About The Scholarship


 In 1989, the Arthur E. Coia Scholarship and Education Fund was established by its founder,  the late Arthur E. Coia, General Secretary-Treasurer Emeritus of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, with the sole purpose of awarding scholarships to the children of New England Laborers who demonstrate both academic excellence and financial need. Mr. Coia, who was lauded as a “man of compassion” once stated, “The education and training of workers and their children is the noblest commitment of organized labor”.

The establishment of a scholarship fund was a long time goal of Mr. Coia, the son of immigrant parents, who began his more than fifty-year career with the Laborers’ International Union of North America as a rank-and-file worker. With only a grade-school education, he rose through the ranks and was elected to a position of both prominence and responsibility-the office of LIUNA General-Secretary Treasurer. During his tenure, he was directly responsible for the introduction of all of the Laborers’ benefits programs which include training, pension, annuity and health insurance. To this day, the benefits programs are recognized as “models” for all of organized labor.

The Arthur E. Coia Scholarship is awarded to a wide variety of students. While all students are eligible, the Scholarship Committee uses specific criteria to assure that funds are distributed fairly. The Committee looks for a well-rounded background that includes a variety of extracurricular activities and strong academics. Similar to the stewardship of the scholarship’s founder, leadership skills and the desire to give back to the community are always highly regarded.

The scholarship is designed to provide financial aid to undergraduate, full-time, matriculating students of an accredited institution (college, university or technical school). The award is renewable each year (maximum 4 years) while attending an undergraduate college/university, conditioned on the student meeting the academic criteria set forth by the Scholarship Committee. The funding is $2,500 per year or a total of $10,000 if renewed for all four years of undergraduate study.

The award is available to New England Laborers, their spouses and their children. The union member must be a member of an affiliated Local Union of the Laborers' International Union of North America from New England. New England includes the states of Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Over the past twenty five years, the scholarships have aided over 450 recipients in their journey for higher education, facilitating their attendance to such prestigious institutions of higher learning as Harvard University, Providence College, University of Connecticut, Bryant University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of New Hampshire, and Maine Maritime Academy, to mention a few.