Bay College and Billerud Partner Together for New Scholarship


Billerud and Bay College employees shake hands

(Pictured left to right): Michelle Wrensch Barron (Billerud), Nick Fox (Bay College), Jeremy Menard (Billerud), and Cindy Gallagher (Bay College)

By Cindy Gallagher
Published June 3, 2024

Bay College and Billerud – Escanaba Mill have joined together to offer a new scholarship opportunity to graduating high school seniors interested in pursuing a two-year Mechatronics and Robotics Degree with the intent to gain employment at the Escanaba Mill upon completion. Two scholarships, each worth $12,500, are in place to support the student wanting to work with automation, robotics, mechanics, computers, and electronics technology and have local employment waiting for them as an Electrical & Instrumentation Apprentice.

“The new scholarship program is intentional and supportive of the Escanaba Mill’s desire to grow and develop our own talent locally,” states Michelle Wrensch Barron, HR Training Manager from Billerud – Escanaba Mill. “With many upcoming retirements, we need to ensure we have the right skill trade resources available. The goal of this new scholarship is to support those efforts.”

The two Electrical & Instrumentation (E&I) Scholarships are worth $12,500 each and will be applied towards a student’s tuition, fees, and books. The recipients will attend Bay College and enroll in the AAS Mechatronics & Robotics Systems Program with the intent to begin employment at the Escanaba Mill part-time during school breaks and then full-time upon graduating from the program. Labor market data indicates entry level E&I Apprentices may typically make $70,000 or more during their first year of full-time work.

“The opportunity for Bay College and Billerud to come together to strengthen their partnership has been exciting and shows the importance of collaborating and partnering to support local workforce needs,” states Cindy Gallagher, Vice President of Business, Technology, Allied Health, and Workforce Training at Bay College. “We continue to see the importance of education either to obtain a new skill for today’s jobs or to upgrade existing skills to advance within a current employer. The term ‘lifelong learning’ or ‘skill-up’ is never more important than right now to advance and support earning potential to local and regional industry needs. Bay College is proud to work alongside Billerud with this new scholarship opportunity.”

“Our goal is to support two students this upcoming fall semester who will be starting the Mechatronics & Robotics courses at Bay College. We plan to select and award the scholarships by June 14,” adds Michelle Wrensch Barron.

The scholarship eligibility requirements, which have been established by Billerud – Escanaba Mill, as well as the application process can both be found online at, or by calling Billerud directly at (906)-233-2651 for more information.



Bay College is the community’s college with a mission of: Student Success, Community Success, and Culture of Success. Bay is devoted to each individual’s achievement in the classroom, on-campus, online, in the community and into the workforce by providing certificates and associate degrees,  transfer credits to universities, and workforce training programs which develop skillsets and advance careers. #BayIsTheWay