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Lowe’s donates $1.5M to career and technical education

Lowe’s grants to SkillsUSA chapters will serve schools and communities nationwide

Lowe’s, the largest corporate donor in SkillsUSA history, has renewed its partnership with a $1.5 million commitment to the organization, bringing Lowe’s and the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation’s total contributions to SkillsUSA to nearly $14 million since 2006.

The SkillsUSA Foundation will use the funds to help students and their technical skill instructors through several grant programs for SkillsUSA chapters and state associations. Local school grants will support local community service projects as well as state-level TeamWorks competitions. Lowe’s will also support the SkillsUSA Championships, the nation’s largest workforce development event and skill competition as well as student leadership development through the SkillsUSA Chapter Excellence Program.

The school grants, which are the centerpiece of the program, strengthen local communities while providing enhanced learning opportunities for students and fostering relationships between local Lowe’s stores and SkillsUSA chapters. Grant winners are selected based on their project, community engagement and overall strategy. This year, grants will be awarded to 15 schools in 12 states in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.

This year’s school grants include:
Dothan Technology Center, Dothan, Ala. — $24,810: Students will build a pole barn pavilion to use for meetings, community events and as a break area for students.
Norwalk High School, Norwalk, Calif. — $24,600: Students will upgrade their culinary classroom with more equipment and food prep space. This will allow them to increase food production, serve more people at events and begin a mentoring program for middle-school students.
Immokalee Technical College, Immokalee, Fla. — $25,000: Students will complete kitchen rehabilitation and build a computer lab for a senior center.
Iroquois High School, Louisville, Ky. — $25,000: Students will complete the second phase of an outdoor amphitheater project by adding a stage, walking path, roof, sign and enhanced landscaping.
Martin County Career and Technology Center, Inez, Ky. — $25,000: Students will construct two gazebos at the high school and technology center.
Riverland Community College, Austin, Minn. — $22,260: Students will collaborate with their local Lowe’s Heroes program to design and build handicap ramps for area homeowners in need.
Rocky Mount High, Rocky Mount, N.C. —$25,000: Students will construct a three-story training building for their fire academy, which will allow for a variety of training programs.
Centennial High School, Gresham, Ore. — $10,000: Centennial students previously founded a nonprofit mobile food pantry. This project will upgrade the bus with lights and refrigeration units to further assist struggling families in the community to help meet basic needs.
Pioneer Career Center, Shelby, Ohio — $13,000: Students will carry out a community improvement blitz including building wheelchair accessible ramps; painting and restoring park buildings; updating baseball fields; cleaning police and fire stations; cleaning and repairing toys for needy children; preparing community garden plots; renovating food pantries and organizing donated items; and preparing and planting flower beds.
Upper Valley Career Center, Piqua, Ohio — $25,000: Students will rehabilitate an old church building to create a supervised center for community Wi-Fi access and tutoring.
Sun Area Technical Institute, New Berlin, Pa. — $12,306: Students will replace the school’s current florescent lighting with more efficient LED lighting.
West Side Career and Technology Center, Kingston, Pa. — $5,595: Students will renovate the existing culinary classroom to include a restaurant where they will prepare and serve meals to faculty, students and customers from the community.
Tennessee College of Applied Technology, Crump, Tenn. — $11,243: Students will construct a food storage building at Michie Elementary School for their backpack program. The project includes installing electricity, HVAC, shelving and a refrigerator.
Tennessee College of Applied Technology, Crossville, Tenn. — $17,639: Students will create a community garden to provide fresh vegetables to over 300 elementary students and five nursing homes.
Roane-Jackson Technical Center, Leroy, W.Va. — $25,000: Students will improve a playground at the Cedar Lakes Conference Center and make it both safer and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“Lowe’s has stepped up as one of our finest partners, providing millions of dollars that go directly to enriching local and state SkillsUSA programs,” said Timothy Lawrence, executive director of SkillsUSA. “Schools often struggle to fund new equipment and updated classrooms or school campus enhancements — there are so many demands on their budgets. Communities face the same challenge. As a skills gap solution and verified talent pipeline, SkillsUSA is working to graduate more than 100,000 students each year who are career-ready. These Lowe’s grants enable career and technical education students to hone their knowledge and apply their skills in real-world scenarios while giving back. With the help of Lowe’s, we can truly make a lasting impact in these communities.”

This is the 11th year for the SkillsUSA Lowe’s program.

“Our partnership with SkillsUSA is a natural fit for Lowe’s. It allows us to support SkillsUSA in providing students with real hands-on experience so they will be inspired to be leaders in careers where skilled workers are in demand,” said James Frison, director of community relations at Lowe’s.

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