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Preparing Future Fleet + Field Leaders:

GPS Insight Announces First Skilled Trades Scholarship Program Winners

Recruiting and retaining skilled young talent remains a major challenge across fleet and field, one which has continued to grow during the early pandemic. In fact, the skilled worker shortage, particularly the historic inability to attract younger, tech-savvy workers, is of the greatest threats to the future of the industry.

To help meet this challenge, last October, GPS Insight proudly announced the creation of the ‘You are the Reason’ Skilled Trades Scholarship Program, an innovative effort to give back and help advance opportunities in the fleet and field industries. The program awards two scholarships for $10,000 each to students planning to pursue full-time skilled trades study at a college or accredited vocational-technical school in the 2023-2024 academic year.

We invited GPS Insight customers to nominate scholarship candidates and the response was incredible. It was difficult to choose among so many strong contenders but, last week, we announced the first class of scholarship winners: Michael Lyons and Jacob Paquette. Both winners will be awarded $10,000 each for the pursuit of full-time skilled trades study at a college or accredited vocational-technical school in the 2023-2024 academic year. GPS Insight will also award three additional $500 scholarships for honorable mentions to Alexandra Zapien, Briley Lehman, and Tyler Horsley.

“GPS Insight customers are the reason we care, the reason we learn, and the reason we embrace change. We are humbled by everything our customers teach us, and to pay this forward by enabling students to achieve their goals is a great honor. We hope these scholarships will provide roadways to success for the future of fleet and field.” Gary Fitzgerald, CEO of GPS Insight

Scholarship Winners:


Michael Lyons

$10,000 Winner

Michael Lyons is from Scotrun, Pennsylvania, and currently attends the Pennsylvania College of Technology. Michael, nominated for the scholarship by Brandenburg Industrial Service Company, grew up watching his father and stepfather fix their cars. He became fascinated with mechanics and decided that learning a skilled trade was the best route for his career. During his senior year of high school, Michael tragically lost his father.

“I have learned to work through some of the most difficult situations and not only to just get through them, but to come out a better person because of them. The trials I have faced have not caused me to be a victim of terrible circumstances but rather have molded me into a determined and focused student and worker,” said Michael. “My parents taught me to be strong and never let life beat me down, and that is what I have done so far and plan to do in the future.”

Jacob Paquette

$10,000 Winner

Jacob Paquette is from Plantsville, Connecticut, and is a current high school senior planning to attend Bristol Technical Education Center to enter a career in automotive technology. Jacob, nominated for the scholarship by Magnakleen Services, enjoys working on all things mechanical and taking the time to figure out how they work.

“I will be the first in my family to attend post-grad schooling, and this scholarship will make a big difference in my life,” Jacob said. “I’m looking forward to taking what I know and expanding my knowledge through a trade school so that I can use it to enter a career in automotive technology.”

Honorable Mentions:


Alexandra Zapien

$500 Winner

Alexandra Zapien is a high school senior at Freedom High School in Oakley, California. She was nominated for the scholarship by Alvah Group, Inc. Her dad had his own welder and, out of curiosity, she tried using it. That was it—she’d found an activity that would keep her interest. Since she has an artistic side, she began creating and selling metal roses.

“When I first decided to commit to becoming a welder and pursuing this as my career, I was extremely nervous due to what I have heard about being a girl in the trades,” said Alexandra. “I’m very lucky to have such a supportive family and friends. The support for my metal roses alone has been overwhelming, I even have coworkers supporting me. Although there are always those people who will make a comment every now and then, I am so excited to pursue welding and be a woman in the trades.”

Briley Lehman

$500 Winner

Briley Lehman is a high school senior at Vienna High School and lives in Grantsville, Illinois. He is enrolled in the Illinois Laborers and Contractors Joint Apprenticeship and Training Program, where he is in his second year. Nominated for the scholarship by Endrizzi Contracting Inc., Briley plans to use the scholarship toward tuition for his associate degree at John A. Logan College in the construction management program.

“I have a willingness to learn and have a drive to be independent,” said Briley. “I enrolled in the program to have a better knowledge of trade work and to give me a better understanding of the skills that are necessary to work in the construction field.”

Tyler Horsley

$500 Winner

Tyler Horsley is from Scottsdale, Arizona and began attending Mesa Community College in 2022 to earn a welding associate in science degree. Tyler, the son of a GPS Insight employee, plans to use the scholarship money toward his tuition, fees, and books and to purchase a welding setup so he can begin working as soon as he graduates.

“It’s been a real learning experience to jump into a formal education, and I’m enjoying the welding class very much,” said Tyler. “I can already see my skills improving as we work through the different materials and techniques.”

Learn more about this year’s skilled trades scholarship winners.