Recent studies have found that the construction industry is experiencing a dearth of trained, skilled workers to supply the ever growing demand for construction. Many contribute this to the fact that during the recession, when the construction industry took such a hard hit, which also affected the Houston steel industry as well as other industries associated with construction, many trained workers left the industry for other professions. Others attribute the problem to the fact that American children are being more and more strongly impressed that a college degree and an academic career are the only path to success, leading less and less teens graduating from high school to enter the trade fields. However, one program hopes to help find a balance between academic success and trade success.
The John S. Lyons Sr. Scholarship is a program which was started in 1968 in order to help the sons and daughters of Iron Worker members to attend college. During the years since its inception, the scholarship program has issued over two million dollars in scholarship funds. This has helped the children of Iron Worker members attend many prestigious colleges around the United States as well as in Canada.
Iron Workers began as a small publication in 1901 with the objective of providing important information to iron workers across the nation including those who work with in the Houston steel industry. It has continued to be one of the main and most influential voices among iron workers and iron working unions in America.
The scholarship program, which also began small, first offered $1,000 scholarships to only one male and one female recipient each year. The program has now grown to offer up to eighteen recipients each year scholarships in amounts varying between $1,500 and $5,000. This funding is valid for four years, but is contingent upon the student meeting certain academic criteria as well as other eligibility standards. Some years the scholarship program has also been able to fund one time awards of $500 to deserving candidates.
This scholarship program uses a committee of judges which is comprised of admissions specialists and even university professors to review all applications and then select recipients. These individuals are committed, knowledgeable and experienced. Only the best judges are selected to ensure that the best recipients are picked. The program is now celebrating their 45th anniversary. For 45 years this wonderful program has been making college dreams come true for the kids of those working in the Houston steel industry as well as those working in metal supply in Houston and other facets of the steel industry in areas across the nation.