Donors Secure Full Funding for Workforce Scholarships Match

Workforce Group - Ichor and Nick
October 4, 2021

In 2017, the Minnesota Legislature appropriated $1 million in the FY19 Minnesota State budget to go toward Workforce Development Scholarships, which provide $2,500 scholarships to students at the 30 community and technical colleges around the state.

The scholarships were a success, and money has been allocated yearly since then. To receive the full allocation for the SCTCC though, the State asks a certain amount be donated by the private sector through the Foundation.  This year, the Foundation not only met the State’s private sector match request, they exceeded the goal thanks to the active leadership of Foundation Board Directors.

With generous support from Central McGowan, Coldspring, DCI, Inc., DeZURIK, Inc., Ichor Systems, Rotochopper, Inc., and United Way, SCTCC has awarded scholarships to students pursuing education in the high-demand fields of manufacturing, agriculture, health care, information technology, early childhood education, and transportation.

SCTCC Foundation Board Director and SCTCC alum, Nick Bischoff, President of Design Electric, is a long-time champion of careers in the trades and engaged Ichor Precision Machining in securing the private funds needed to receive the full scholarship dollars from the State.

Rhonda Condon, the HR Manager at Ichor, said they are really hurting for skilled laborers. The types of jobs that Ichor has available can’t be automated, and they can’t grow as a company without talent.

As far as the scholarship, she said “Hopefully it gets our name to the student and lets them know we support them. We also hope that when they’re done, they’ll look for employment with us.”

This year, Ichor’s scholarship went to Nick Pomeroy, an Energy & Electronics student in his second year. He’s from Winterset, Iowa, and knew that he wanted to get a degree in Instrumentation; seeing instant results while fixing things is really satisfying and he loves hands-on work.

When he started researching colleges, he visited three: one in Iowa, one in Michigan, and SCTCC. SCTCC “blew the socks off the other three. The instructors here are really sharp and the equipment is top of the line and almost all from the industry.”

He’s grateful that Ichor donated funds for the scholarship.

“The fact that the company will invest in the students is amazing and shows that they really care and want the best for you,” said Nick.

Rhonda said that Ichor plans to match the Workforce Development Scholarship for as long as it’s offered and will find other ways to give if it is discontinued.

“I think it’s important to give back,” she said. “We’ve all had support along the way and gotten to where we are with assistance from the community.”

The support Nick’s received has really helped him in his classes. He loves that they’re hands-on, and he’s learning information that will transfer directly over to the workforce. He graduates in May 2022 and is ready to get a job “as quickly as possible and see where I go from there.”

Kate Wallace
Posted in Foundation