Lowe’s Foundation gives MGCCC $1 million for skilled training program
GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Lowe’s Foundation presented Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College with a $1 million check on Tuesday to expand the school’s skilled trades program. The donation opens up more scholarship opportunities for students.
MGCCC student Seth Hayes has been working with heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), for four and a half years. He said he began taking classes at MGCCC to enhance what he knew.
“It takes a good bit of knowledge,” Hayes said.
And he’s thrilled about the massive donation from the Lowe’s Foundation.
“I walked in and saw the amount on that check. I think it’s amazing. It’s a blessing to all involved,” he said.
The college also plans to use part of the donation to provide resources to inmates at the George County Correctional Facility.
“Their work with the second chance population is aligned to and definitely committed to our same shared goals,” Lowes Vice President of Contact Center Operations Donna Neale said.
Right now, across America there’s a shortage of skilled trade workers. That’s why MGCCC is working to bridge that gap.
A study from Stanley Black & Decker shows fewer than 9% of workers aged 19 to 24 are entering the trade business. And salaries in the field range from $54,000 to $67,000 per year.
MGCCC President Dr. Mary Graham said this grant will not only help skilled trades students better their own lives through education, it will have a lasting impact on Gulf Coast communities.
“Gulf Coast has a mission and a focus training the workforce of the future in high tech, healthcare trades programs academics,” Graham said. “We’re trying to lift up the community that has job number one at Gulf Coast. And so this is just another opportunity to do that.”
Hayes said he hopes this donation helps lift up many other lives.
“It’s going to reach were it needs to, for sure, especially coming to MGCCC,” he said. “This is going to help South Mississippi greatly.”
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