3M Helps ‘Industrial’ Athletes Chase Their Skilled Trade Dreams

3M and the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) hopes to inspire students interested in skilled trades through its national signing day celebration – an event modeled after the NCAA’s National Signing Day.

3M and NC3 awarded 50 students, who participated in the NC3 National Career and Technical Education Letter of Intent Signing Day on April 14, with a $1,000 scholarship.

Martha Bennett, global vice president, 3M Safety and Industrial Business Group, said NC3 National Signing Day gives students a chance to celebrate their education choice with their community.

“NC3 created this to celebrate students who have signed on to a skilled trade program,” said Bennett. “There is a lot of fanfare when someone gets into their dream college, but this support and celebration is more often for 4-year degrees and not seen as much for technical degrees. This event builds visibility around the skilled trades and celebrates the students who want to pursue these valuable and in-demand occupations.”

The Skilled Trades-3M Transformational Scholarship will support 50 students with $1,000 each. Some of the eligibility criteria for students included:

  • Earned a 2.75 GPA
  • Enrolled or intend to enroll in a fall technical education program
  • Are a member of, but not limited to underrepresented populations
  • Participated in NC3 National Signing Day

The Skilled Trades-3M Scholarship is part of a significant 3M commitment to underrepresented groups. 3M is dedicated to supporting 5 million unique STEM/Skilled Trades learning experiences, a goal that will be completed before the end of 2025. This effort is an important element in the 3M Safety & Industrial Business Group’s mission of transforming the way work gets done, both today and in the future.

3M defines underrepresented individuals in the United States using National Science Foundation research, and the company’s efforts are focused on the Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and, American Indian communities, as well as- gender equality and people with disabilities.

3M is using this scholarship, and scholarships with other community partners in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Austin, Texas, to help businesses have better access to skilled trade workers and at the same time tackle community inequality.

“That’s the reason we are doing this program,” said Bennett. “We know our customers have labor shortages in the skilled trades, and we understand students from diverse backgrounds are underrepresented in those fields. It is a perfect intersection where we can solve a 3M customer issue and a community issue at the same time.”

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