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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

2019 Pitch Competition for the Trades

Who is eligible to apply?

  • ANSWER: NACCE member organizations are encouraged to apply, both community colleges and universities.

May an institution submit more than one application for a demonstration project that promotes the skilled trades?

  • ANSWER: Yes, multiple applications will be considered. NACCE looks forward to hearing about the vast and diverse work you are proposing at your institutions.

Is Marine Technology considered a skilled trade?

  • ANSWER: The definition of skilled trades is fairly broad, including but not limited to: Industrial millwright, marine technology, welding, HVAC, carpentry & construction, aerospace & aviation, collision repair, automotive technology, diesel technology, truck driving, and advanced manufacturing. Strongest consideration will be given to skilled trades in high demand areas.

Does NACCE provide Pitch for the Trades teams travel and conference scholarships to the Entrepreneurship Explorations Conference, October 13-16, in Newport Beach, CA?

  • ANSWER: We wish the answer to this question were “yes”, but unfortunately that’s not the case this year. Keep in mind, as few as one team member may make the pitch at the Entrepreneurship Explorations Conference, October 13-16, in Newport Beach. All winning teams of the Pitch for the Trades competition will receive a $1,250 scholarship to assist with travel and participation in sharing how their demonstration project is going at the Make/SHIFT 2.0 conference in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, June 3-5, 2020.

Are the in-person pitch requirements essentially sharing the story of the idea/uniqueness of the idea/target audience and how we will test it, and does this need to have a fully vetted business plan behind it at this point? 

  • ANSWER: While we are looking to see that your proposal is fiscally reasonable, we will not be looking for a fully vetted business plan at this point. Tell us your story; make it compelling and your solution unique. If you’re interested in utilizing the software provided by LivePlan to help organize your proposal, they have offered it free to Pitch applicants as a resource. Just let us know and we’ll connect you. See today’s blog on the NACCE website at The scorecard for selecting the top ten teams who will pitch on October 15 will be posted later this week.

Would outreach to students in the K-12 system to encourage interest in the skilled trades be considered in this pitch event?

  • ANSWER: Unfortunately, addressing needs in the K-12 system is outside of the mission of the Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation and the 2019 NACCE Pitch for the Trades competition. Of course, we know certificate, apprenticeship and skilled trades programs are college programs and we need every BODY to get engaged in our workforce. Such a project sounds like a great long-range endeavor and we’re all about encouraging K-12 students to consider the question, “What does college look like and am I college bound?” , just not within the context of this pitch.

Please send your additional questions to Project Consultant, Theresa MacLennan, at