SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Schenectady Hardware & Electric (SHE) is celebrating its 100th anniversary of being in business this year. Before it was the electrical contracting company it is today, it was a hardware store founded in 1923 by Benjamin Spraragen.

Benjamin Spraragen was one of the first graduates of Union College’s electrical engineering program. Wiring hundreds of houses by day and running the hardware store by night, Benjamin labored uninterrupted during the Great Depression. His son, Donald served as President/CEO from 1982-93. He grew the residential business and expanded into light commercial industry. Grandson Larry stepped in to lead from 1993 to 2008, and under his leadership the company grew to become the largest electrical contracting firm in the area.

After Larry passed away, his son Chris Spraragen, took over as president. To honor his father’s legacy, he created the Lawrence Spraragen Memorial Scholarship, to help support young people in the community who are entering the industry.

The scholarship is available to the child or grandchild of a current or active member of IBEW Local 236, or the child or grandchild of the management or staff of a signatory contractor of the union. Applicants must be a graduating high school senior, and must have been accepted to an accredited two or four year college or university, or be a current college student. Applicants may also be a current union member looking to continue their education.

To mark the centennial occasion, the company is awarding two recipients the scholarship, valued $2,500 each. “The backbone of our success is our employees, and some of our families have been with us for generations. To commemorate our first 100 years, we want to celebrate the families of Electrical Contractors and journeymen, who will help build our community for the next 100 years.”

The scholarship is offered through a partnership with the Community Foundation for the Capital Region. More information about the scholarship, and to apply, visit their website. The application deadline is May 1st.