Grainger scholarship helps Diesel Technology student
Grainger, a distributor of industrial supplies and tools, is helping Athens Technical College Diesel Technology student Clay Black prepare for his career goal— managing his own cattle business.
Grainger awarded Black a $2,000 scholarship as part of the company’s Grainger Tools for Tomorrow® program that provided scholarships to 200 students at 100 community colleges across the country. Mr. Black is studying Diesel Technology at the college’s Elbert County Campus, and when he graduates, Grainger also will give him a customized Westward® toolkit. The Diesel Technology knowledge and the tools will help Mr. Black work on his own farming equipment.
Grainger views the scholarship program as an investment in the future of the industrial-trade field said Walter Wellborn, manager of Grainger’s branch in Athens.
“Opportunities in the skilled trades are growing and changing faster than most people realize,” Mr. Wellborn said. “The jobs available today and in the future offer exciting, long-term career opportunities. We are proud to support these students and our local technical and community colleges. Together we can elevate awareness about the importance and opportunities in the industrial-trade professions.”
Athens Technical College Dean Susan Larson, who heads up the college’s Technical & Industrial division, described the importance of business partners like Grainger.
“We appreciate the opportunity to partner with Grainger and the many benefits that it provides to our students,” Ms. Larson said. “The partnership helps Athens Technical College students far beyond helping pay for their education, as it also provides them with the tools needed to start their careers once they complete their academic program. We are proud of our students and extremely appreciative of Grainger’s partnership and support.”
Grainger, in conjunction with the American Association of Community Colleges, launched the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow® scholarship program in 2006. The program is designed to help students in the industrial skilled trades curriculum who have demonstrated drive, commitment and leadership realize their educational and career goals. For the current 2012–2013 academic year, one-half of the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow® scholarships offered are specifically targeted to veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces in recognition of their service to our country and to support their talents and propensity to pursue careers in the industrial trades.
Mr. Black graduated from Stephens County High School in Toccoa in May 2010. He was a dual enrollment student in his senior year of high school at North Georgia Technical College in Clarkesville, and he attended Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College in Tifton for his academic core.
He has been active with the agricultural community through such groups as the Georgia Junior Cattlemen Association State Officer, the National Technical Honor Society, Envirothon, and the Stephens County Young Farmers Association. In his younger years, he participated in the Future Farmers of America and the 4-H Club.
His career aspirations are simple, he said.
“Owning a cattle farm is my dream, and I want to be self-sufficient and make all the needed repairs to my farm equipment,” Mr. Black explained.
He cites inventor and businessman Thomas Alva Edison for a favorite inspirational quote: “Opportunity is missed by most, because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
Photo caption: Left to right, Clay Black’s parents, Dennis and Teresa Black; Charles Dawson, Athens Technical College Diesel Technology pogram chair; Clay Black; Elizabeth Dalton, ATC director of Development & Public Relations; Walter Wellborn, Grainger branch manager; Susan Larson, dean of the college’s Technical & Industrial division; Dr. Larry Siefferman, vice president for Off-campus Operations.