IEC Foundation Scholarships Fuel Future Workforce


IEC strongly believes in building a resilient and prepared workforce that can adapt to changing economic times and bolster the electrical and systems contracting industry. Attracting and training future electricians through the IEC Apprenticeship Program is key. 

“IEC has always taken responsibility for ensuring that individuals desiring to become electricians can benefit from top-notch training that equips them with the basic skills, latest techniques, and hands-on experience to ensure quality and safety in the workplace,” says Tom Alexander, Atkins & Stang and IEC Foundation chairman. “The IEC Apprenticeship Program is second to none.” 

Through the work of the IEC Foundation (IECF) Scholarship Fund, deserving and qualified students who have demonstrated drive, dedication, and leadership in their pursuit of careers in the electrical industry are assisted. The Foundation Scholarship Fund is offered to IEC students, members, and their immediate families who plan to pursue post-secondary education in college or state accredited apprenticeship programs. Watch Foundation communications for a complete list of 2024 awardees. 

“This program has become an essential membership benefit for IEC of Arizona,” says IEC of Arizona Executive Director Nancy Levey. “Both the chapter and its members actively advocate for all enrolled apprentices to utilize this opportunity annually. Previously, I personally reached out to each member, urging them to encourage their apprentices to take advantage of the benefits offered by the Foundation. This initiative not only alleviated members of educational expenses but also facilitated the enrollment of more employees in the IEC Apprenticeship Program. Our dedicated involvement with the IEC Foundation has significantly contributed to the expansion of the Apprenticeship Program. In 2023, we received $26,302, in 2022, $41,533, and in 2021, $36,969.” 

Nancy continues. “Consider this: if an apprentice applies each year, maintains good grades, participates in community service, and receives a positive endorsement from their employer, they could potentially have most of their four-year tuition covered entirely. I encourage all chapters to actively engage with their members and take advantage of this program.” 


Foundation Sponsors 

Foundation Executive Director LaNa Al-Amin is extremely grateful to the Foundation’s corporate scholarship sponsors: ATP, Eaton, Graybar, and Wesco. 

“These companies donate funds that allow the Foundation to boldly award these scholarships,” she says. “Their support is so important to our future workforce.” 

Wesco is the newest sponsor, offering its support of the scholarships this year to the tune of $100,000. Wesco is a leading provider of business-to-business distribution, logistics services, and supply chain solutions. 

“At Wesco, we believe people are our greatest asset, and the hard-working individuals who power progress are the heart of our industry,” says Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer John Engel. “We realized the significant impact of a skilled labor shortage on our customers and their ability to execute innovative projects on time and on budget. We are pleased to offer a scholarship program in partnership with IEC to demonstrate our commitment to the electrical industry and the people who power progress in our world.”  


The Process 

Quarter one of each year, IECF opens its scholarship application period and promotes it aggressively through the IEC chapter network. The application website clearly identifies the items needed to apply and offers a step-by-step video tutorial by previous scholarship awardee Kata Reichert, IEC of Arizona. These items include application form, applicant photo, applicant statement / essay, community involvement, and curriculum transcript. There also are areas to be completed by the applicant’s IEC chapter and employer / sponsor. 

“The applicant statement is where you’re going to tell the IEC a little bit about yourself and why you enjoy this trade, why you chose it, what going through the IEC program means to you, and how the scholarship will benefit your career and your life goals,” Kata says in the video. 

Kata encourages applicants to take the time to create a nice statement about themselves and to check for spelling and grammatical errors. She also strongly suggests providing information about any way you help out in the community, even if it’s as simple as mowing your neighbor’s grass. While this is not a required section of the application process, Kata says it is noticed by those reviewing the applications. 

She is a strong believer in making maximum effort to apply for the funds. 

“My employer was paying for my tuition,” Kata reports. “It was common courtesy in my eyes to try to help my company save money on my education. I received funding each year yet I do not contribute this to any excellence I exhibited, but the effort that I put into the application process. It showed IEC that I took the process seriously enough.” 

The IECF team makes itself available to any applicant that may need assistance navigating the application process. LaNa repeatedly advises chapter leads to be sure applicants know they can call, text, or email her and she or Foundation colleagues Jenn Strozier and Denise Sims will be available to help. The Foundation team has been known to hop on a Zoom at a moment’s notice to be of assistance. In fact, the Foundation reports they held Zoom sessions with more than 40 students or chapter leaders during this year’s application period. 

Greater Charlotte IEC Executive Director Bethany Lerch was one of the many chapter execs who took advantage of the Foundation’s individual assistance with the process. She scheduled a Zoom during class one evening so the Foundation team could work directly with her apprentices. 

“As a new IEC chapter, this was our first time participating in the IEC Foundation scholarship process,” Bethany says. “Our Zoom ensured we all clearly understood the steps and had our questions answered so that our students be successful. It was an hour well spent, and we are grateful.” 

IEC El Paso Executive Director Sara Navarro felt similarly. 

“The opportunity for scholarships is so very important to IEC El Paso apprentices,” Sara says. “Our students also sat down with the Foundation team over Zoom to go over application steps so they could submit their applications seamlessly. We appreciated the time to have our specific questions answered. LaNa and her team are so amazing!”