SVCC receives Lowe’s grant

Published 2:00 pm Friday, August 11, 2023

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Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) learned this week it will be getting a $300,000 grant thanks to the Lowe’s Foundation. The announcement was part of a larger rollout, as Lowe’s gave nearly $8 million in grants to community and technical colleges across the U.S. to support skilled trades workforce development initiatives.

The grants are the first in a five-year, $50 million commitment to help prepare 50,000 people for skilled trades careers. This investment will fund cutting-edge programs in appliance repair, carpentry, construction, electrical, 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,” said Janice Dupré, Lowe’s executive vice president of human resources and chair of the Lowe’s Foundation. “Our grants are inclusive of all groups to ensure we achieve the overall goal of preparing 50,000 people for skilled trades careers in five years, including groups that are traditionally underrepresented in the trades, such as women, people of color, people in rural areas and individuals participating in second-chance programs. We are confident that these college programs will strengthen the skilled trades infrastructure for years to come.”

As for SVCC, school officials said they plan to use the money to renovate the lab in South Hill. It will provide training space and technical equipment to prepare students to enter the workforce as electrical and HVAC technicians. With seven locations covering 4,200 square miles of Virginia, the college is expected to use its grant to double student capacity and hire a full-time instructor.

“The support for community and technical colleges provided by Gable Grants from the Lowe’s Foundation will enable the expansion of the innovative, responsive and in-demand skilled trades training offerings at the nation’s community colleges,” said Walter G. Bumphus, president and CEO, American Association of Community Colleges. “This unique program will empower community colleges to scale existing programs, upgrade technology and infrastructure, establish new initiatives and increase their impact as they strive to meet the needs of their communities.”