New "Power Your Future" Scholarship
Boyers, Van Meter support students going into electrical trade
NEWS RELEASE - CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – The Barry and Gilda Boyer – Van Meter Inc. Power Your Future Scholarship debuted in the Cedar Rapids Community School District this spring with $1,000 awards being presented to three, class of 2019 high school graduates— Tucker Klett (Kennedy High School), Chase Breemeersch (Jefferson High School), and Roscian Wade (Washington High School).
Established in recognition of Barry Boyer’s more than 25 years of leadership and service to Van Meter Inc., a wholesale electrical distributor with 14 locations across the Midwest, the Power Your Future Scholarship is intended to encourage and support students pursuing a career in the electrical trade – an area hit hard by skilled workforce shortages.
An article in the May 2018 issue of Electrical Contractor magazine stated that, “As fewer electricians enter the electrical contracting industry than exit it, a net deficit of skilled labor will potentially leave contracting firms struggling to fill an estimated 85,000-plus positions by 2024.”
“The challenge is real across the nation and right here in our backyard. We need more young people going into the trades,” said Barry Boyer, retired President and CEO and former board chair at Van Meter Inc. “This scholarship program is one way that Gilda and I, and the employee-owners at Van Meter, can help.”
Many companies and trade organizations offer students paid apprenticeship or training opportunities right out of high school. The Power Your Future Scholarship is designed to set apprentices up for success by helping fund ancillary expenses like tools, steel toe boots, outerwear and other applicable fees.
To be eligible for a Power Your Future scholarship, a graduating high school student must be enrolled at Kennedy, Washington, Jefferson or Metro High School and show proof of going into an electrical apprenticeship program with the intention of becoming an electrician.
“We’re extremely proud to recognize Barry through the Power Your Future Scholarship program. He’s been a real difference maker in our industry and the community,” said Lura McBride, Van Meter’s President and CEO. “It seems only fitting to honor him by paying it forward and helping the next generation.”
“Gilda and I were honored that Van Meter would join us in contributing to a cause we both are passionate about—honoring the importance of trades in our society,” added Boyer.
The Power Your Future Scholarship is managed and promoted by the Cedar Rapids Community Schools Foundation. The Foundation is responsible for vetting and selecting three, $1000 scholarship recipients annually. To inquire about application for the 2019-2020 school year, interested students can contact Tara Troester at 319-558-1222 or TTroester@cr.k12.ia.us.