A collaboration between an education nonprofit and a Maine trade association will double the amount of scholarship funding for students who are interested in skilled blue-collar careers.

The Maine Blue Collar Scholarship Foundation and the Manufacturers Association of Maine hope to award nearly $100,000 to students and employers in the state’s manufacturing and skilled trades sectors.

A total of up to $75,000 will be available to spend on tools, books, tuition and/or housing for high school students interested in learning skilled trades.

Another $24,000 is available for instructors of skilled trades to teach weeklong courses hosted by Maine businesses. The groups hope to fund more than 100 students and instructors with $500 to $2,500 scholarships each.

The Maine Blue Collar Scholarship Fund was established in 2014 by Moody’s Collision Centers and is supported by Gilman Electrical Supply, Gorham Sand and Gravel, Risbara Brothers Construction, Rowe Auto Group, D&G Machine and Pratt and Whitney. The Manufacturer’s Association of Maine has about 400 members.

According to the foundation, it has awarded 104 scholarships worth $137,000 to date.

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