CETA Edge: Grants and Scholarships

CETA Edge: Grants and Scholarships

By Diane Calabrese / Published April 2024

CETA - Cleaning Equipment Trade Association - Logo

There’s nothing new under the sun. While the fundamentals of mankind remain the same, we may enjoy some changes, and CETA can be a part of that.

Learning is the life-long companion to doing. Taking advantage of formal and informal educational opportunities ensures that whatever we do, we do well.

Among the many benefits the Cleaning Equipment Trade Association (CETA) offers to members are grants and scholarships through an independent but aligned entity. The concept is a basic one: help defray costs of life-long learning, and more people will be able to partake in it.

Grants are designed to help CETA members fund training opportunities for their employees. Scholarships for post-secondary education are awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who are the children of members or their employees.

The grant program is the newer of the two initiatives that are administered by the CETA Scholarship Foundation, a separately incorporated charitable organization that exists in parallel with CETA. The grant program focuses on continuing education for employees. The scholarship program (Great Futures) is open to the children of members and members’ employees.

Flexibility within the grant program merits attention, says Erik Spurling, a foundation trustee and the director of sales and marketing at ProPulse, a Schieffer Company in Peosta, IA. “The training can be an exact overlay of a staffer’s daily responsibility, or it can be used to diversify a particular skill set.”

It could be a welder who wants to learn skills such as Microsoft Office, or the reverse, with an administrative staff member who wants to learn to weld, explains Spurling. “The grant can be a bridge for supplementing the cost of any type of training that an organization faces.”

A triple-layered benefit emerges from grants. There is a more educated work force that is an asset to member companies, says Spurling. The industry grows stronger. “And everyone in society benefits in some small way when people develop stronger skill sets and are able to perform at a higher level.”

Put aside any concerns about the time it takes to apply for a grant. “It’s easy,” says Tim Mendoza, president and CEO of H2O Power Equipment with headquarters in Commerce City, CO.

Mendoza’s company received a recent grant. He explains that the time it takes to apply is minimal, and the return on that investment is great.

“The implementation of this program is a way for CETA to directly contribute toward the enhancement of our industry,” explains Mendoza. Through the investment it is “enabling its members to invest in their people, which as we all know is any organization’s greatest asset.”

Mendoza advises prospective applicants to the grant program to think broadly about the possibilities. “Perhaps you need to send a service technician to a specialty technical course, or one of your staff members to build upon his or her computer or accounting skills, or a salesman to advanced training.”

Wherever educational paths lead, take advantage of the program. “It all helps build a better business and team,” says Mendoza.

The grant program aligns perfectly with the CETA mission to make a strong industry even stronger by bringing together distributors, suppliers, and manufacturers. “The program was created to assist the membership in providing all types of continuing education for their employees and businesses,” says Dennis Black, president of McHenry Pressure Cleaning Systems Inc. in Frederick, MD.

The objective of the grant program is “to assist members in directly providing education for their employees and staffs,” says Black, and to streamline the process of meeting that objective.

“It is easy to participate,” explains Black. “It’s a very open program. Any type of training, education, and/or learning to help improve your business fits within the parameters for applicants,” he notes.

The name of the CETA scholarship program, Great Futures, heralds its philosophy. The program endeavors to provide the workforce of tomorrow with educational opportunities, says Black.

“Some participants may stay in our industry, and others may serve our communities in other ways and professions,” says Black about the scholarship recipients. “Education helps in making the future better and hopefully great.”

Black is the past chairman and a current member of the board of trustees for the foundation. “I know personally that serving as a trustee has provided a source of pride, knowing I am helping to build our society’s future,” he says.

Currently serving as chairman of the foundation’s board of trustees is Russ Hess, the regional manager (Northeast USA, Eastern Canada) for Alkota Cleaning Systems Inc. in Alcester, SD. Like Black, he welcomes outcomes the scholarship program ensures.

“Many of the scholarship recipients will work within the industry after finishing their college education,” says Hess. “This is a direct benefit to the industry.”

Fortify the skills and knowledge base of the individual. Fortify the industry and society. Therein is the vision realized by the grant and scholarship programs.

Hess wants CETA members and prospective members to know there are no constraints on the kinds of instruction grants can support. “The opportunity is limitless,” he says. “The educational foundation does not designate types of training that qualify. The CETA member organization can address its very specific training needs.”

The grant program provides awards up to $500 and up to 50 percent of the cost incurred for training. “The types of continuing education that can be supported are quite diverse,” says Hess.

“Technical training for a service person, sales training for a salesperson, and bookkeeping training for a member of the office staff are a few examples,” says Hess. “A CETA member organization can determine their greatest need in any department and address it with training.”

Trustees of the CETA Scholarship Foundation include, in addition to those already cited, Gary Scott with Alkota Cleaning Systems (treasurer) and Theresa Rasmussen with Royce Industries L.C. in North Las Vegas, NV (secretary).

Each successive group of trustees would acknowledge that they both stand on the shoulders and build on the work of all who preceded them in the role. In fact, some trustees have particularly deep knowledge of the foundation because they have served more than one term.

Established in February 1996, the foundation is now in its 28th year. It becomes stronger each year.

The CETA Scholarship Foundation succeeds because of the contributions of time and money that are made to it. The trustees exemplify the contribution of time through the hours they devote to foundation tasks.

Monetary contributions arrive in many forms. For instance, Lease

Consultants Corporation in Des Moines, IA, donates a portion (one percent) of every standard financial transaction originated by a CETA member.

Many CETA members donate funds sufficient to award a scholarship in recognition of their company. Other members donate funds in memory of an individual. The goal of the CETA Scholarship Foundation is to build over time an endowment that will grow through both additional donations and sound investment.

As exposure to the sun creates a thirst, so does the new—and innovative—create genuine thirst for knowledge. The CETA Scholarship Foundation assists those who aim to quench that thirst by learning all they can in striving for excellence.

To learn more about the foundation or to review the application procedures for the Great Futures or grant programs, visit the CETA.org website and use the Foundation pull-down tab.

Current Digital Issue

Click to read.

Past Digital Issues

Click to read.


May 2024
April 2024
March 2024
February 2024
January 2024