WAEF Vocational/Technical Scholarship Fund

The WAEF Vocational Training Scholarship fund provides funding for vocational training opportunities for students raised in families with ties to the tree fruit industry.  Eligible vocations include those that may return students to careers that impact production in the tree fruit industry, such as refrigeration, automotive technology, electrical, machinery, electronics, business technology, instrumentation, information technology, welding and others.  Scholarship may be used at an accredited community, trade, technical or vocational college.

Why Now?  

·         The industry has clearly and repeatedly communicated needs for vocational trained workers to perform important jobs in warehouses, orchards and innovative support services. 

·         As the cost of education rises, students can no longer attend college to “find themselves”.  Students that expect to find work upon graduation need to prepare for their career while enrolled in college. 

·         Opportunities in the tree fruit industry for vocational trained students are vast and rewarding. 

·         Students that did not previously see themselves as scholarship contenders can benefit from new knowledge about career and support opportunities through vocational education.

Why WAEF?  WAEF has a developed scholarship selection process that utilizes the skills of volunteers to source students prepared to perform at the secondary education institution of their choice.  The WAEF selection process can tease out students based on a variety of criteria.  For this particular award, volunteers will seek students prepared for vocational learning, with a strong desire to excel in their vocation and an articulated plan.  Further, WAEF has a year-round stewardship plan to engage and support students through degree completion.  Students receiving this award will be introduced to industry careers aligned with their training.

Specific pool for vocational secondary learning.  Currently several WAEF scholarships include trade or technical colleges in the list of approved uses for the scholarship fund.  We expect some vocationally leaning student to receive these awards.  However, that may or may not lead to the best students in the vocational pool receiving WAEF scholarships.  To return the strongest candidates back to the industry, a separate pool that allows flexibility in recipient selection is required.

Amount.  We are building a pool of $20-25,000 to award in May of 2017 to students for use in the 2017-18 school year.  Scholarships can carry the name of the funder, i.e.: Olympic Fruit Scholarship, so long as the minimum award size is $1000.  Our goal is for each student receiving funds from this pool to receive a minimum of $5000 in the form of one or several awards.  Payment for scholarships needs to arrive at WAEF by June 1.  (In addition to the scholarship, a five percent administrative charge is added to help support administration of the scholarship program.)

Sample Institutions and Degrees:  It is anticipated that students will use their vocational scholarships at community colleges and accredited trade schools.  Following is a list of regional providers and a sampling of degree programs.  Students will not be limited to attending one of these listed institutions.

·         Perry Tech – auto mechanic, electrician, machine technology, instrumentation, IT, HVAC, welding and business tech programs(cost $16,000-32,000)

·         Wenatchee Valley College – agriculture, accounting, automotive technology, business, business computer technician, computer technology, digital design, electronics, welding, electronics, machine programming

·         Yakima Valley Community College – accounting, agribusiness, agriculture, automotive service technology, business management, chemistry, communications, construction design, IT, machining technology, management, network administration, MS Office, vineyard technology, tree fruit

·         Big Bend Community College – accounting, agriculture, automotive technology, business accounting & finance, business information management, computer science, engineering, industrial systems technology, industrial electrical technology, maintenance mechanics technology, mechanized irrigation system technology, welding

·         Columbia Basin Community College – agricultural & industrial equipment technology, automotive technology, electronics, engineering technology, industrial drawing, instrumentation & control technician, manufacturing/machining technology, welding, accounting, agricultural food systems, agriculture, business, computer applications, computer science, horticulture, project management

Potential applicants:  The WAEF Vocational/Technical application is located at www.waef.org/scholarships.  Students should read the description to determine if they qualify under this application.  If not, they may qualify under the WAEF Universal Scholarship form.  Details are on the website link.  Deadline: March 1, 2017.


If you know of someone that may qualify for this award, please forward to this email on to them.

To learn more about helping to build the vocational scholarship pool, please contact Jennifer Witherbee at (509) 663-7713 or Jennifer.witherbee@waef.org.

Contributions are tax-deductible, as allowed by law.