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Scholarship Opportunities

One of the most important objectives of the mrW Foundation is to continually provide opportunities for financial aid to help those qualified individuals who are interested in learning a skill and mastering a trade.  Toward that goal, we are continually creating a variety of scholarship programs with like-minded institutions and organizations. Each program has it’s own nuances but all are similar in that they intend to further Mike’s “PR Campaign for Hard Work.” Check back often for the latest offerings.

pd thumbnail 2016 work ethic scholarship program

2016 Work Ethic Scholarship Program – is closed.

For the third year in a row, the mikeroweWORKS Foundation’s Work Ethic Scholarship Program announced another pile of free money available for an education to learn a skilled trade. This program rewards people with a passion to get trained for a skill that is in demand. Look for the next Work Ethic Scholarship Program to be open in the spring of 2017.

mtiMTI launches third annual mrWF/MTI H.S. Scholarship Program – is closed.

Midwest Technical Institute and the mikeroweWORKS Foundation are pleased to announce the third annual mrWF/MTI High School Scholarship Program for graduating high school seniors beginning Sept. 1.

The 2015-2016 program will award seven graduating high school seniors with a 100 percent tuition-paid scholarship for any of MTI’s workforce training programs. Winners will have the opportunity to select from a number of in-demand vocational courses and programs including welding, HVAC, medical assisting, dental assisting, truck driving and more.

The program, in collaboration with TV personality Mike Rowe, was established in 2013 as a partnership between MTI and the mikeroweWORKS Foundation to foster an interest in a wide range of mechanical trade and allied health careers. Each year, approximately $800,000 in scholarship funds is awarded to help high school students gain the skills and experience necessary to secure meaningful employment in today’s competitive workforce and develop into industry-leading professionals.

Submissions will open Sept. 1 and be accepted through March 25, 2016. Public voting on student videos will run from April 1 to May 1, and winners will be announced on or about May 6. – APPLICATION PROCESS IS CLOSED.

Learn more about the program – HERE.



  • Dan Dolan

    You should make a poster of the S.W.E.A.T. pledge.

  • Eric Pierce

    This is great! My son is only 15 and has taken interest in welding. Have been talking about how it would be a great career for him. He is a hard worker and when he gets to his senior year will be applying for scolarship. Thanks for what you are doing.

  • Deb frank

    I would like a copy of the document u have to sign to get a scholarship to a trade school

    • http://www.crowmeris.com/ CrowMeris

      Read the article. Click on the link provided. Print it out.

  • Teslanedison

    Are you considering adults, such as those who have lost their jobs or are in fields that require skill change or diversification?

    • CDD

      What little pride I have left doesn’t want me to write this, as I personally find my situation embarrassing. I am unemployed to the point where I am now statistically INVISIBLE! I was originally trained and certified in a trade, and worked nearly six years in a manufacturer’s R&D lab. When the company I worked for went under in 2011, I was rudely awakened a second time. I found that the trade rejected my level of experience as I worked in a lab, not “out in the real world”. I further found that my trade prefers 19 year olds to 46 year olds, although nobody would come right out and say so. I stubbornly refused to see things for what they were and continued to try to find work in my trade. When I finally woke up to the reality of that not working, I started looking for anything to help me support my family, as my unemployment benefits had expired and would not be extended. After hundreds of applications and resumes sent- to no response, I finally DID get a response. ” Judging by your resume, you are obviously over qualified. Which says to me, you will spend every spare moment looking for something better. That leaves me high and dry when you find it.”
      So, I get it now! I need to retrain, but due to my family’s financial situation, (we’re getting by on what my Wife makes as a Server.) I need all the help I can get to go back to school.
      I am looking at taking Machinist training @ my local Community College, and the entire program costs approximately $10,000 without any assistance. Any help to that end would be greatly appreciated!
      Clint Dolce

