SkillsUSA Students Can Help Close Skills Gap
— Fine Homebuilding and Keep Craft Alive, in its sixth year partnering with SkillsUSA
, have announced this year’s #KeepCraftAlive Scholarship winners. Eighteen students studying in construction-related fields received a $2,500 scholarship for the 2022-23 academic year. The funds can be used for further trade education including community colleges, undergraduate programs or industry certifications.
Selections were based on an application, a 300-word essay and a letter of support from a teacher, administrator, SkillsUSA
advisor or mentor. Submissions were then reviewed by Fine Homebuilding’s editorial staff and winners were chosen based on merit.
This year’s scholarship winners include:
- Georgia: Tyler Martin, Cass High School
- Iowa: Carlos Balderas, Iowa Lakes Community College; Makenzie Meyer, Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn-Remsen-Union (MMCRU) High School
- Nebraska: Hailey Hoffman, Columbus High School; Helen Walker, Southeast Community College
- North Carolina: Emily Martinez, Wilkes Community College
- North Dakota: Annah Evavold, North Dakota College of Science; Luis Jasso, Tri County Tech
New Jersey: Annie Krukis, Morris County School of Technology; Thomas Horan, New Providence High School
- Ohio: Hannah Sander, Diamond Oaks High School; Joseph Reynolds, RG Drage Career Technical Center; Nicole Cindric, Auburn Career Center
- South Dakota: Ben Kwasniewski, Webster Area High School
- Tennessee: Emily Stinson, Chattanooga State Community College
- Texas: David Flavio Noyola,F. Terry High School; Jessie Calderon, Rudder High School
- Virginia: Amelia Hess, Mountainview High School
Fine Homebuilding created the scholarship program to address a shortage of trained qualified labor across North America that is fueling a widening skills gap. In addition, they are creating a community of passionate and like-minded craftspeople who are helping to change the face of the construction industry.
“The #KeepCraftAlive scholarships help our deserving students continue their education within the field, said SkillsUSA
Executive Director Chelle Travis. “Partners like Fine Homebuilding help uplift and change the future of the skilled trades.”
The recipients are each grateful for the financial support, which they deem as invaluable and life changing. “Without SkillsUSA
, I would never have been exposed to anything involving engineering in high school,” says scholarship recipient Tyler Martin, Berry College (Ga.). “Through the organization, I grew both as a leader and as a tradesman. My involvement in SkillsUSA
showed me that I did not have to choose between academia and the trades – I could do both. Thanks to SkillsUSA
and Fine Homebuilding Magazine, I am one step closer to pursuing my career.”
Scholarship recipient Emily Martinez, Wilkes Community College (N.C.) says, “I am grateful to be able to use this scholarship towards my tuition for my first semester in college! I cannot wait to research sustainable building sciences in residential building, and I hope to help bring it to rural counties in my career.”
“This scholarship will help me economically, academically and to keep my skills up. I want to have the pride of being the first member of my family to go to college. My family has done their best to raise me and now it’s my turn to make them proud and show them that all their hard work paid off.” says Jessie Calderon, TSTC Texas Technical College (Texas).
“Fine Homebuilding and Keep Craft Alive are so glad to be able to award these scholarships,” says Andrew Zoellner, editorial director of Fine Homebuilding. “We’re so proud to be able to work with SkillsUSA
, and we’re very excited to follow the careers of these exceptionally skilled and passionate students. We look forward to all the success they’re sure to have in the trades and in life.”
Founded in 1965, SkillsUSA
is a nonprofit partnership of students, teachers and industry that empowers its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens. The SkillsUSA
Framework of Personal, Workplace and Technical Skills Grounded in Academics inspires work and life success for students while helping industry close the skills gap currently leaving millions of skilled trade jobs unfilled. Through SkillsUSA
’s career competitions program and curricula, employers ensure schools are teaching relevant technical skills, and with SkillsUSA
’s credentialing process, they can assess the career-readiness of their future employees. SkillsUSA
’s membership of more than 330,000 students and instructors encompasses middle schools, high schools and college/postsecondary institutions in every state and three U.S. territories. SkillsUSA
programming covers 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations and is recognized by the U.S. departments of Education and Labor as integral to career and technical education. For more information: www.skillsusa.org.
About Fine Homebuilding
Fine Homebuilding is the most trusted and authoritative resource for the residential construction and remodeling industry and has launched the #KeepCraftAlive campaign to help close the skills gap. Fine Homebuilding sources its content from the job sites and design offices of the most qualified and talented builders and designers in the industry to empower a global workforce with the ability to create the most advanced homes possible. Driven by the ethos that exceptional homes are possible, and that craftsmanship is an honorable and worthy pursuit, Fine Homebuilding has become the preferred media brand for professionals, deeply knowledgeable enthusiasts, industry influencers, and forward-thinking companies, who are collectively committed to shaping the way we build.
With the #KeepCraftAlive campaign, Fine Homebuilding is leveraging all of its resources to bring awareness to the skills gap cause, partnering with industry organizations and influencers to build awareness of the skills training and educational opportunities that exist in this country, and funding student scholarships with Skills USA to support those who want to pursue a path in the trades. Fine Homebuilding is committed to celebrating the value of true craftsmanship in all trades in order to influence the cultural narrative about what it means to be a respected, successful professional. For more information about Fine Homebuilding and the #KeepCraftAlive initiative, visit: www.keepcraftalive.org.
Jane Short or Karen Kitzel