The Lowe’s Foundation announced nearly $8 million in grants to community and technical colleges across the U.S. to support skilled trades workforce development initiatives through its inaugural Lowe’s Foundation Gable Grants. The grants are the first in a five-year, $50 million commitment to help prepare 50,000 people for skilled trades careers. The investment will fund 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,” 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 grant recipients include:

  • Coconino County Community College in Arizona. The grant will help expand skilled trades training programs in construction, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical. Coconio serves parts of the Navajo and Hopi tribal lands.
  • Columbus Technical College in Georgia. The college plans to use the grant to help build a four-week fast-track “Construction Career Launch Program” bootcamp to prepare participants for entry-level skilled trades positions.
  • Howard College - San Angelo in Texas. The college will build a new center for its pre-apprenticeship electrical program and its soon-to-be-developed plumbing program.
  • Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana. The college will develop a short-term, non-credit HVAC pilot training program for entry-level technicians and provide unique training opportunities for justice-involved individuals across seven campuses.
  • Madisonville Community College in Kentucky. The grant will help the school build a credential lattice between its electrical technology and HVAC programs to allow students in a rural, five-county area to complete the combined programs in five or six semesters, rather than eight.
  • Miami Dade College in Florida. The school will launch new programs in construction, HVAC, and electrical through its Construction Trade Institute.
  • MiraCosta College in California. The college will develop two HVAC and electrician certification programs designed to provide equitable access to first-generation college students and disproportionately impacted individuals through tuition reductions and student support services.
  • Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. The school will establish a construction trades training program for learners at a local correctional facility and provide scholarships and internships for students in its skilled trades training programs.
  • Palm Beach State College in Florida. Designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution, the school will expand its Construction Trade Center for Workforce Innovation to provide simulated trainings that create ‘real world’ experiences for students entering the trades workforce.
  • Southside Virginia Community College. The community college will renovate its lab to provide training space and technical equipment to prepare students to enter the workforce as electrical and HVAC technicians.

In addition to the grants, the Lowe’s Foundation will invest at least $5 million more to assist community-based nonprofit organizations and national nonprofit partners with a strong local presence. The investments put the foundation on pace to invest more than $12 million in 2023 as part of its $50 million, five-year commitment.