Grainger Awards Westward Toolkit to DCCC Graduate

Ricky Swing Receives Tools

March 5, 2018 – Grainger (NYSE: GWW), the leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) products serving businesses and institutions, recently presented Davidson County Community College (DCCC) graduate – turned DCCC welding instructor – Ricky Swing of Lexington, with a Westward® Toolkit containing tools to help start his career in the welding trade as part of the Tools for Tomorrow scholarship program.

Each year, Grainger works with the American Association of Community Colleges to offer two scholarships of $2,000 each at participating community colleges in the U.S. The scholarships offer financial assistance for tuition and books to students working toward an associate’s degree or certificate in skilled trade, supply chain management and public safety programs. In addition to the scholarship, Grainger provides tools to students after they graduate to help them launch a successful career.

In 2017, Swing was one of 154 scholarship recipients from 85 community colleges participating in Grainger’s Tools for Tomorrow program.

“Being selected as a Tools for Tomorrow scholarship winner was a blessing for me. It gave me the ability to stay enrolled in school and complete the associate’s degree welding program without having to look for employment outside of the school. Once I finished my degree program, I was offered a position as a full-time faculty member at DCCC, teaching something I am passionate about and love to do,” said Swing. “The Westward toolkit I received is used every day, not just by me but by my students. These tools not only help me carry out my duty as a welding instructor, but they help everyone in my program.”

Since 2006, Grainger has donated more than $4.5 million to support technical education. Half of the scholarships offered are earmarked for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.

“Grainger is passionate about creating positive change and building a strong workforce in the communities where we live and work,” said Kenneth Johnson, operations manager of Grainger’s Raleigh branch. “What began as a way to support workforce development in the skilled trades more than a decade ago has grown into a robust program dedicated to the success of highly motivated students like Ricky who demonstrate commitment and aptitude in their fields.”

To learn more about the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow scholarship program, visit the “Serving Our Communities” section of Grainger’s Corporate Social Responsibility Report.

Founded in 1963, Davidson County Community College is a fully accredited, multi-campus college where students of all ages and backgrounds pursue academic and career-focused education in order to build successful futures. As one of 58 institutions within the North Carolina Community College System, DCCC offers more than 40 degree and professional certificate programs to students in Davidson and Davie counties, as well as affordable college-credit coursework to students who plan to transfer to 4-year universities. With a mission to serve the changing needs of students competing in a global environment, DCCC is committed to quality education, innovative and equitable learning experiences, training, and support across a wide range of 21st-century career fields. Visit Davidson County Community College at

About Grainger W.W. Grainger, Inc., with 2017 sales of $10.4 billion, is North America's leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products (MRO), with operations also in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

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Media Contact:

Tony Macrito

Photo: Ricky Swing Receives Tools as Part of Grainger’s Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship