had to make a video on “Why he deserved this scholarship”.
Our brilliant idea of having the girls in the video didn’t quite work out, but we submitted anyway in the hopes of a scholarship. You can check out the video here – for a big laugh (please don’t post anything rude). We checked back daily to see if he qualified. The date kept getting pushed out. We had no idea why. Then they announced it – everyone was receiving something. The reason for the delay is many schools and companies that serve the trades heard about the need for this scholarship and more donations kept coming in. Even after the initial scholarship and welding supplies (donated by Lincoln Electric). We received another check a month later.
We truly are grateful for both the scholarship donors and to the Mike Rowe Foundation. It has made life a little easier for us. Mike Rowe is truly trying to move education in the right direction. I wish there was more out there for all of the dedicated trade people out there, because as he says “somebody’s gotta do it”. We decided to give back in a small way that we could. Amazon has a program called Amazon smile and you can connect with different groups and parts of your purchases gives a donation – guess who is on there?? mikeroweWORKS Foundation
Joey’s Work Ethic Scholarship Essay –
Why have you chosen to pursue a career in the skilled trades?
As a child I grew up around the skill trade of welding. Both my father and grandfather taught me the basics of skilled work and the importance of taking pride in my skilled work. Over the past few years I have held a number of different jobs, including retail and design/desk work. While I have been successful at these jobs, I have never felt content. Multiple times I have attempted to register for college and to go back to school, but I am not the typical learner and “regular college” does not work for me. I have expressed my desire numerous times to my wife about going back to school for welding, but the timing has never been right. It wasn’t until we moved to Florida that not only was the timing right, but the trade school was close to our house. I have never been as excited as I am right now to go back to school. This program will afford me many different opportunities. It will allow me to work on my equipment for my business, as well as start a career in the industry. I will have a wider range of skills that I will be able to use to my advantage. Furthermore, I will be able to use the skill to provide for my family. I am looking forward to learning a trade that I can teach my children, as my father and grandfather had taught me. As I solidified my decision to further my education, I looked online and found that there are skilled trade jobs available, as the baby boomers that have held those jobs are retiring. The misconception that a skilled trade is not profitable career is highly misleading. I know that this is the right choice for me since I am a hands-on learner, worker and creator. Skilled trade takes a high level of thinking, learning and dedication. I believe that part of my dedication and drive comes from the fact that I am older and finally returning to school, with the confidence that I am doing something I love and the knowledge that a skilled trade such as welding is in high demand. I want to be part of filling the gap in this job area. As I build my knowledge in this career, I will be building a future for myself and my family without putting us into unnecessary amount of debt. At the same time making a dream of mine come true.