Investing in potential: UA and Sherwin-Williams collaboration benefits the future of students


SW_EVP_Vertical_Box_RGB.jpgIn an effort to make a college education and career more accessible to students, The University of Akron (UA) has forged a strategic collaboration with The Sherwin-Williams Company, a global leader in the paint and coatings industry, headquartered in Cleveland since 1866.

A new career-focused learning community will launch in fall 2024 with a scholarship valued at nearly $700,000, aimed at economically disadvantaged and first-generation students. The program, “Create Your Possible: Sherwin-Williams Career Accelerator,” will support new first-time, full-time students who are majoring in critical fields such as chemistry, chemical engineering, engineering, computer engineering, computer science, computer information systems, polymer science and polymer engineering.

The learning community, supported by Sherwin-Williams, will include two cohorts of up to 40 students. Each of these students will receive financial assistance along with guidance from mentors to help them successfully navigate their transition to college and establish a solid foundation for their academic journey.

The program will provide students meaningful career engagement opportunities within and beyond the classroom. As part of the Sherwin-Williams Learning Community cohort, students will have access to a wide range of career development resources, including career coaching, resume writing workshops, field trips to Sherwin-Williams facilities, and alumni chats. Professionals from Sherwin-Williams will be invited to participate in these events, which will be coordinated by the UA co-op program.

“The University of Akron believes that the best way to help our students find great employment opportunities, and to help our region retain talent, is to collaborate with the companies who are located here,” said Gwyneth Price, senior vice provost. “Through this collaboration, we aspire to create a dynamic and inclusive space that fosters academic excellence, innovation and professional growth, ultimately positioning our students and Sherwin-Williams for continued success in the rapidly evolving landscape of STEM-related industries.”

“We are excited to support a program that will provide financial support, comprehensive resources and career-focused experiences that allow students the opportunity to truly create their possible,” said Diana Strongosky, senior vice president of global innovation for Sherwin-Williams. “Collaborating with leading institutions like The University of Akron will help us continue to attract, develop and retain the best and brightest talent for Sherwin-Williams and the broader region.”


Founded in 1866, The Sherwin-Williams Company is a global leader in the manufacture, development, distribution, and sale of paint, coatings and related products to professional, industrial, commercial, and retail customers. The Company manufactures products under well-known brands such as Sherwin-Williams®, Valspar®, HGTV HOME® by Sherwin-Williams, Dutch Boy®, Krylon®, Minwax®, Thompson's® WaterSeal®, Cabot® and many more. With global headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, Sherwin-Williams® branded products are sold exclusively through a chain of more than 5,000 Company-operated stores and branches, while the Company's other brands are sold through leading mass merchandisers, home centers, independent paint dealers, hardware stores, automotive retailers, and industrial distributors. The Sherwin-Williams Performance Coatings Group supplies a broad range of highly-engineered solutions for the construction, industrial, packaging and transportation markets in more than 120 countries around the world. Sherwin-Williams shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: SHW). For more information, visit

Media contact: Cristine Boyd, 330-972-6476,