The mikeroweWORKS Foundation, with Support from Koch, Awards Over $1M in Work Ethic Scholarships to Aspiring Workers Across the Nation

September 8, 2021

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WICHITA, Kan., Sept. 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The mikeroweWORKS Foundation, with support from Koch, has awarded nearly 140 aspiring workers across the nation over $1 million in scholarships. Koch Industries and the Charles Koch Foundation contributed over $100,000 towards the scholarships supporting 17 skilled trades in 38 states.

mikeroweWORKS Foundation Logo

The scholarships are part of the Work Ethic Scholarship Program, which focuses on providing financial assistance to Americans getting trained for skilled jobs that are in demand. Since the program's inception, mikeroweWORKS has granted more than $5 million in work ethic scholarships for skilled trade programs, including aviation technology, welding, plumbing, manufacturing, HVAC, farming and agriculture, carpentry and construction, and many more. Individual scholarships range from $1,800 to $20,000, with the average scholarship being $8,000.

Koch Industries and its subsidiaries have worked with mikeroweWORKS to focus on pathways of opportunity and training America's workforce.

"Koch is excited to continue our work with the mikeroweWORKS Foundation to support and inspire aspiring workers across the country. Trade and technical education are vital to forging a path towards successful, lifelong careers. We are passionate about their mission as Koch continues to promote an environment where people succeed by creating value for others. We look forward to continuing our partnership," said Meredith Olson, vice president of public affairs for Koch Industries.

"No matter how quickly the world changes, the qualities of successful individuals are still the same," said Mike Rowe, CEO of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation. "The principles of hard work, determination, and respect for others are always in demand and a big part of our Work Ethic Scholarship Program. I'm grateful to Koch for their generous support of this program."

In addition to the Work Ethic Scholarship Program, Koch Industries and the Charles Koch Foundation are joining with the mikeroweWORKS Foundation and WSU Tech to support the development and implementation of a work ethic curriculum, known as the MRW Work Ethic Certification. The curriculum is based on the mikeroweWORKS Foundation's S.W.E.A.T. Pledge and examines the importance of work ethic, personal responsibility, delayed gratification, and a positive attitude and is currently administered by National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3). Students who successfully complete the program will receive an industry-recognized NC3 certificate. The MRW Work Ethic Certification is currently being piloted at WSU Tech and 20 post-secondary NC3 leadership schools across the United States, and more than 2,500 students have successfully received certificates to date.

To learn more about Koch's partnership and the Work Ethic Scholarship Program, click here.

About Koch Industries, Inc.
Based in Wichita, Kansas, Koch Industries, Inc., is one of the largest private companies in America, with estimated annual revenues as high as $115 billion, according to Forbes. It owns a diverse group of companies involved in refining, chemicals, and biofuels; forest and consumer products; fertilizers; polymers and fibers; process and pollution control systems; electronics, software and data analytics; minerals; glass; automotive components; ranching; commodity trading; and investments. Since 2003, Koch companies have invested nearly $133 billion in growth and improvements. With a presence in more than 70 countries, Koch companies employ 122,000 people worldwide, with about 62,000 of those in the United States. From January 2009 to present, Koch companies have earned more than 1,300 awards for safety, environmental excellence, community stewardship, innovation, and customer service. For more news and information, visit

About the mikeroweWORKS Foundation
The mikeroweWORKS Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity that works hard to debunk myths and misperceptions about the trades and help close the skills gap. As the CEO of mikeroweWORKS, Mike Rowe speaks regularly about the country's dysfunctional relationship with work and challenges the persistent belief that a four-year degree is automatically the best path for the most people. Through its annual Work Ethic Scholarship Program, mikeroweWORKS provides financial assistance to people getting trained for skilled jobs. Since its inception, mikeroweWORKS has granted more than $5 million in work ethic scholarships.