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UW College of Engineering Creates Scholarship for Displaced Coal Workers, Families

June 2, 2016

A new scholarship fund has been created by the University of Wyoming College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) to assist displaced coal industry employees around Wyoming.

In recent months, the coal industry in the state has sustained significant layoffs and staff reductions. That has led to economic uncertainty for many Wyoming families. An option for displaced workers is to pursue continuing education at UW or one of Wyoming’s seven community colleges.

In the early stages, the CEAS will provide 10 scholarships at $1,500 each for one academic year, but will actively raise money for additional awards. The scholarship is a one-time award, but it can be applied for and awarded again in subsequent years. The scholarships will be implemented as soon as possible.

The scholarship will be available to former coal industry employees to pursue an engineering degree at UW, or an engineering-related degree at one of Wyoming’s community colleges. It also will be available to children of the displaced workers, but that award is restricted to those who plan to attend UW and seek an engineering degree only.

The scholarship helps serve UW’s Tier-1 Engineering Initiative, which was instituted in 2014. 

“Part of the Tier-1 mission is to help serve our constituents in the state and provide mechanisms for economic diversification,” CEAS Dean Michael Pishko says. “Retraining displaced workers is a great way to do that -- give them other skills to help businesses in Wyoming. This is a way to give back to the workers who have given so much to the state.”

For more information or to apply, contact CEAS Student Advising Coordinator Laurie Bonini at (307) 766-4254 or

People interested in contributing to the fund should contact Craig Russow at the UW Foundation at (307) 766-1803 or

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