      • Teslanedison

        I can understand your plight, you should consider joining linked in, and paying the subscription fee. It feels like you have a knack for communications enough that might gain you some influence in forums and the like. Through engaging commentary you can open doors via likes and replies. Certainly better then throwing emails and letters against a brick wall. Then there’s ATSM which is a standards development organization, there are opportunities there. Finally you can take all your courses and not declare your major which allows you to apply for scholarships. Do your research about your local community college not all are created the same, of highest importance is their internship programs typically required the senior year or jr year, if the college does not have good associations then you could end up with bills and no useful experience in the eyes of some employers. Finally think carefully about what you are looking at a certification in, just because it’s offered doesn’t mean it’s actually a field that will have open jobs when you graduate. A modern machinist in my opinion needs to be proficient with many C&C applications, EDM, laser, router. Those automated systems along with advances in 3d printing are likely to disrupt the market in the near term. So computer programing, 3d modeling for CAD, robotics & industrial design might put you in a better position in the long run. Pennfoster Workforce development has a decent program design to compare a community college against. Don’t get snared into some over a decade old program that is not using current technology, tour a cutting edge shop you’d like to work at some day then tour the college, if they don’t match find another educator. Also do some research on MEMS technology, it’s a process for building fully functional mechanical and electrical systems using micro/nano scale processes, it’s really where the future of machining is likely to go as you can mill and print bond an entire product including integrated circuits on a flat wafer then have it pop up/ fold into a structure. What that means is that you can build small unique machines quickly and cheaply that work to accomplish a larger product that once took a huge warehouse and a large workforce to build.

        • Victoria

          This is good advice, I’ve made incredible contacts via linkedin.

          • The Dude Abides in Truth

            I HATE LinkedIn.

      • Teresa Ragan

        Clint contact your local Workforce Investment Office or check with the financial aid office at your local community college and ask them for the contact information for your local WIA office. There’s grant money out there for laid-off workers to get retrained under the Workforce Investment Act. For others who may be reading this that are not laid-off, there’s also funds for Adults and Youth that are based on income.

      • TiaJill

        Hi Clint, I just got a scholarship secured for Project Management- 5K to $10K
        throughout the WIA (Workforce Investment Act). Try contacting The One Stop. Good or equivalent in your area.. Good Luck! Good Researching…

  • Virginia Moreland

    I hope you are considering community colleges as excellent places for vocational training. More than 80% of first responders (nurses, EMTs, Fire, Police) are trained at community colleges. Plus, welding, advanced manufacturing, electrical, machinists, etc. are trained at community colleges. Community colleges also cost FAR less than universities or any private, for-profit tech schools like ITT. So let’s be clear that not ALL colleges are unaffordable and produce useless degrees.

  • Tony Scher

    I absolutely agree with this idea of helping kids enter the trade fields and wish I could do more to help. In todays schools kids are made to feel as if they are lessor humans if they don’t want to attend college(I know this from personal experience as me high school counselor would not let me attend shop class because my grades were to good) I still work in the trade industry today and have a great career with more opportunity than almost all the people I know who attended 4 year schools. although as I saw in another commit if I had it to do all over again I would have attended a community college instead of a true profit trade school as the education is better( another from experience from tudoring many community college interns in my daily job.

  • Just me

    My son graduated from high school in 2011. I sent him to vocational school for Telecommunications. He received a full scholarship from a Telecommunications, finished his certification in one year and it didn’t cost him a dime. After 1 year of working in the trade industry, he makes more money than me! I have a college degree, have been working in an office environment for 16 years and my 20 year old son makes more money than me! The best decision I ever made was sending him to a vocational school.

  • Joanne Fogle

    I am trying to make a living as an artist – not that it’s my passion, it’s what I do. My passion is being a student. Got any ideas?

    • Teslanedison

      If you are passionate about being a student then you are probably a good researcher. R&D can be lucrative depending on the industry. Art is a complex field, you produce a subjective product, that may or may not be a necessity.Once upon a time an artist was just that because they had access only to the knowledge and information that allowed them to ply that particular trade, now with the internet, youtube, and the like you have an open university worth of educational materials. You can target your audience and make art that fits a market, rather than make a market that fits your art, which often happens after artists are dead. Being a life long student, often leads to being a lecturer, because after a while you become a repository of information that most are too lazy or sometimes both time & geographically incapable of having access to.

  • Leo Naumann

    Dear mr rowe
    Iam planning to go to Linn tech for disel mechanic
    I was wondering if linn tech is part of your program
    Thank you for your time
    Scott naumann

  • differentlydriven

    Mike are any of these school out west in Phoenix Arizona? Or will the person who is learning the job have to relocate? And if so how are they to support themselves while learning the job? I have two sons neither is going to college, and I really don’t believe that neither wants to stay in a minimum wage job. I believe they would do better at a skilled job. I would really like to see them working in an apprentice type position with a decent wage. They don’t have to get awesome wage to start but something that provides sustenance is a good thing. The most important thing would be for them to have a skill. They both work well with their hands and that is a good thing too. They just don’t know what to do about it. They have UTI, and Welding schools out here of course, but how would someone go about finding out if they are interested in doing those things? High school provides some insight but my oldest is out of high school now and the youngest is a junior he’s still may have opportunity. What say you mike?

    • differentlydriven

      Also mike they told my son that he couldn’t be a welder or an electrician because it takes too much math. So what of that?

      • Lindsay

        Take a trip to your closest community college. They have a career center there and speak to an advisor. There are 10 community colleges in the greater Phoenix area. It is true that some two year degrees require some math but very basic-usually believe algebra two. It depends though- many certificates do not. Do some research online. Good luck!

  • Chloe W

    My son is going to attend UTI in Phoenix, AZ, the auto and diesel mechanic program. We would love to see that school included. They are all over the country and are participated by many companies, such as Cummins, Ford, Detroit, Western Star…. how would one go about encouraging a school’s participation?

    • Jaime

      It’d be nice if they open it up to adult students as well. I’ll be attending UTI in Norwood, MA in April 2014 for Diesel and Industrial Technology.

  • Gary Delz

    “Sign the SWEAT Pledge….it’s not in a program that will accept signatures, sooooo…
    I’m assuming we print it out, sign it……and then……no instructions at bottom of SWEAT Pledge

  • Lacey Dugger

    Hi there, I am wondering if you have any type of scholarship program that would support a High School Robotics team? Our local High School has implemented Robotics and Programming classes for the first time this year and the Robotics team has 2 competitions. With those competitions comes a need for sponsors however our little community of 1597 friendly people and 1 grouch can not meet the financial need. Please let me know if you have any scholorships that a high school robotics team would be eligible to apply for. Thank you. If you have a moment you can check out their FB page https://www.facebook.com/nedwardskfhs?ref=br_tf

  • Tori Wheeler

    Just wondering if your scholarships are available for Canadian residents?? There are a lot of trade schools here (NAIT or SIAST for example) which promotes trades.

  • Tim HK Cartwright

    I’d like to see my school get with the MikeroweWORKS Foundation. It is the Michigan Institute of Aviation Technology (MIAT) who offer aviation, power technology, and transportation dispatch programs. I graduated there and am now a Wind Turbine Technician. I love my job, best decision i ever made.

  • Farmer6045

    Currently attending University of Northwestern Ohio for Agricultural Diesel would like to see scholarship to this school as I would deffinately apply

  • Charlotte Vaughn

    Would you consider a returning student, working 40+ hours a week at a minimum wage job, going to school 12 hours a semester (next semester registered for 15) and can show excellent grades (current last completed semester resulted in a 3.5gpa and a deans list letter)?

  • Gene Sherman

    I started Vocademy (an education-focused) makerspace where ANYONE can come to learn hands-on skills and the use those skills to make anything they desire. We agree 100% with the goals of MRW are are doing our best to give people skills that make them “more valuable to the world.” We’d love to be one of those places where an MRW scholarship can be applied. Please take a look: http://www.Vocademy.com

  • Patti

    wish Missouri Welding Institute was on that list. My son wants to start classes there next July after he graduates high school.

    • Midwest Technical Institute

      Patti have you looked into our Journeyman Welder I program? We are partnered with the MRW Scholarship. You still have time to get registered. We would love to give you and your son a tour of our campus in Springfield, Missouri. We will be having a start on July 14, 2014

  • Pat Chesnut

    How about those in technical fields who wish to take expensive courses for certification? Can you lend a hand here?

