Seven Finalists Announced for NACCE's 2020 Pitch for the Trades

NACCE Press Releases,

NACCE is thrilled to announce seven colleges are invited to compete in the second annual NACCE 2020 Pitch for the Trades competition, sponsored by the Philip E. & Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation. Not only are teams competing for up to $50,000 towards their college’s skilled trades initiatives, but they are also creating a buzz about the skilled trades and the impactful work community colleges across the country are doing in expanding economic opportunities for students and communities.

The Ratcliffe Foundation is offering $125,000 in cash prizes to be divided amongst the winners in next month’s competition. The seven colleges competing in the finals are:

Beachside Bistro/NIC Venture + Trades Program
Project Lead: Ryan Arnold | North Idaho College (Idaho) 

Construction Trades Accelerator Program
Project Lead: Steve Bryant | Ivy Technical Community College (Indiana)

Entrepreneurship & Innovation for Skilled Trades
Project Lead: Arcadia Maximo | City College of San Francisco (California) 

HVAC Partnership Pipeline
Project Lead: Kristin Gapske | ​Washtenaw Community College (Michigan)

On the Road to Entrepreneurship
Project Lead: Juanita Morris | Richland Community College (Illinois)

One-of-a-Kind Collaboration between Catawba Farms and CVCC
Project Lead: Gary Muller | Catawba Valley Community College (North Carolina)

Trade Technician Jump Start
Project Lead: Crystal Nasio | Barstow Community College (California)

“The eleven semi-finalists who pitched this week demonstrated creativity and great passion for opening up new doors of opportunity for women, people of color, veterans, immigrants and other would-be entrepreneurs who can start their own business in a skilled trade through programming and support from their local community college. We are delighted to congratulate the seven teams advancing to the finals in October at the annual NACCE conference,” said Rebecca Corbin, president and CEO of NACCE.


Please join us in watching the finale 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: