Two Students Earn National Work Ethic Scholarships from Mike Rowe WORKS Foundation


Pittsburgh, PA ( - Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics (PIA) students Braden Brunson and Shane Miley are two of the nationwide winners of the 2020 Work Ethic Scholarship Program from the Mike Rowe WORKS Foundation. The scholarship program provides financial support to students who have enrolled in trade school training programs, and who have clearly demonstrated their ongoing commitment to personal responsibility, a positive attitude, and a strong work ethic.

The annual Work Ethic Scholarship Program is open to high school seniors, graduates or GED recipients who are either enrolled or planning to enroll in one of 18 eligible trade programs. Applicants must provide proof of school costs, high school or college transcripts, at least two references excluding family members, and provide a video and essay explaining why they believe they deserve the scholarship. They must also commit to Rowe’s “Skill & Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo (S.W.E.A.T.) Pledge,” a 12-point mission statement that affirms having a hard-working mindset, and submit a video essay that includes their own thoughts on the topic. 

“Seeing two of our students get recognized for their ‘can-do’ work ethic is so inspiring, because it reinforces PIA’s long-standing commitment to training young men and women to take great pride in doing hard work well,” says PIA President and CEO Suzanne Markle. “Our graduates are the next generation of mechanics and technicians who will keep the aerospace industry moving forward throughout the 21st Century. It is my sincere hope that Mike Rowe’s efforts to bring additional visibility to these kinds of crucial but often ‘invisible’ jobs will help get even more hands-on learners interested in pursuing this vital and rewarding career path.” 

Braden Brunson, from Beaver Falls, PA, is a first semester student at PIA’s Pittsburgh campus. He currently works as a line maintenance technician at the Beaver County Airport, and he looks forward to the additional career opportunities that his AMT degree from PIA will provide.

Shane Miley, from Ijamsville, MD, is a first semester student at PIA’s Hagerstown, MD, campus. Miley grew up watching Mike Rowe’s “Dirty Jobs” TV show on The Discovery Channel, which he says was a major influence on his own career choices.

In 2008, Rowe created the mikeroweWORKS Foundation to launch a national PR campaign to attract more interest and attention for the skilled labor trades. The foundation began awarding Work Ethic Scholarships four years ago, and has since awarded $4.2 million in educational support to over 1000 students. In 2020, a total of $1 million in Work Ethic Scholarships ranging from $1000 to $12,500 were awarded to 223 nationwide applicants in 48 states.


With roots tracing to the Curtiss-Wright Flying Service, Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics (PIA) was officially founded in 1929. Today, PIA is a non-profit, career-focused family of schools offering programs in Aviation Maintenance and Aviation Electronics.

The instructional staff combine real-world experience with classroom instruction, and a wide range of student and graduate services.  PIA’s Career Services team works individually with each student to reach their employment goals. PIA is often the first stop for many employers looking for quality employees. PIA offers an Associate in Specialized Technology Degree at its West Mifflin, PA, location and Diploma programs in Youngstown, OH, Hagerstown, MD, and Myrtle Beach, SC. 

Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics was recognized as the #1 school fighting the nation’s skills gap in a list published in 2018 by Forbes

There is open enrollment through the year accompanied with admissions requirements. For more information, call 1-800-444-1440, or visit


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