  • Richard Clemens

    You might want to consider –as a scholarship opportunity — The Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades (www.williamson.edu) located near Media, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. Founded in 1888, Williamson offers a three-year post -secondary education leading to an Associates in Specialized Technology degree. It is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. it offers associate degree programs in carpentry, brick masonry, machine tool technology, paintings and coatings, power plant technology and horticulture. Virtually all of its students get jobs at graduation or pursue further education. It is the only trade school of its kind in the country. Thanks to income from an endowment and contributions, tuition and room and board are free but there are some modest deposits and fees.

  • Merrilee Stevenson

    All the scholarships I saw were “only open to high school seniors.” Are there any scholarships available for people willing to S.W.E.A.T. who are looking for a career change? In their 40′s?

    • Don Booth

      YES! The American Institute of Nondestructive Testing. Check us out at trainingndt.com

  • Lori Shontz

    I work at a Technical college. How do we become involved in your program??


    I am 58 yrs old and in need of a new career . Is there a place for me in this grand dream ?

    • milworker

      Yes, there is. Do you have the infinite capacity to not know what can’t be done? Can you fix a thing, solve a problem, or make something work? Doesn’t matter what that problem might be, when it’s put before you, if you’re the kind of person that is willing to pick it up and run with it, there will always be a place for you in this grand dream.

      Is that difficult to market, probably. Almost certainly. People don’t understand what it means to fix something. Some people call it “thinking outside the box” “improvisation”, whatever. I call it a person I want to know. Degrees are nice, picture frames need filling and I don’t want a high school dropout removing my spleen. But I’m not here to support the picture frame industry, and my spleen works (knock on wood) well I think.

      If you are the kind of person I’m talking about, and you market yourself as someone who will confidently and purposefully seek out answers to any problem that comes your way, you’ll do fine at any age. In fact, you’ll do 1000% better than most college graduates. Many of them are counting on that piece of paper to mean something. Nobody taught them the law of supply and demand.

      So, tell us about yourself, what you did before you were given this great new opportunity to reinvent yourself, and what kind of hobbies you have. An INTELLIGENT employer will see the value, all the others don’t matter, and you wouldn’t want to work for them anyway. Not if you’re the kind of person I’m thinking of.

      Your turn.

  • CW

    Can you help people who are not graduating and are a bit older than HS who have no training due to expense and want to learn a trade to fill these positions – like a mother – who has no options for learning but wants to learn….? and fill available positions!

    • TiaJill

      Have you looked into being a Driver? It’s kinda fun working as an UBER Driver; is an easy way to have your own business with zero upfront costs. Plus you can write off things like phone, milage, & lessee note. At least this is a good way to keep the ball rolling while your working out the details of a different position.

  • Jericho Scarey

    My husband is just finishing up his certification to be a Ford Technician at Cerritos College. My husband is retired Army but only qualified for 60% of his 9/11 GI
    bill. So anything they don’t pay, we have to with only my income.

    You should look into community colleges that have programs like this. Cerritos was the first and oldest Ford Tech program. I think students that struggle in these schools are just as eligable as those going to a “Tech” or vocational school. And there really should be more of those opened here in California as well.

  • James Brunsgaard III

    My son finally decided to go for a technical school program to be a electrician at a very good school in MN called Dunwoody College of Technology. This was after finishing a general associate degree at a local community college. The tuition is very expensive unfortunately since it is one of the best technical schools in the country. Unfortunately, since his sister is attending college to get a accounting degree and us paying a expensive mortgage are fiances are stretched. I am a retired former enlisted man and can only find part time work and it really tears at me to see my son having to deal with over $14 Grand worth of loans a year to finish this degree at 7% interest. That is on top of the nearly $10 Grand of debt he has accumulated getting his associate degree. We are helping him as much as we can but I sure wish the scholarship would be open to young college age adults in addition to high school students. I do appreciate what you are doing Mike and we sure do need more folks in the trades instead of wasting their money on useless degrees like social justice.

