Photo by Robert Kneschke

Nearly $8 million in the first round of Lowe’s Foundation Gable Grants has been awarded to support community and technical colleges across the nation. The funds, which are part of a five-year, $50 million commitment, will go toward innovative 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," says 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."

The 2023 grants will go to Coconino County Community College in Arizona; Columbus Technical College in Georgia; Howard College–San Angelo in Texas; Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana; Madisonville Community College in Kentucky; Miami Dade College in Florida; MiraCosta College in California; Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College; Palm Beach State College in Florida; and Southside Virginia Community College.

"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," says 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."

The Lowe's Foundation will also invest at least $5 million more to assist community-based nonprofit organizations and national nonprofit partners, which puts the foundation on pace to invest over $12 million in 2023.