Tag Archives: Scholarships

Consider a Career in the Skilled Trades


Many young people are asked early on what they want to do after high school. A lot of them will go on to a state college or university. Some will take time off, and others are yet undecided. If you or someone you know wants to explore a promising path, consider a career in the skilled trades. We’ll tell you more about the benefits of finding your future in HVAC/R.


The fact remains that a four-year college experience isn’t everyone’s post-high school dream. And it’s okay, because there are plenty of options for building a knowledge base and putting those skills to rewarding use.

Learning skilled trades through specialized programs is both affordable and practical. On average, the cost for a trade school degree is a little more than one-quarter of that for a Bachelor’s degree.

Additionally, the salary comparison is reasonably balanced. One study projected trade school graduates might earn about $90,000 less than four-year college graduates over a 30-year span. However, students who pursue a trade school education will finish sooner and enter the workforce about two years earlier, which amounts to trade school graduates earning two additional years of income.

Through apprenticeships, trade school students often receive hands-on training while studying in their chosen field. And these fast-paced, constantly evolving environments provide plenty of opportunity for experience and growth.


Right now, the market for careers in skilled trades is booming, thanks to retiring baby boomers.

Each day over the next several years, an estimated 10,000 baby boomers are expected to turn 65, the age of retirement. By 2029, approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population will have already retired or be ready to do so.

As more and more people age out of the workforce, fewer workers are available to fill those positions because they require specific skills. Trade schools can provide the necessary education and skillsets.

Right now, about 80 percent of construction companies in the U.S. are unable to find workers qualified to complete their projects, especially when it comes to HVAC. And the need for HVAC technicians continues to rise. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 15 percent increase in the demand for HVAC employment through 2026.

With such a hot market, the time has never been better to consider this cool, in-demand career.


Family owned and operated for more than 60 years, SCR is the Midwest Premier mechanical and refrigeration contractor. Our supportive work culture and rewarding atmosphere encourages personal and professional growth.

What’s more, SCR provides for prospective employees all the advantages one can expect and more, including:

  • Competitive salary
  • Benefits such as medical, dental, and 401K
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Career and educational advancement opportunities

And those looking for scholarship opportunities can find them right here with SCR. We currently have assistance programs available to those choosing to pursue a career in the skilled trades. Contact us to learn more.


SCR Scholarship Programs Focus on Success


Each year SCR provides great opportunities for students looking to explore career options in heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC/R). Through its Scholarships and Internships Programs, students gain valuable experience to use post-graduation. Keep reading to learn about these programs and how they are set up to help participants focus on success.


The scholarships and internships available through SCR are virtually intertwined. This means that students in the scholarship program can complete their internship at the same time.

“Most of the programs have some kind of internship built into the curriculum,” said Kelsey Combs, Human Resource Generalist at SCR. “So, they would do that internship with us.”

These programs are offered regionally to accommodate SCR’s branches and service areas:

  • Central: St. Cloud, Duluth/Superior
  • Metro: Twin Cities area
  • Northern: Brainerd/Baxter
  • Southern: Mankato, Rochester

The number of available scholarships varies, Combs said. “We base it upon our projected needs, and that changes from year to year,” she added.


Applicants must complete a mechanical aptitude test to determine if the HVAC/R program is a good fit. The test analyzes things like mechanical inclination, knowledge of tools, and spatial reasoning to assess proficiency and ability to learn the intricacies of the trade.

The program allows students to intern in different departments, gaining hands-on experience in service, refrigeration installation, and controls.

“We try to get them to rotate through all of them, but it depends on their area of study,” Combs said. Broader degrees such as HVAC require knowledge in more areas, whereas other programs are targeted toward specific departments.


To qualify for the Scholarship and Internship Program, students are required to:

  • Enroll in one of the HVAC, HVAC/R, Electrical Construction, Instrumentation, or Residential Plumbing programs
  • Successfully complete a Mechanical Aptitude Test
  • Maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better
  • Commit to working for SCR following graduation

For the Central and Northern branches, the post-graduate employment requirement is two years. For the Southern location, students receive a full-ride scholarship and then need to commit to working for SCR for three years after graduation.

“But most employees end up staying long-term,” Combs said, “so this program has been really successful.”


Because these programs are so popular, many of them have wait lists for enrollment. To avoid eligibility issues, Combs suggests students plan ahead.

“If somebody is thinking about pursuing a degree in HVAC, you have to be ahead of everyone else,” she said.

Students interested in the Scholarship and Internship Program can apply on the SCR website or on Indeed.com. Combs also said a lot of applicants are referred by current employees or encouraged by instructors at the local colleges to apply.

To learn more about this program and its focus on success, email jobs@scr-mn.com.