NEWS RELEASE — A. O. Smith, a leading manufacturer of hot water systems for homes and businesses, announced today that Ronald Butkus of Wausau, Wis., has been awarded a $2,500 A. O. Smith Scholarship to support his pursuit of a career in the plumbing, mechanical or technical field.

Butkus is studying plumbing, installation, service and repair at North Central Technical College and working full-time for a plumbing and heating company. With the PHCC scholarship, he plans to obtain a journeyman certification in plumbing and complete his masters.

“I find plumbing to be very rewarding and fulfilling,” said Butkus. “Every day I learn more and more and it has made me a plumber who will better serve my community.”

A. O. Smith has partnered with the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors (PHCC) Educational Foundation to fund the scholarship since 2004. The A. O. Smith scholarship is offered to students enrolled in a plumbing-heating-cooling related course of study and was created to expand the expertise essential to the HVACR and plumbing industry. Applicants are required to submit a letter of recommendation from a PHCC member in addition to an extensive portfolio of qualifications.

“It is truly an honor to work with such intelligent, driven and ambitious students,” said David Chisolm, vice president of marketing at A. O. Smith. “We are proud to sponsor a scholarship that strengthens the industry by supporting highly qualified students entering a career in the trades.”

For more information on the PHCC foundation, visit