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$1M grant to PBSC for construction trades

Palm Beach State College Lake Worth campus. [Photo by Palm Beach State College]

Palm Beach State College is set to enhance its Construction Trade Center for Workforce Innovation with a $1 million grant the Lowe’s Foundation announced Jan. 17 at its Lake Worth campus.

The center offers simulated training to immerse students in tangible experiences in the trades with smart home and office suites designated as functional labs in trades and installation practices.

The grant represents a portion of almost $8 million in Gable Grants from the Lowe’s Foundation to 11 schools nationwide. The foundation has made a five-year commitment of $50 million to prepare 50,000 people for careers in appliance repair, carpentry, construction, electrical work, HVAC and plumbing.

“These deserving schools are driving transformation in the skilled trades workforce through sustainable and inclusive career pathways. We had many outstanding applicants for these grants, which speaks to the urgency needed to increase the capacity for skilled trades labor nationwide,” says Janicen Dupre, the executive vice president of human resources for Lowe’s and chair of the Lowe’s Foundation.

Construction is a rapidly expanding industry in Palm Beach County, generating over 50,000 jobs and contributing $3 billion to the economy as new businesses and residents arrive. But 30% of construction workers in Palm Beach County are expected to retire or otherwise leave the industry in the next decade, creating a heightened demand for skilled tradespeople.

PBSC aims to address this gap by training 1,500 skilled construction tradespeople for the county’s workforce by next year.

“Serving this vital initiative, we are excited to provide this opportunity to our county, one that ensures career readiness and enhances the economic mobility of our students and their families,” college President Ava L. Parker says.

The Lowe’s Foundation recently disclosed a fresh series of Gable Grants for such national nonprofit partners as Goodwill, the Local Initiatives Support Corp., and the National Center for Construction Education and Research.


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