NACCE 2020 Pitch for the Trades Announces Eleven Semi-finalists

NACCE Press Releases,

NACCE is pleased to announce we received an overwhelming response to our 2020 NACCE Pitch for the Trades competition, presented in partnership with the Philip E. and Carol R. Ratcliffe Foundation. Project applications from colleges represent a broad swath of the United States. NACCE is honored to work with the following eleven creative and innovative college initiatives as their teams pitch “live” in the semi-finals round. Six of these teams will compete in the final round and vie for their share of $125,000 in funding from the Philip E. & Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation

Congratulations to the following teams, who will pitch in the semi-finals on September 15, 2020:

  1. Barstow Community College (California) lead, Crystal Nasio – Trade Technician Jump Start
  2. Catawba Valley Community College (North Carolina) lead, Gary Muller – One-of-a-Kind Collaboration between Catawba Farms and CVCC
  3. City College of San Francisco (California) lead, Arcadia Maximo – Entrepreneurship & Innovation for Skilled Trades
  4. Fayetteville Technical Community College (North Carolina) lead, Kent Hill – Welding Entrepreneurship to the Trades
  5. Ivy Technical Community College (Indiana) lead, Steve Bryant – Construction Trades Accelerator Program
  6. Kauai Community College (Hawaii) lead, Dirk Soma – Culinary Careers through Culture
  7. Madisonville Community College (Kentucky) lead, Les Groenewold – Madisonville Pitch for the Trades
  8. North Idaho College (Idaho) lead, Ryan Arnold – Beachside Bistro/NIC Venture + Trades Program
  9. Richland Community College (Illinois) lead, Juanita Morris – On the Road to Entrepreneurship
  10. South Mountain Community College (Arizona) lead, Bruce McHenry – Small Contractor Scale-Up
  11. Washtenaw Community College (Michigan) lead, Kristin Gapske – HVAC Partnership Pipeline

“We applaud the ingenuity of dozens of community college faculty and administrators around the country who imagined unique programs that infuse entrepreneurship into the skilled trades. The Philip E. & Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation made a generous multi-year investment in NACCE to advance the idea that skilled trades can be turned into successful businesses. Their investment is transformative in a time where all communities are grappling with the fallout from the pandemic and economic recession,” said Rebecca Corbin, President & CEO of NACCE.

The semi-finals will be a fast paced, energetic event with each team allotted 2-minutes to pitch and 5-minutes for judges’ Q & A. In addition to being judged on the merits of their project, teams will be scored on the quality of their pitch which includes public speaking ability, poise and ability to engage us in their story. Winners in the final round will earn a NACCE + Ratcliffe PitchMaster digital badge.

Please join us in watching the finals on October 13, 2020, 6:00 PM Eastern in conjunction with the NACCE 2020 conference.


NACCE is an organization of educators, administrators, presidents, and entrepreneurs focused on igniting entrepreneurship in their community and on their campuses. Since its inception, it has become one of the largest entrepreneurial ecosystems in the United States. NACCE has two main goals: to empower the college to approach the business of running a community college with an entrepreneurial mindset; and to grow the community college’s role in supporting job creation and entrepreneurs in their local ecosystem. The association represents 300+ community and technical colleges and 2,000 faculty, staff, administrators and presidents who serve more than 3.3 million students. Visit:

About the Philip E. & Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation

The Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation is a charitable organization designed to encourage and reward entrepreneurship, create jobs, and expand economic opportunity. Based in the Annapolis, Maryland, the foundation provides funds to institutions to encourage entrepreneurship in non-traditional business fields such as the arts, design, health care, environmental science, aquaculture and skilled trades. The Ratcliffe Foundation strives to integrate its programs with local communities through mentorships and business involvement. Visit: