Lowe's Gives $1.5 Million to Support Career and Technical Education Programs Through Local SkillsUSA Chapters

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 Fondation'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.
About SkillsUSA
SkillsUSA is a vital solution to the growing U.S. skills gap. This nonprofit partnership of students, instructors and industry ensures America has the skilled workforce it needs to stay competitive. Founded in 1965 and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education, the association serves more than 300,000 member students and instructors each year in middle schools, high schools and colleges. This diverse talent pipeline covers 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations, the majority STEM-related. More than 600 corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions actively support SkillsUSA at the national level. SkillsUSA programs are integrated into career and technical education through a framework of personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics. Local, state and national championships, designed and judged by industry, set relevant standards for career and technical education and provide needed recognition to its students. SkillsUSA also offers technical skill assessments and other workplace credentials. For more information, go to: http://www.SkillsUSA.org.
About Lowe's in the Community   Lowe's, a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company, has a 50-year legacy of supporting the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. Since 2007, Lowe's and the Lowe's Charitable and Education Foundation together have contributed more than $250 million to these efforts, and for more than two decades Lowe's Heroes employee volunteers have donated their time to make our communities better places to live.