Blog About Plumbing and Beyond 



Jill Shippy


The shortage of skilled workers in the plumbing industry isn’t news to anyone.  Here at Brasscraft Mfg. Co. we are committed to help plumbing apprentices build their careers with financial assistance that help them complete their schooling. We want to help apprentices build something that could last a lifetime!

Building something that could last a lifetime is very familiar to Brasscraft Mfg. Co.  For more than 70 years Brasscraft Mfg. Co. has provided only the highest quality, innovative products to help promote the professional plumber.

We began by working with plumbing apprenticeship schools in 2014, awarding scholarships to individual schools.  The schools made their own determinations on which of their deserving students received our scholarship.  We focused on schools with 4 to 5 year apprenticeship programs – PHCC, ABC (Associated Builders & Contractors), United Association and independent trade schools.

In 2016 we changed our program.  It was the year of Brasscraft Mfg. Co.’s 70th anniversary, and to honor our founder Robert M. Zell, we formed the Brasscraft Mfg. Co. Zell Scholarship Program.  Apprentice can apply directly to the program with the hope of qualifying for up to $1500 to offset tuition costs on their way to becoming our next generation of skilled tradesmen and women.

To qualify, students must be enrolled in an accredited plumbing apprenticeship program and be gainfully employed with a licensed plumbing contractor.  Students/apprentices and accredited programs may apply for scholarship funds by submitting an application through the BrassCraft® website at The application process is simple and once approved the scholarship funds are sent directly to the apprentices’ training center.

Many ask why we are doing this.  Why put so much effort and resources into our program?   When we receive notes like these:

Or you get the graduation roster and see the names of a scholarship recipient listed:

Or you receive a picture of a room full of apprentices at their graduation event, you remember why you put in the time and effort – our ability to make a difference – not only in the apprentices’ life but for the plumbing industry.


Interest in the Zell Scholarship program is growing every year.  Since its inception, the scholarship program has awarded more than $430,000 to more than 300 deserving schools and apprentices.

Here are a few other organizations that can also help plumbing apprentices get their careers started in the trades:

American Society of Plumbing Engineers:


Chicago Women in Trades:

Saginaw Foundation:

The Dwyer Group:

Helmets to Hardhats:

Nexstar Legacy Foundation – Explore the Trades & Troops to Trades:

World Plumbing Council


Questions?  Contact me at




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