Altec pledges donation for scholarships for 3 WSCC programs

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Representatives from Altec present a check to Wallace State Community College President Dr. Vicki Karolewics to establish the Altec Scholarship Fund. The scholarship will benefit students in Collision Repair, Diesel Technology and Welding. Pictured from left to right are Altec Industries representatives Jonathan Armstrong, Kelly Westin and Chris Harned; Dr. Karolewics; Jim Thompson, Welding; Jeremy Smith, Diesel Technology; and Tim Grace, Collision Repair.

HANCEVILLE – Altec recently donated to the Wallace State Community College Future Foundation to provide scholarships to students in three applied technology programs: Collision Repair, Diesel Technology and Welding.

Altec is a leading equipment and service provider for the electric utility, telecommunications, contractor, lights and signs and tree care markets. Altec employs several Wallace State alumni at its manufacturing facility located in Birmingham.

“We appreciate the trust you put in us and the partnership we have with Altec,” said Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Karolewics.

Tim Grace, head of the Collision Repair program, said the scholarship would be beneficial to students who could use the funds to pay tuition or purchase books or tools.

Previously, Altec has provided scholarship assistance to benefit female welding students at the college.

Wallace State’s Diesel Technology program is working with Altec to create a new short-term certificate in Heavy Utility Vehicles. This program will train students to service and repair heavy equipment. Plans are to have the curriculum ready for the Spring 2019 term.

Jeremy Smith, head of the Diesel Technology program, said the new curriculum is a joint venture with Altec and will give students the skills and knowledge they need to fill jobs that are in high demand.

“The nature of work in the U.S. is in the midst of profound transformation,” said Lee Styslinger III, Altec chairman and CEO. “Smart machines and new technologies are remaking how workers do their jobs and U.S. businesses must respond to this fundamental shift.  Altec’s partnership with WSCC is an important step toward helping to meet the workforce challenges of the 21st century.”

Jonathan Armstrong, service area manager at Altec and alumnus of Wallace State, said demand is high for qualified service technicians. Altec employs technicians in service center locations throughout the United States and Canada as well as mobile service technicians that travel across the country repairing vehicles.

Armstrong remarked, “In the current labor market, it is extremely important to partner with vocational schools and build relationships so we can begin to hire candidates directly into manufacturing and service technician roles.”

The partnership with Altec will teach students how to weld, fabricate and read blueprints. Collision Repair will prep and paint projects using electrostatic painting, which will be a new course for the program.

To qualify for the scholarship, a student must have completed one semester in the program. If he or she is a recipient of the Oneonta campus welding scholarship, he or she must be a resident of Blount County, have and maintain a GPA of 2.75 or greater, demonstrate financial need, and complete an essay explaining the need for scholarship assistance and why he or she has chosen the career field.

For more information about the scholarship, visit or call 256-352-8144. For more information about Wallace State programs, visit