Local students awarded scholarships for building industry degrees

Multiple local students were recognized by the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) with scholarships.

The building association said that the grants were awarded during the current “Careers in Construction Month” within Washington and around the country. 

Washington is one of 21 states whose governor has officially proclaimed the month of October as “Careers in Construction Month” to bring awareness to the career opportunities available in the building industry.

BIAW awarded $70,000 in scholarships and grants to 21 students and seven construction trade programs across Washington. 

That includes students from Hoquiam, Elma, and McCleary.

Ryan Cole, a Hoquiam student attending Washington State University (WSU), was awarded a scholarship to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.

Cole is involved in WSU’s 3-D Printing Club. In his final year at WSU, he is looking forward to filling a position in the construction industry.

“I see myself working in the areas of design, developing or testing mechanical sensors and machines,” Cole said. “My work ethic has grown stronger through my years of college, and I know I will have much to offer any firm that needs a dedicated mechanical engineer.”

Nathan Comer, a student from McCleary, is working toward a career as an electrician at Southwest Washington Electrical Joint Apprenticeship Committee (JATC). 

A graduate of Elma High School, Comer is following in his father’s footsteps as an electrician. After finishing his education, he plans to work as a commercial and industrial electrician with the hopes of working on large buildings and facilities.

“Pursuing this career will put me in the best possible situation to achieve my personal goals and set me up for success throughout life,” Comer said. “I’m extremely excited to get to work and start my journey.”

Elma student Donovan Bishop is attending the University of Washington (UW), pursuing a degree in electrical engineering. Also a graduate of Elma High School, he chose the path of electrical engineering because he wants to contribute to his community.

“Skilled positions like engineers are becoming more in demand, and I think by contributing to my community by working a public service job such as an electrical engineer, I would be able to find fulfillment and give back,” he said.

Bishop began his college career as a running start student at Grays Harbor College, earning an Associate’s degree in the sciences. After graduating from UW, Bishop plans to use his degree to further himself and his community by becoming employed in a field that directly applies to his degree.

“I am no stranger to hard work, and I realize it will take a bit of it,” he said. 

Since its inception, BIAW has awarded nearly $750,000 in scholarships and grants to students and organizations who have demonstrated a passion and commitment to developing a career in the home building industry and the programs that educate them. 

To learn more about BIAW’s scholarship program and the many opportunities a career in construction can provide, visit www.biaw.com/program/workforce-development.