About The Greater Hartford Trades Scholarship Foundation
The Greater Hartford Trades Scholarship Foundation works to help fund trade students in acquiring the appropriate licensing and certifications to be successful leaders in their field.
About Our Trades Scholarship Drive
Let’s get people trained for skilled jobs that are in demand! Please help me spread the word by supporting the Greater Hartford Trades Scholarship Foundation.”
~ Joey Perras, Owner, Joe the Plumber
Greetings from the Greater Hartford Trades Scholarship Foundation,
We would like to take this opportunity to introduce ourselves and tell you a little bit about who we are, what we do, and why. The Greater Hartford Trades Scholarship Foundation (GHTSF) was founded in 2019 by a local plumber and business owner, Joe Perras, as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our mission is to raise funds for trade school scholarships for students seeking certification in the skilled trades along with working to break the stigma that often accompanies choosing a trade school over a four-year liberal arts degree.
Joe Perras is a plumber and the successful owner of a plumbing company here in the Greater Hartford area. His vision began with the desire to give back to his community, and through his continued success in the skilled trades, he specifically saw an opportunity to raise money and create a scholarship fund for trade school students working to become the next generation of the hands-on workforce here in Connecticut. Thus, the Greater Hartford Trades Scholarship Foundation was started.
A great team of people was put together, and we quickly got to work planning our first big fundraising event, a golf tournament. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, our first-year outing was canceled. However, it gave us more time to plan and raise funds. We finally hosted our first tournament on May 11th, 2021, at the Tumble Brook Country Club (TBCC) in Bloomfield, CT. Through our team’s incredible fundraising efforts, along with our sponsors, golfers, and donors, we raised over $30,000 at our first event! In 2022, we came back even stronger and more eager. Our tournament attendance grew quite a bit, and we were able to beat our first-year fundraising record.
In 2022, we began to partner with some of the local trade schools, including NETTTS, Lincoln Tech, and Goodwin University’s trades and manufacturing departments. These schools really helped us spread the word about our scholarship opportunities, and in the last year, we have given out over 15 scholarships to active trade school students, both men and women, working towards certification in HVAC, trucking, plumbing, electric, mechanic, and more. We are so proud of what these students are achieving.
Moving forward, we are working to expand our reach even further both inside and outside the state of Connecticut. We are in conversation with local Connecticut school systems and working with local guidance counselors to get more involved with students at the high school level. Many times, it is perceived as “the second best” or “the last chance opportunity” for students to choose to go into the skilled trades field instead of going to a four-year university. Joe and the rest of our team’s goal at GHTSF is to break down this stigma over time and encourage students interested in the trades to follow their own path. After all, our society needs skilled tradespeople to function. Over the next 10 years, about 56% of the skilled trades workforce will retire, and the students working towards their certification now will be the next great leaders in their fields.