Growing A Safer Workforce: New Scholarship Program

You could say that Kyla Biggs was one person who found her career calling early in life.

“Welding has always intrigued me. From my perspective, I have always felt that welding is an art form just as much as it is a skill. I started welding in seventh grade in FFA (Future Farmers of America) competitions and fell in love with it!”

Since that time Kyla honed her skills at Belgrade High School and enrolled in the welding program at Gallatin College (Montana State University) in Bozeman. And, her educational pursuit is paying off.

Recently she and nine other college students studying Occupational Safety and Health/Industrial Hygiene or Construction Trade and Industry received a $1,500 academic scholarship through Montana State Fund’s new Growing a Safer Montana initiative.

One component of the Growing a Safer Montana program is awarding scholarships to students who have achieved academic excellence and demonstrated a desire to champion safety as they move into their professional endeavors.

Kyla Biggs receives her scholarship award from MSF President/CEO Laurence Hubbard

“Montana State Fund is proud to distribute these scholarships to local students in an effort to improve Montana’s safety culture,” said MSF President/CEO, Laurence Hubbard. “It is our sincere hope that every student, not just those who received the scholarship, becomes aware of the issues facing Montanans in the workplace.”

Hubbard goes on to say that this effort will require buy-in from workers of all ages and across all industries. Our goal is to plant the seeds of safety today to grow a safer Montana for generations to come.

For Kyla, the seed has been planted.

“Being a face in the workforce of Montana, I hope that I can be a positive influence for other blue collar workers in the industry. I hope that I can always remind everyone I work and come into contact with, to stay safe in a working environment.”

Our other 2018 Growing a Safer Montana recipients include

Montana Tech (Occupational Safety and Health Students)

  • Brittania Shephard
  • Ciara Kremer
  • Jacques Boulet
  • James Hollopeter
  • Sarah Storey
  • Tyler Davis

Highlands College – Montana Tech  (Welding Student)

  • Jake Bloom

Gallatin College -Montana State University  (Welding Students)

  • Kyla Biggs
  • Shelsey Schott
  • Taylor Gallagher

Our 2019 scholarship application will be available this fall. If you have questions please contact Montana State Fund’s Safety Services Team at

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