    • Teslanedison

      As a former enlisted man have your children taken advantage of benefits for education available for children of people who have served in the military? Is your son pulling high grades, and active in associations related to his field, if so there are many scholarships out there, most schools can provide insight through their academic counseling office, tell him don’t just talk to one school adviser, each one has different experiences and as such a potential different insight. Your son needs to understand that loans are long term investments in his academic learning power, the penalty for performing poorly is directly proportional to the amount of the debt and the time it will take to pay it off. Higher grades equals less cost, as scholarships and grants become available to unburden the financial load. He should look at the qualification requirements of a dream grant and work to get there, exactly as a roadmap. I’m telling you this after over 15 years of working with in and around Colleges, 4 Universities and 3 community colleges. Educational facilities operate much like vegas, in that the house always wins by statistical margin regardless of the student’s personal outcome. Simply, if the opportunities are not given easily they have to be pursued and made, the degree is not the true function of a University, the process of self education and working with others is where a functioning career is based. The degree will open doors yes, what was done with it in the learning will determine success. Beyond all platitudes, and above all else, network, network, network, know people’s names and keep in touch. For what Edison lacked in innovative ability he made up for in communications skills.

  • Will Aldrich

    I hold a four year degree for aviation management that I currently do not use. Right now I am a technician for a small company that I enjoy, but everything I earn goes right to paying off my student loans. If I didn’t have these loans over my head I would be very happy earning what I am currently earning now. My wife is in a similar situation as well. We both have degrees, but we cannot even use them and now we have to pay off a huge debt. I wish I knew then what I know now.

    • Teslanedison

      Wow, well I’d say you’re a candidate to jump on the exploding sUAS market, if you are current on your loans you could qualify for additional educational grants, the university of North Dakota has the nod from the FAA in regards to an educational program, as well as K-state. Again I’ll mention the ASTM as it’s relevant to your chosen field even if you are not working at it. Depending on the job structure and hours it might be possible to explore other opportunities, if it will benefit your employer they might even assist you. Some employers get very nervous if you mention that you are uncomfortable with the box that you are in, so be cautious, and carefully analyze the situation before making any statements that could affect your job, a solid job is better than no job. In America we still have a very old management system that prides itself on the stability of keeping staff on a particular task for an indefinite period of time, stemming from the age of the division of labor and the like, that system is starting to face the reality of repeated disruptive innovations that make whole sectors of their business operations irrelevant sometimes overnight. The future is providing equity in your staff, growing them as you grow, while it seemed a pipe dream in the 80′s something of movie fantasy fiction it’s more of a necessity in this century as global competitors are not sitting still waiting to participate in any one persons perceived monopoly.

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  • Brittany Blackmon

    Mr. Rowe,
    I am currently enrolled in school at St. Philip’s College in San Antonio, TX. I am in the automotive program, and am working toward getting my Associates of Applied Science in Automotive Technology. One of my teachers keeps telling me to go an apply for your scholarship, so I keep checking back to see if our school has been added to the list. Please consider us!
    Brittany Blackmon

  • Brooks Dawson

    I have to ask the same question as Teslanedison. I have spent 18 years in construction and have gotten my education in Drafting and Design plus Project Management in which I have been able to get loans for but now if I want to pursue any kind of career or field I need to get certifications for which I needed to have a degree in order to apply for some of these certification. It is a catch 22 because I have no job to pay for my loan not to mention to get certifications. I do side jobs to help pay bills and that is about all have been able to do. Again I have to consider moving away from my family in order to find work, like I did between 2009 – 2011. Discouraged in California. I have owned my own business remodeling house but again the labor pool is limited and non-skilled. I don’t have time to educate nor run a business at the same time. If I could position myself to where I can give back my knowledge I would but I have responsibilities to my family first.

  • Michele Pierson

    Why are these scholarships only available to high school Seniors? I am an adult female i
    n need of a new career. My current profession as a school bus driver of 22 years, is in grave jeopardy. I really want to attend Midwest Technical Institute to become a welder.

    • Midwest Technical Institute

      Michele we would love to talk to you about other funding options that you might be eligible for. Where are you located? When and how is the best way to contact you? We have a class starting on February 10th, we would love to see you here!

