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New Jersey's Union Construction Industry Awards More than $1 Million in College Scholarships

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It’s fall in New Jersey, and parents and students across the state are paying for the new semester of college. For dozens of students, college tuition came with help from New Jersey’s union construction industry, which awarded $1,057,500 to 277 students in 2016, and many millions of dollars to thousands of students over the past two decades.

The scholarships come from trade associations whose members are the construction companies that hire union craftworkers – and from the unions themselves. They contribute tuition for degrees ranging from engineering to psychology, finance to pre-med, game design to nursing to forensic science. Many of the contractors offer summer internships for which the students are paid in scholarship funds. The associations and unions raise the money each year primarily from member donations and fundraising activities.

This year, the scholarship checks flew out to colleges in New Jersey – Rutgers, Centenary, College of New Jersey, NJIT, Rowan, Stevens, College of St. Elizabeth, Felician, the County Colleges and many others. They traveled across the U.S. to Yale, Cornell, the SUNY schools, George Washington University, Hamilton, Hofstra, Boston University, Lehigh, Albright, Penn State, Drexel, Clemson and the Universities of Delaware, Michigan, New Haven, San Diego, Pittsburgh, South Carolina...the list goes on and on.

Many of the students are the children and grandchildren of union craftworkers and of the project managers, estimators, support staff and owners of union construction companies from every corner of the state. Others are students in construction-related college programs who apply for tuition help through the industry. Still others are summer interns hired by union contractors, gaining hands-on experience while receiving tuition money.

Mary Sauerland of Andover, New Jersey, received a $10,000 scholarship from the Associated Construction Contractors of New Jersey (ACCNJ) to help her pursue her studies at Boston University when she enters this fall. Mary, who graduated from Mountain Lakes High School, received the Michael Jensen Memorial Scholarship, named for a renowned New Jersey construction industry leader. She is pictured here at the ACCNJ awards event June 7, 2016, with ACCNJ Chairman of the Board Al Daloisio Jr. of Railroad Construction, Paterson (left), and Michael Jensen’s son, Eric Jensen of Michael Riesz & Co., Fords, who also serves as Secretary on the ACCNJ Board of Directors. Mary was one of 270 students in 2016 who received a portion of scholarships totaling more than $1 million from the New Jersey union construction industry.

"Every year, we’re blown away by the academic excellence, generous community service and all-around terrific characters of each scholarship applicant," stated Jack Kocsis, CEO of Associated Construction Contractors of New Jersey. "Every scholarship we award helps a student make a mark on this world. Yes, our members and the union craftworkers they hire build the landscape of New Jersey. But the scholarships our members and craftworkers support build the future of New Jersey and beyond."

Scholarships awarded in 2016 from the union construction industry of New Jersey:
  • Associated Construction Contractors of New Jersey (ACCNJ): 5 scholarships totaling $50,000 and 7 internship scholarships totaling $21,000
  • Building Contractors Association of South Jersey: 1 scholarship totaling $10,000
  • Construction Industry Advancement Program (CIAP): 4 scholarships totaling $6,000 and 42 internship scholarships totaling $126,000
  • Drywall & Interior Systems Association of NJ (DISCA): 16 scholarships totaling $80,000
  • Floor Covering Institute of New Jersey: 1 scholarship totaling $2,500
  • Masonry Contractors of New Jersey: 2 scholarships totaling $5,000
  • New Jersey Steel Association: 13 scholarships totaling $24,000
  • Utility & Transportation Contractors of New Jersey (UTCA): 6 scholarships totaling $42,000
  • International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers, Locals 4 & 5: 3 scholarships totaling $12,000
  • George H. Laufenberg Scholarship Fund affiliated with the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters: 36 scholarships totaling $176,000 plus 104 stipends totaling $52,000
  • Dockbuilders Local Union 1556: 10 scholarships totaling $100,000
  • International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental & Reinforcing Iron Workers, Local No. 68: 4 scholarships totaling $32,000
  • International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental & Reinforcing Iron Workers, Local No. 399: 3 scholarships totaling $9,000
  • Laborers International Union of North America (New Jersey): 11 scholarships totaling $220,000
  • Operating Engineers Local 825: 9 scholarships totaling $90,000

ACCNJ represents union general building contractors, construction managers, and heavy, highway, site development and utility contractors in New Jersey. Members are responsible for billions of dollars in commercial, industrial, heavy, highway, utility and institutional construction projects annually and employ tens of thousands of skilled union craftworkers statewide. The association is committed to raising the standards of construction in New Jersey through quality, integrity, skill and responsibility.

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Associated General Contractors of America
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Ph: 703-548-3118 Fax: 703-837-5402