SC Johnson today announced it is donating $5.5 million to Gateway Technical College (Gateway) to create the SC Johnson STEM Scholars Pathway, a program dedicated to providing women and people of color, who have historically been underrepresented in STEM industries, and those with limited means the opportunity to gain a four-year degree in STEM-related career fields. This gift marks the largest single donation to the college in its history and is part of SC Johnson’s long-standing commitment to supporting education and underserved communities.
“Removing barriers to economic mobility for underserved people is key to the future strength of the United States,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman, and CEO of SC Johnson. “The high-demand fields chosen for these scholarships, like software development, electrical engineering, and cybersecurity, can create higher-paying jobs, provide long-term career opportunities for students, and benefit our economy. We are pleased to be able to support Gateway in its efforts to do just that for people in our community.”
The SC Johnson STEM Scholars Pathway program will serve at least 180 high school graduates who live within the Racine Unified School District and attend a high school within Racine County. A total of 18 scholarships will be awarded annually for the next 10 years to female students, underrepresented students of color, and low-income students enrolling in the following programs: Electrical Engineering Technology; Architectural-Structural Engineering Technician; IT-Data Analytics Specialist; IT-Cybersecurity Specialist; IT-Network Specialist; IT-Web Developer; and IT-Software Developer. After completing their Gateway degree, students can enroll at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), Carthage College, or Concordia University Wisconsin to complete their bachelor’s degree.
The $5.5 million donation from SC Johnson is only the latest of many in a long history of commitments from the company to Gateway and to underserved communities in its hometown of Racine, Wisconsin, and around the world. Since 2001, SC Johnson has contributed more than $10.8 million to Gateway to support hands-on technical education and training for students. Most recently, the company provided a donation of more than $530,000 for Gateway’s Highly Skilled Occupations for Professional Employment (HOPE) Initiative, which provides training opportunities in high-demand fields to people displaced from work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Education is the foundation for opportunity and economic prosperity,” said Bryan Albrecht, President and CEO of Gateway Technical College. “This amazing gift will light the path for many toward a rewarding career in science, technology and engineering. Fisk Johnson is a visionary with a warm heart for our community. Building on a pathway from high school through Gateway and on to the university, STEM Scholars will inspire future generations of youth to pursue their dreams of achieving a college degree.”
SC Johnson, through its charitable foundation, SC Johnson Giving, will contribute $1.1 million to the Gateway Foundation every year for the next five years. Students will receive $7,500 annually for four years to pay for costs at Gateway and MSOE, Carthage College or Concordia University Wisconsin, including tuition, books, supplies and additional services. The four-year institutions have pledged a matching annual amount of $7,500 for each student in addition to the SC Johnson STEM Scholars Pathway scholarship. Beyond the scholarships, the funds will provide access to support services for the students which include tutoring, counseling and community networking services at each of the institutions.
“MSOE is extremely proud of our partnership with Gateway Technical College,” said MSOE President John Walz. “Our first transfer agreement with Gateway was signed nearly 20 years ago and we are excited about strengthening and expanding the relationship using this very generous support from SC Johnson.”
“This is an extraordinary gift to the community and to the students and their families whose lives will change forever,” said Gateway Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Charpentier. “We are grateful to SC Johnson for making this investment in education that will help transform the community and the STEM fields these students will graduate into. We are so fortunate to have a local employer so committed to our region.”
For further details on program eligibility and to fill out an application, visit www.gtc.edu/stem-scholars. Applications for the next academic year are due by April 1, 2021.