      • milworker

        And that’s how this whole thing works… speak up, move up. I hope it works out for Michele.

  • Pat

    Please make a poster of the S.W.E.A.T page!

  • Kevin Kingrey

    I am currently enrolled at a local community college here in Oregon that is for all intents and purposes, a really great trade school. I’m in the manufacturing technology program, learning machining and programming, loving what I’m learning and looking forward to working at it soon. I just wanted to put a word in for Clackamas CC in hopes that your foundation might take a closer look at this school and schools like it.

  • cmcgaha

    When will the 2014 application be available. It is not pulling up completely right now. Just the title. .Please ad Riggs CAT to your list of companies you are partnering with and Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology. Thank you, cmcgaha

  • cj6166

    My son is 29 and obviously not a high school senior. We live is a rural town in Arizona. Do you have any programs that might be good for him? He has a few years of HVAC experience however; he wants to further this knowledge and possible open his own business.

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  • Bobb Holden

    I do not have a degree, am 56 years old and am the go to guy where I work, and also where I live. I am surrounded by Dr.’s , Lawyers, Engineers, in my neighborhood but am always the “GO TO” guy when something goes wrong. No I AM NOT embarrassed because I am not degreed. I’m sorry to say in my field we consider “THEM” as educated idiots. Give them ‘HELL” Mike….

    • milworker

      Must be the Holden in you! My grandfather William Robert Holden started out as a janitor and ended up a senior engineer at Detroit Edison. Different time, but my dad did pretty much the same thing, and I’ve spent the last 25 years doing pretty much the same thing. Good employers know the value of a person, they don’t much give a crap about the credentials.

  • WeldMan

    http://www.mwi.ws 800-667-5885

  • Jason W

    Good Work, Mike!

  • Cassie Kaptur

    Is there a Scholarship for a graduating senior just getting out of a Career- Tech school or Vocational school? I placed 3rd in the Northwest Ohio Regional Carpentry Competition and I am going to states in April. My future plans are to go to college for Construction Management at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. With me being the youngest my family is tight on money with my older sister just graduating her masters in Architecture and my brother going to school for financing. I have a passion for Construction and would like to really like to further my education so I can help manage and lead projects. I am President of my SkillsUSA cluster at my vocational school (Penta Career Center in Perrysburg, OH) and President of NTHS at Penta. I have volunteered with Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity Multiple times. I would really like to show the guys in this industry that girls can do the same things and work as hard as guys can. Attached is a picture of the 2,200sqft house im helping build with in my class at school while I am still in high school.

  • Melissa Flaherty

    Check out IYRS School of Technology & Trades in Newport and Bristol, RI. We are an accredited trade school and our students come from a variety of backgrounds — some straight from High School, some Veterans translating their military skills into new careers, and even a few career-changers. Find IYRS on Instagram and YouTube to learn more about our three career training programs. http://www.iyrs.edu Make Anything Possible

  • TheDirtmover

    I’ve been in the “getting my hands dirty” way of life,, all my life.
    No, it’s not for everyone. But honorable non the less.
    Yes, it’s feast or famine at times. ( so save money during the good times)
    We need more of our kids to learn and continue on. Don’t let construction jobs become one of those ” jobs Americans refuse to do”.
    Hat’s off to Mike and his people.

  • Cassie Laberee

    Do we sumbit the video here or to UTI?

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  • Kim Mumola

    Anyone trying to figure out what you’ve become, who you are and in what direction you should head; then this may be worth looking at: http://www.highlandsco.com

  • http://www.highlandsco.com Kim Mumola

    Looking for answers? What am I suited for? What direction should I take as far as choosing a career?
    Start here: www highlandsco com.

    Mike, please touch base with me. We have a network with lots of experience to share with you.

  • Robbin Singleton Strope

    My son has took two years of welding in vocational school. He is going to Vincennes University for welding he is in his second semester… He wants to go out west and work on the pipe lines.. I am not the smartest cookie in the jar, but can he get Scholarships for his second year????????????. He is a very good kid he has been a Ten year member for 4-H Very good attendance while in school. He also holds down two part time welding jobs on the weekend… Thanks for your time

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