Jan 26, 2016

Gianforte Family Foundation Awards $32,500 in Scholarships to 33 FVCC Students

Gianforte Visit_Feb 2015_Greg with Jane Karas and Pete Wade
During his visit to Flathead Valley Community College last February, Greg Gianforte (second from right) gets a tour of the FVCC machining program area from FVCC Director of Career and Technical Education Pete Wade (left) and FVCC President Jane Karas (right).

The Gianforte Family Foundation recently awarded scholarships totaling $32,500 to 33 advanced manufacturing students at Flathead Valley Community College (FVCC). The students will use the scholarships to help cover the cost of tuition this semester.

The Gianforte Family Foundation established a fund in 2015 to award $500,000 in scholarships over the next two years to students studying manufacturing at Montana’s two-year colleges. The fund was established in conjunction with RevUp Montana, a statewide workforce development project supported by a $25 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.

Of the 33 scholarship recipients from FVCC, eight students are enrolled in the Electronics Technician Program, nine students are enrolled in the Welding and Fabrication Technology Program, seven students are enrolled in the Welding and Inspection Technology Program, eight students are enrolled in the Industrial Machine Technology Program and one student is enrolled in the Industrial Maintenance Program.

Jared Kesterson is one of the machining students who received a scholarship. Originally from the Swan Valley, he worked at a sawmill before coming to FVCC to pursue his education. In addition to his studies, Kesterson tutors other FVCC students in MasterCAM and Solidworks. After graduation, he hopes to secure a job in a machine shop to gain more experience in the trade and eventually open his own business.

“The scholarship will help me achieve my goals by allowing me to focus more on my schooling and less on trying to work to pay the bills,” said Kesterson. “It will also help keep my student loan debt lower, which will help me to get out of debt faster after I leave college so I can begin to save capital for my own business.”

For more information, visit or contact FVCC Navigator Will Richards at 756-4862.