Melanie Byrne, a Peninsula College student from Sequim, recently received the highest scholarship amount given by the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW).
A graduate of Sequim High School, Byrne was awarded $3,500 from BIAW to pursue a welding certification and associate degree.
As a middle school student, Byrne discovered a passion for welding and engineering through the Future City Competition, a project-based learning program where sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students design and build cities of the future.
She then took three years of welding classes at Sequim High School and now plans to earn a Welding Technology Certification and an Associate Degree from Peninsula College.
“I know welding is a skill I will never regret refining,” Byrne said in a press release. “While earning my certification, I plan to find the engineering field I am most passionate about and pursue it in the future.”
Washington is one of 21 states whose governor has officially proclaimed the month of October as Careers in Construction Month to bring statewide awareness to the many lucrative career opportunities available in the building industry.
BIAW is doing its part to build the future workforce, organization representatives said, by providing $70,000 in scholarships and grants to 21 students and seven construction trades programs across Washington.
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.
Learn more about BIAW’s scholarship program and opportunities a career in construction can provide at biaw.com/program/workforce-development.