Five Colleges Selected as NACCE 2020 Pitch for the Trades Winners

NACCE Press Releases ,

NACCE, with its goal of empowering colleges to grow the community college’s role in supporting job creation and entrepreneurs in their local ecosystem, is elated to announce five winners in this year’s second annual NACCE 2020 Pitch for the Trades competition, presented in partnership with the Philip E. & Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation. Teams competed in three-rounds of pitches for a portion of the $125,000 prize aimed at boosting and bolstering initiatives related to expanding economic opportunities for students and communities in the skilled trades and apprenticeships. It is with great pleasure that NACCE and the Ratcliffe Foundation award the following Pitch for the Trades grants: 

  1. $32,000 awarded to the Entrepreneurship & Innovation for Skilled Trades Project – Lead: Arcadia Maximo, City College of San Francisco (California)
  2. $28,000 awarded to the Trade Technician Jump Start Project – Lead: Crystal Nasio, Barstow Community College (California)
  3. $25,000 awarded to the One-of-a-Kind Collaboration between Catawba Farms and CVCC – Lead: Gary Muller, Catawba Valley Community College (North Carolina)
  4. $23,000 awarded to the HVAC Partnership Pipeline Project  – ​Lead: Kristin Gapske, Washtenaw Community College (Michigan)
  5. $17,000 awarded to the Beachside Bistro/NIC Venture + Trades Program – Lead: Ryan Arnold, North Idaho College (Idaho)

Carlene Cassidy, CEO of the Philip E. & Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation said, “We are very impressed with the proposals submitted this year. The entrepreneurial activity and training programs being created to support emerging opportunities in skilled trades is exciting. The pandemic has clearly not slowed these colleges as they continue to innovate and encourage entrepreneurial activity and job creation in their communities. We admire their leadership, persistence, and ability to adapt during a time of uncertainty.”

Following the 2019 successes of the inaugural Pitch for the Trades competition and the gains made by the initial cohort of Pitch winners, in July 2020, the Philip E. & Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation awarded NACCE a new partnership and $900,000 in grant funding to leverage a three-year commitment to collaborate with community colleges to build entrepreneurial mindset training and business opportunities in the trades and apprenticeships. The annual NACCE Pitch for the Trades is just one way NACCE is accomplishing this mission by providing real value to members.

The work of community colleges matters to our communities and the entrepreneurial ecosystem. NACCE is proud to support and congratulate these five winning teams as well as all the colleges who participated in the competition. We enthusiastically commend you as leaders and innovators in education and in preparing students for apprenticeships and careers in the skilled trades.