The Kissimmee Utility Authority board of directors has established an electrical lineworker scholarship in the name of its former chairman Reginald Hardee, honoring his decade of service on the utility board.
Awarded annually, the scholarship will fund a nine-month internship at the utility for a high school graduate with a desire to work as a lineworker in the electric utility industry. The intern will work a minimum of 20 hours per week in a combined classroom and hands-on setting, and can graduate from the program with a groundman certification.
“As a large portion of the workforce ages out of the industry, we are looking for highly trained and specialized workers to help fill that gap,” said KUA president and general manager Jim Welsh. “This scholarship not only impacts the future of these students but our community as well.”
The scholarship will be managed by the Education Foundation of Osceola County and the application is open to any graduating senior in good academic standing who lives within KUA’s service territory. Preference will be given to applicants with financial need, as defined by federal guidelines. Scholarship recipients are not required to work at KUA following their training, nor does the utility guarantee positions.
The first scholarship will be awarded in spring 2018.
Hardee served on the utility board from Oct. 1, 2007, completing two terms on Sept. 30, 2017. He was the first African-American to serve on the board.